We live in story. It’s how we share ourselves with each other and make sense of the world around us. And, in this way, we’re always telling stories. But unfortunately this means others will also try to tell our story for us. And we must learn to tell our own stories.
We naturally tell the story we want others to hear and that we’re most comfortable in sharing. And often this leaves us simply putting on a show for others while keeping significant portions of our story hidden.
And, of course, we don’t have to share our story with everyone. Everyone cannot be trusted and some things rightly remain private.
But hiding takes a lot of energy and people are going to talk about us anyway.
And the more we let others tell our story for us the harder it is to remember what’s actually true. We start to believe their version of us rather than the true story God is telling through us.
Owning our story is proactively telling the full version of who we are – the good, the bad, and the ugly – without waiting on others to do this for us.
We see this, for example, with public figures that try to get on top of their story before all the rumor mills start. And while they can’t stop people from gossiping, this approach does help to set the narrative and keep them moving forward. Owning their story frees them from always playing defense and allows them to focus on where they are going.
And the same is true for us.
Parts of our story might bring shame and embarrassment and it only makes sense we would try to keep these parts hidden.
But owning our story allows us to frame it as a story of redemption and not get stuck hiding and missing the fullness of who God has called us to be.
While others might only tell the story of where we’ve been, we will tell the fuller story that also includes where we are going.
In the end, don’t let others tell your story for you. Own your story by faithfully sharing all that God has done for you.