Chip MacGregor made my day. If you read on to find out why, you’ll know what a memoir-geek I am.
Chip sensed God wanted him to write about what He had done for him—but he felt unqualified:
“All I saw was a very tattered, frayed thread,
broken and retied in a number of places.”
You know the feeling?
Maybe you hear those hissing little whispers: You? Write a memoir? Wait a minute! What makes you think you’re so special?
You might be asking, “Who am I that I should write my stories? I’ve made more than a few mistakes, and besides, I’m a nobody: I’m not a Billy Graham or a Chuck Swindoll or an Elisabeth Elliot or a minister or a best-selling author. What could I be thinking?”
But Chip, bless his heart—even though he was all too aware of the shortcomings in his life, he also recognized that the “tattered, frayed thread, broken and retied in a number of places” actually “wrapped around the entire story. It was the thread of redemption.”
Yessss! That’s what I’ve been saying, in my own words, of course: Write your God-and-you stories not because you are so great, but because God is so great.
Chip continues, “…[W]hat qualifies you to tell your story is your experience of redemption.”
Chip and you and I can, and must, write our stories of redemption!
Write about everyday events and relationships,
about babies and teenagers and grandparents,
Boy Scouts and Home Ec and your most embarrassing date,
best friends and bullies and bigots.
Write about learning to drive, or swim, or cook, or kiss.
Write about funerals and weddings and heartbreak,
about honesty and lies, about money and taxes,
about mowing the lawn and making beds and cleaning toilets.
Within them all, dig deep and find the threads of redemption!
Peel off layers, one by one, until you find glorious, sobbing, humbling, joy-filled, life-saving redemption.
Listen: The stories of people like Billy Graham, Chuck Swindoll, Elisabeth Elliot, and other modern-day heroes of the faith are important—but not because those people are so great. Each of them admit to being deeply flawed. Their stories matter because God is so great.
Hear this: It’s not what they did—it’s what God did.
God called us with a holy calling,
not according to our works
but according to his own purposes and grace.
2 Timothy 1:9
Don’t miss this:
Chip points out that
your story of redemption is
“the journey your readers want to take.
And if we can whittle down our lives
to reveal how God has brought redemption to us,
readers will be inspired to believe it may happen to them.”
That’s it! Our hearts long to inspire others to hang in there, to be assured that God is for them, He loves them, and He has His own stories of redemption for them!
Don’t underestimate the power of your story.
Just one story can change lives—
one life, or a hundred thousand lives—
maybe for eternity.
Write your God-and-you stories, your stories of redemption—not because of who you are—but because of who God is.