storyStories fascinate me… they are the foundation of our live and our relationships.  We are a product of our story- our experiences and  interactions -with the people in our lives- in the midst of the daily-ness of living…

Stories are our history, yet they shape our futures because we live them out in the present.  Not trying to be lofty, or even profound – but think about that for a moment…

History- where we came from… our parents and grandparents stories influenced us because they lived in their unfolding.

Futures are created in the decisions we make today AND those are all colored by both the thoughts and events of moment and all that came before.

What is your story?  Understanding it is a crucial part of living with intention, building strong relationships and being successful in business and life endeavors.

For example, today I took a huge risk and reached out to a prominent person for some help with an upcoming project.  We had a connection via Social Media, but it was a RISK for me.

Why? Because of my story.

  • I am not so great at needing let alone Asking – I am better at giving!
  • My childhood, while  filled with love, education, and hard work – you made you own way. Prominence, fame was for “those other folks.”
  • My own experiences as a “grown up” included watching from the outside, nose pressed against the glass, wondering what it would be like to be part of “them.”
  • Struggles and set backs were more the norm than abundance and advantage in the material world.
  • One new friend said, “your life reads like a Shakespearean tragedy, why are you so hopeful? My response, “I  know how to do hard… my faith is strong, my marriage is good… and I am resilient.”

So this was way outside my comfort zone.

  • Why would this person be moved to help me?
  • What would they think?
  • Was it boldness or boundary crossing to ask?

All of these thoughts swirled against the newer story I am creating:

  • Working to change thought patterns, habits, and not be defined by history.
  • Choices of believing in possibility, risking being disappointed, knowing it’s not personal.
  • Believing I am deserving of help, and others are willing to be as giving as I am.

Risk is also part of my story, as well as my history, so those sparks ignited to push me forward and Ask!

What is your story and how does it shape your decisions, relationships, thoughts?

Sometimes stories unfold without our even being aware of their significance until much later.  This is true for Simone of Cyrene .  He was just coming into town from the country, minding his own business; probably wondering why there was such a crowd.  Curious, he pushed to the front

Story Question: What made Simon a curious sort of fellow, or  a bold enough man to push through the crowd vs hang back? – Imagine why he might be this kind of guy?

Simon heads into the crowd – its an angry one, yelling, jeering… was he concerned?  He knew some folks in the crowd, because the story teller, witness to the events, mentions Simon’s son by name.

Maybe they told him about the man who was to be crucified, falsely accused, innocent, and condemned to die.  Did he want to help or just see the charade for himself.

Story Question:  Was he raised by parents who fought for justice?  Was he burdened by the fate of the oppressed?

Regardless, Simon surged forward to see with his own eyes the unfolding story he was not part of.  Without choice, on a simple walk home, he had stumbled into a history changing moment.  I wonder about his mood.

Story Question: How was his family treated by the political party in power?  Was he a fan of the Romans or disgusted with them because of stories told by his parents and grandparents about their oppressive rule?

Standing at the front of the crowd, eyes on the beaten and bloodied man struggling under the weight of his burden; Simon’s story collides with Jesus, the Roman government – and history.

Jesus fell.  The Roman soldier demanded Simon carry the cross, too heavy for this seemingly broken man.

Story Question: Did Simon know who Jesus was?  Had he heard this “false teacher” speak or seen him do miracles and what could he have been thinking or feeling in that moment.

This was a walk of shame for any citizen – it was the death path for criminals. For Simon it was a life changing moment.  Simon’s encounter with Jesus changed the trajectory of his life.

We don’t know much about Simon.  But we do know he is forever linked to the Greatest Story Ever Told because of his actions that day.  Actions, influenced by his stories and histories.

The Passion of the Christ film portrays him as a Jew being forced by the Romans to carry the cross, who at first is unwilling, but as the journey to Calvary continues, Simons shows compassion to Jesus and helps him make it to the top.  I like this telling, it fits with the history of those who encountered Jesus up close and personal.

There is a Story that unfolds this coming week that changed the course of history.  I believe the Hope of Jesus enable us to change our stories, shape our thoughts and be active participants in how our stories unfold.

Imagine you were in Simon’s shoes… how does this story impact you?  What life altering or direction changing stories does it bring to mind in your past?  How does the power of story impact your thoughts and decisions today?

Share your thoughts and let’s chat!

She Reads Truth Lent 2105-Day 38

5 Responses to “How has your story shaped you?”

  1. Jen

    I think the times it is most obvious that I know my story influences my behavior today is when it comes to my older daughter and the sibling rivalry between the two. Her personality is very similar to my older sister growing up and the way she is quick to pounce on her little sister at times, well I remember that all too well. It makes me so mad inside, I react and quickly raise my raise my voice to the point that That the words keep flying and I wind up feeling guilty afterwards. I was too harsh.. Again:(. Half the time I am thinking …am I yelling at her? or my sister,? is my yelling fitting the crime or is it filling an emptiness or inadequacy I have felt for so many years. It is disabling at times, discouraging when I think about the relationship I want to have with my daughter. She always feels like I am nagging, I tend to feel as though all my energy has been stolen bcz I have said things time and time again. The outcome that I have lived is an ok ending. But just ok. How do we mend the parts of our stories that still leave wounds? How do we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get a clean slate. It is hard to do separate myself from my story in many ways it is good and bad. But unfortunately in this instance it doesn’t work in my favor.

    • Susie Miller

      I hear you. The unfolding of our story is a lifetime journey. I think the awareness you are gaining will help you grow and change in the ways you long to. I am still learning and I have been at this a long time! It is in awareness that we can begin to understand what influences us – our thoughts and behaviors. Then with understanding we can make choices… GRACE!! is key in the process. And trusting that God has our kids in His hands and will grow them, heal them from the mess we make in our own growing.
      I love you poetic way with words. 🙂
      Dusting your self off, and beginning again is the really courageous thing to do. and then do it again, and again .. at least that is what i try to do because I blow it often too! HUgs

  2. Linda

    It seems unlikely that the entrance of Simone of Cyrene into the drama being played out in Jerusalem was by happenstance, given the grand orchestration of the events leading to the crucifiction. He seems to have been known so I think it reasonable to expect he was aware of Jesus and either a Jew or sympathetic to the movement of the followers of Jesus. He also seemed to have been curious enough and brave enough to push his way through the crowds, which included Roman soldiers, to see what was happening.
    Did he take the cross willingly? We are told he did not–but that isn’t important. What is important is that he took it and showed compassion for Jesus as they labored to reach the Place of the Skull. Simone may have begun as a reluctant participant (who wouldn’t?) but seems to have taken his role of servant with grace and acceptance.
    How many times are we put in positions of ‘having’ to do something we seriously object to doing? I daresay few of us are forced into action by armed soldiers or driven on by wild crowds. Most of our ‘kicking and screaming’ as we set our feet away from an onerous task is framed by the risk of damage to our egos or false pride or fear of failure or simple avoidance. Absent the threat of physical danger, we seek to protect our hearts, our souls or our self perceptions.

    Many of us were brought up to be self sufficient and independent. Neediness was discouraged albeit fostered by those who focused on rules, structures and laws. Failure was not an option and we were told to keep on keeping on. Risk was encouraged so long as the consequences were predictable and acceptable. Double standards and fuzzy messages. In my own growing up we were encouraged to do well in school, go onto college, stay out of trouble. Yet, when we shared our post college plans and dreams, we were brought short by the question of ‘when do you expect to have a family?’ Advanced degrees and professional careers were the natural result of following the path, but inevitably, when they were in sight, a big pothole appeared.
    One thing was very clear: if you wanted more, you were going to have to step out and go get it. The other thing that was very clear was that you would not be able to do it alone.
    Sometimes, as we find success we forget the help we had along the way. In our blindness (or arrogance) we think we can do this. even when ‘this’ is not something we know. Our own feelings of guilt (time spent away from families or friends), unworthiness (who am I kidding?), or fear (what if I fail) get in our way of success that no longer seems like it belongs to us.

    • Susie Miller

      Linda, I agree with you! The turmoil we live with as women trying to find our place, figure out how to juggle and use our gifts and grow past the mores of our youth. It is a challenge for me. Kudos to you for your courage and action in a world that raised its eyebrows!

      I am intrigued by your words about Simone… and his example of grace and perseverance in role utterly forced upon him. I am going to ponder that a bit as my kneejerk reaction to being forced isn’t usually grace. 🙂
      Thanks for your perspective and wise words.
      On the topic of needing help… Needing is hard for us as self sufficient women… and yet I am learning to be willing to ask more often as I think about the blessing it is for me to help others.
      Together we grow my friend!



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