I believe we all have a story. And it’s not done until we have left this world for heaven. I love other people’s stories, reminding me of how God pursues us all differently; the still, small whisper is heard in different ways for different reasons and each of us responds differently. The power of stories is not only the differentness of them all but the sameness of them all. I think if we share our faith story it draws people to us and to God. The problem is, how do you do that? We talk about knowing Jesus personally and the new evangelization, but how does one explain that to those who don’t have those words or ideas in their consciousness as I do?
Nancy Ward has laid it all out for us. No joking here or over exaggeration. I enjoyed reading this book because it gave me a glimpse of who Nancy is as an individual. Her faith journey as a convert is laid out as an example of how to tell your own story. But she goes further than an example. She gives us the steps, one by one, with instructions, on writing your testimony and using it.
We don’t tell our whole story each time or the same one; it varies based on who we are speaking to, where, why. We share what is necessary for the person to hear, in evangelization starting where you are is not helpful, you must begin where the other person is, otherwise it’s as if you are talking about yourself for your own edification! And I don’t think that will help evangelize anyone.
If you have ever thought you’d like to talk more about how God moves and works in your life but wondered how this is the book for you. I have, like Nancy, been a part of many groups in the Church; Cursillo, Charismatic, Magnificat; both as a participant and a leader. This is the first time I’ve read a book that lays out how to tell your story. I think it would be very helpful for all those who serve in parish ministry. Your story can be an authentic witness to your faith journey. We need authentic witnesses to speak in love to others.
But it is also for those who want an answer at family dinners and work lunches and neighborhood conversations. You know, all those times you want to say something but hold back, if you prepare yourself, you’ll have a response that you can be confident about speaking aloud, not just in your head hours later.
That’s what this book can help you with, gaining confidence in telling your story. If you want that, get yourself a copy!
PS: The second section of the book is a collection of other people’s testimonies. Read them to remind yourself that God is at work.