Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
Impact of story - once upon a time

The Impact of Story


I love a good story, don’t you? Skilled storytellers have beguiled audiences with mesmerizing tales since the dawn of time. I have vivid memories of waiting breathlessly for stories to unfold, beginning with the words, “Once upon a time . . .” I’m still transported by the power of those words today.

However, the impact of story is not limited to writing fiction. Well-written non-fiction also draws on the use of story as it teaches. My eyes might glaze over if I read articles or books packed with lists of numbers, names, or facts. But when the stories behind the statistics are revealed, my heart connects with real people—their joys and sorrows, successes and failures.

It’s no coincidence the apostle John called Jesus the Word. And Jesus used words, weaving them into powerful stories of hope and warning.

His parables meet us where we are and take us to where we need to be. His patience in teaching the disciples provides hope that if they finally got it, we can, too. His intimate conversations with the Father give us a glimpse of the intimacy available to you and me.

Each one of us has a story. Being true to our stories requires both honesty and transparency. Honesty with the Lord and with ourselves. Transparency with others.

Our eternal story begins with our relationship with Christ. But it doesn’t end there. Being real means allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. It’s not easy for me to share my failures, but how else will others be able to rejoice with me as God works in those same areas? Sometimes it’s equally difficult to share my victories—will others view it as bragging? Perhaps they will, but there are countless people desperate to know that weeping doesn’t last forever and joy does, indeed, come in the morning (Psalm 30:5).

The privilege of using the power of story isn’t limited to writers. By telling our stories, we all have the ability to encourage hearts, invite intimacy, and point others to the Author who is writing His story in each one of us.

Who will you share your story with this week?

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