Your Faith Story
Looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of [our] faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Have you already written any part of your life story?
Writing is a powerful tool on many fronts. In fact, this piece began as a project for GED students needing to sharpen their academic abilities with writing. Education is never just academic, though.
So what is the value of writing as a tool of learning? Writing at its core is communication. Some people are gifted communicators. Their ideas are clear and perfectly united with their hearts. Such folks boldly and effectively share their passions. The rest of us have more muddied minds with thoughts that get tangled as they seek to find their roots in the heart. Writing teaches structure and clarity of thought.
Writing about our journey to Christ through the events of our lives helps us see His fingerprints and feel His loving touch. So added to all of the other practical aspects of writing are eternal purposes in this endeavor.
This is a factual paper…not persuasive. It is a record of your life, your view. No one else has to agree. You may, though, have a desire to point your readers to Jesus Christ for their own blessing. It is up to you. Our coming to Christ is a continual thing. We don’t have just one story or testimony. Our faith is to be a living faith that has new stories every day.
As you read on, you will find questions to guide you through the times of your life. You may or may not need these questions. You can pick any event(s) and write on that specific one…or you can write your whole story!
In the beginning...
God calls us long before we hear Him, let alone respond to Him. We can only see what we look at, so looking toward Jesus helps us see the fingerprints of God on our lives. To begin with, let us think back on our spiritual heritage. Let the Spirit guide your thoughts and direct your writing. Tell the story of your faith with your eyes on God, so others can see Him. You could start by thinking back to childhood with questions such as:
- ·Did you go to church as a child?
- ·How did you get there? Whom did you go with?
- ·What was your favorite part? What was not comfortable?
- ·Did you stop going? If so, why?
Or maybe you want to start at the beginning of a relationship with Jesus.
- ·Who was the first person who told you about Jesus?
- ·Did you know anyone who lived with Jesus as their friend?
- ·What does friendship with Jesus look like?
- ·Does Jesus feel like your friend?
An expandable file makes a great place to keep the story you are sharing. Once you begin, new stories will come to mind to tell another day!
Tuck pictures in the file. Newspaper clippings or cards may be a great addition too. Years ago we created story folders for the 'grandparents.' WWII gas rationing stubs and food coupons are a part of the treasure created.
Charting the Journey
Keeping a reader's attention is not easy. (In fact, thank you for staying with me this far!) It is important to have a plan for where you are going with your story...and a map to how you will arrive at that point. Too many rabbit trails in a story loses the reader.
Outlining is a very useful tool. A three point approach works well for personal stories.
- Attention-grabbing introduction to the event! You are competing for ‘free’ time when someone reads what you write. Make it worth their while.
- The second part is to give the details (actions, words, emotions and setting) that make the story visible in the reader’s mind.
- Finally, share what you learned, what you hope they see in this snapshot of your life.
On the other hand, outlining may feel too formal for you! That is okay. If the outlining is too cut and dried for this sort of writing, try this activity with a friend:
Take a sheet of paper and divide it into six sections. In one box, write a couple sentences about an event. In the next box, tell a few details. And in the third box, share what you 'took away' from that activity (humor, life lesson etc).
Now, ask a friend to look at your page and put down a couple questions for you to answer in the empty boxes next to the ones you have filled in. Use this as a chart to guide you on your story journey!
The rest of the story!
- Lives Under Construction: Writing the Story of Your Faith Journey
Are you excited about your story? Do you need more ideas. Pop on over to the blog I write for building lives on the Word of God, and you will find more helps on writing about your faith journey! Let's tell the world how great our God really is!
- Mary Anne Benedetto-A Writer's Presence, LLC
Official home page of Mary Anne Benedetto, owner of A Writer's Presence, LLC, author of Eyelash, 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing, Never Say Perfect, From Italy with Love & Limoncello, and Write Your Pet's Life Story in 7 Easy Steps!