Life can be an exciting, hard, wonderful, painful journey. We all experience high and lows through life. As Christians, we believe that God can use our successes and our hardships for our good and for His glory. This is what makes your faith story unique, and your story matters.
Sharing your faith story doesn't just mean talking about the moment you committed to follow Jesus. It's not just the story of your conversion, although that is certainly the highlight!
Your faith story is a series of chapters throughout your life where God has walked alongside you, whether you knew it or not. Perhaps in times of success He guided you, gave you wisdom, humbled you. Or, maybe He gave you comfort, hope, joy, or healing through a difficult time. Each of these peaks and valleys can be a unique testimony to God's faithfulness and love in your life.
Finding Your Faith Story through Life Mapping
Life Mapping is a process that allows you to reflect on your life as one overarching story, identify the chapters in your life, and discover God's work in your faith story.
First, set aside some time alone to reflect. This may take some focused effort! Get out a sheet of paper and list the top 10 high points and top 10 low points in your life. These pivotal moments can range from a big achievement, birth of children, becoming a Christian, successful or hurtful relationships, relocation, death, or other crises. Next, on a scale from -10 to +10, rate the impact of each moment (If it was a difficult moment, rate it from -1 to -10. If it was a positive moment, rate it from 1 to 10).
Next, draw out a timeline for your life, from age 0 to present. Map out these 20 moments, the High and Low Points, on your timeline. If it is a High Point of 10, draw the line to that moment high above your timeline. If it is a Low Point of -10, draw the line to that moment far below your timeline.
After plotting out your 20 pivotal moments, think about what chapters may emerge from your timeline. Try to break your story into 4-5 chapters. What would the title for each chapter be? "Wandering"? "Stuck"? "Found"? "Free"? "Reckless"?
God is Working Through Every Chapter of Your Life Story
Take a moment to look at your chapters. For each chapter, ask yourself, "How was God working in this chapter of my life?"
What were the biggest lessons you learned in this chapter? How did you experience His grace? How were the good and hard times used for His purposes? Did you grow in your faith during this chapter?
Perhaps, while you were living this chapter in your life, you didn't see God working. Maybe, at the time, life didn't make sense. How does it look now that you're looking back at it? Is there anything or anyone you see that God worked through?
Each Chapter Tells a Story that Someone Can Relate To
Each chapter in your life is, in and of itself, a mini faith story. If one of your chapters is titled, "Stuck," chances are you know someone who feels stuck right now. Whether it's trauma, achievement, or rejection, your chapter title will ring true with some people you encounter in life.
Our low points can be hard to talk about, but resist the urge to avoid being vulnerable. God's grace often shines most brightly in the midst of our messes. Maybe you've been through a financial challenge. Do you know someone going through that right now that needs encouragement? Perhaps you've experienced grief. Who do you know who is grieving needs a comforting, listening ear?
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
As this Bible verse says, God is full of compassion! He is God of all comfort. And, He comforts us so that we are able to comfort those who are hurting. We have an opportunity to share God's comfort with others.
Pray specifically that God would bring people across your path that are going through similar life chapters, so you can share and offer hope to them in a way that relates to their story. They are not alone. God is with them and understands, just like you are with them and understand what they are going through.
We can share how God has changed our story, and that God's love and faithfulness can change their story, too.
Related Post: 4 Crucial Tips for Sharing The Gospel
Your Faith Story Points to the Gospel
Finally, ask yourself the question, "How has God changed my life most powerfully?"
How has He showed up for you over and over again throughout your story? Do you see any overarching theme across your chapters? Perhaps it's finding acceptance or choosing to surrender. Maybe it's rejecting the world's version of success and relying on God alone.
Whatever it ends up being, this is how the Gospel has been good news in your life. This is how God changed your story! If God can change your story in that way, He can change it for others.
One powerful reason why sharing your faith story is so effective is that no one can argue with your story. It is your personal account of how the Gospel of Jesus has made a difference in your life, and no one can argue with your lived experience.
Your story is God's story of love and grace.
This is part of a series on How to Have Easy Faith Conversations. To read the rest of the series: