Thursday, September 27, 2012

Your memoir can have an outcome beyond your expectations

The Bible’s characters “may not have realized the privilege and certainly didn’t know the eternal impact they would make,” writes Priscilla Shirer in her Bible study, Jonah.

“How could they have known that their names would go down in God’s Word to encourage us millennia later?”

Realize the truth of what Priscilla says here:

Like those holy heroes, you’ve got an outcome you can’t make out.…” and:

“The fog of your life’s journey will clog your spiritual sight.…”

(Let me interrupt Priscilla here. That fog she refers to—that’s a holy fog. It keeps us from navel-gazing and pride. By God’s grace, He dims our self-absorbed vision in a blessed fog!)

OK, back to Priscilla and this important point of today’s blog post:

In future generations, your story will be the one that encourages someone else to follow hard after God.”

Read that again and believe it:

In future generations,
your story will be the one
that encourages someone else
to follow hard after God.”

Priscilla’s insights here suggest two ideas for your memoir:

First, which Bible characters have impacted your life? Abraham? Moses? Ruth? Joseph? David? Esther? Peter?

What did they say that helped define your life’s choices?

What did they do that changed your life’s direction?

Include vignettes in your memoir illustrating why and how those Biblical characters have inspired you, influenced you, and shaped you into the person you are today.

Then do an about face. God has used other people’s stories to encourage you, teach you, admonish, and inspire, and now it’s your turn to pass on the blessings: Turn from the past and look toward the future.

Your stories are important.

“I’ve seen it happen.… A lost human being
feels like they’re the only one
who has ever felt this much pain.
They don’t know how to reach out for help
but then, inside of a story …
they see every emotion or secret
or hope-for happy ending
that they’ve ever kept bottled up inside, acted out,
and they start to believe—maybe there’s more.…”
(Martha Carr, Just Keep Writing)

Do you see your writing as a privilege?

Do you realize the impact your memoir can make?

“Have you ever considered,” Priscilla asks, “that just as the previous stories encourage us along the way, yours will encourage someone else?”

God can use your words to help readers experience God’s grace, cling to hope, remain strong in their faith, and delight in God’s love.

Write your stories!


  1. Linda, you have shared a powerful and moving message here, together with quotes from Priscilla Shirer. Yes, I believe my writing is a privilege as well as a gift from God. It is my hope that in telling my story I will convey the message He has laid upon my heart as well as benefit others by sharing the challenges and successes in my life story. Thanks for sharing such a meaningful post!

    1. Hi, Sherrey, thanks for your kind comments. Sometimes people shy away from telling their stories because they feel they are not important, but when we realize God can use our stories to benefit others, the writing effort takes on altogether new meaning and urgency. God bless you as you continue to write!


  2. Job was my inspiration, his story is what got me through. Most people know that the Book of Job is about suffering, they might read the start of it and become so depressed and discouraged that they give up before they're halfway through (it's long.). But I listened to a moving reading of it on tape all the way to the end, and learned that Job's constant faith led him to his reward on Earth, an old age full of love, joy and riches restored to him in abundance. So I hung in there, and now I am at that time in my life, too, the time of Peace, Purpose, and Joy that I believed was there for me, because I remembered Job.

    1. Oh, Samantha, what a rich story you have! Your life demonstrates the truth of what those ancient people and their faith can do and still do in our lives all these thousands of years later.

      Bless you for hanging in and for now thriving in this time of Peace, Purpose, and Joy, and bless Job for his part in this!


  3. Dear Linda,

    Corinthians and Jeremiah have guided me through my memoir (and life) about the power of hope through faith. Your post with Priscilla's insights is very inspirational. You always seem to have a way of sharing what I need to hear. Thank you!

    1. Corinthians and Jeremiah -- wonderful! Your message of power and hope through faith is so important, so valuable, Kathy! Keep up the good work! Every day brings you closer to your finished memoir!