In his memoir, Telling Secrets, Frederick Buechner speaks of the significance of sharing one’s story. He says, “My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours. Maybe nothing is more important than that we keep track, you and I, of these stories of who we are and where we have come from and the people we have met along the way because it is precisely through these stories in all their particularity, as I have long believed and often said, that God makes himself known to each of us most powerfully and personally.”
It is through telling our stories to trusted others that we foster intimacy, share our humanity, gain clarity, and catch glimpses of the Divine. We share joys and sorrows, learn from one another, and marvel at the grace that God has woven into our lives. Telling it “anything like right” just means entering into the process of knowing ourselves and being known by trusted others—honestly sharing who we are, where we’ve come from, and whom we’ve met along the way.
Dan Allender closes his book, To Be Told, with a question and a compelling promise: “…will I offer my broken story as a gift to others to taste and see that God is both odd and good? If I will do this, then the gift that I receive will stagger me—God’s story will be my own. Your story will be mine, mine will be yours, and we all will be his.” This challenge can be ours as well. May we share our broken stories and receive this staggering gift.