This week, our assignment from Holley is to explain WHY our dreams are important. Over the past few months, I've spent a lot of time thinking and praying about my dream.
It went from the vague, sort of nebulous "write," to a much more specific place - one with lines and color and shape. A week or so ago, Holley put up a post on her blog that gave me an "ah ha" moment. You can read it here. But basically what it said is that we have a destination and there are different ways to journey there.
For Holley, her destination is to encourage women, and she journeys to that destination of encouraging women by writing books, writing her blog, speaking and other things. I don't know why this resonated with me so deeply, but it did. (Thanks, Holley!)
The post has been rolling around in my head for a while. I know what God created me to be - a story teller. I've been doing it practically since I could talk, and before I told stories, I was begging anybody with a pulse to read stories to me. There are a lot of different ways to tell a story though - it doesn't all have to be fiction. I tell stories every week when I turn in articles for the newspaper. When I teach Sunday school, in essence, I'm telling a story.
But why are stories so important? What purpose did God have in making me a storyteller? I mean, entertainment is great and all, but that can't be all there is to it. Truly great stories (even the fictional variety) leave you changed in some way - opening your mind to new things, giving you a new perspective, answering eternal questions. They make you think about things that you may never have given a passing though to, or maybe look at something in an entirely new way.
As I pondered WHY story telling is so important, it hit me with the power of a lightening bolt - my purpose, the WHY of my storytelling is to connect people. I've always been a connector as well as a story teller. In high school, I had a very eclectic group of friends - kids from all the different "groups." Even now, I'm usually teh one that gets my friends together to do things.
On a professional front, my newspaper stories connect people with information, resources and other people. My prayer is this blog connects people with God, connects the reader with the truth that God does make a daily difference in our lives and He does long to be in relationship with you.
My destination is connecting people and my journey or way I do it is by telling stories.
But why stories? Well, from time immemorial, we have been telling stories - to connect people to truths, teach lessons, impart morals. Jesus used stories to reach an uneducated crowd. It was a way of connecting to people. Facts, figures, graphs and charts just don't have the same power as story to connect with people's hearts and minds.
Think about the last time you had a missionary into your church - didn't you enjoy and think about those that told stories of the people they ministered to? Stories give us a way to reach out and connect with other people who are very different than we are. They give us a context for the information we are given - a way for hearts to connect with hearts even if we've never met.
That's the power of story.
I can share with you about the need for wells in Africa, and you may pause and even agree with me, but it probably doesn't stay with you. BUT, if I tell you about a young girl and her family - suddenly, the need for wells becomes real. Why? Because I've shared someone's story. I've connected you to a person, not just a problem.
So, why am I pursuing my dream? Well, ultimately, to be obedient to what God has called me to and to bring Him glory, but another reason is because stories matter. They make a difference. Your story is important. No matter what that story is, it can make a difference in someone else's life, even if you think you have nothing important to share.
If you'd like to read the stories of other God-sized dreamers, hop on over here.
~ Blessings, Bronte