You have one. If you're from the church world, you might have one of those "gutter to God" stories that pushes people to the edge of their chairs. Or you could have a story about growing up in a healthy family with parents who loved each other and loved you -- they truly believed what they said they believed! (That's my story.)
Yesterday we told stories. It was a room of 15 or 16 Prayer Partners. They didn't all know each other. They ranged in age from teens to a few in their 70s. Female, male. Seasoned Christ-followers, newbies. And each told her/his story.
I heard a teen weep as she described the abandonment of a biological father whom she really never knew. She talked about her feelings of guilt that maybe she was to blame (she was a baby when he left). She spoke of the love she receives from her stepdad who is fully and completely her dad. And she spoke of how she has forgiven her father and hopes he gets his life together.
A lady in her seventies (eighties?) sobbed as she told of her childhood abuse and the guilt she carried for years before she fully learned to live by the truth.
A man spoke of the pain he went through when he had to bury both his parents within a few weeks of each other. His dad had terminal cancer and was near the end when his mom passed suddenly.
Another man -- in his seventies -- told of how he couldn't live at home anymore because of a worthless father and a mother who wouldn't stand up to him. He left, hitchhiked across country, even living under a bridge with hobos. He was 13.
A young woman -- one of two young cancer survivors in the group -- spoke of the burden she carries because her little boy is autistic. The load has been so heavy of late that she thought God had abandoned her. "This morning," she said, "I realize that it was me who abandoned God."
These are just a small sample of the stories I heard yesterday. Most of them full of pain. All of them full of hope.
That's because each of them was telling a larger story. The story about their discovery of God's love and forgiveness. The story about stepping from the darkness into the light.
What's your story?