rebelling against low expectations

Why Everybody Has a Story (And You Need to Tell Yours)


In 2 Corinthians, Paul talks about boasting in his weakness.

Why on earth would anyone want to boast about their weakness? I want people to know the things I’ve accomplished, not the ways I’ve failed.

I want people to know I went twenty-two miles in cycle class, not the fifteen measly miles I went the next day because I was tired and sore.

I want people to know about the blog posts that have gone viral, not the posts that only five people have read.

I want people to know about the trophies I’ve won and the attention I have received for my accomplishments. I want people to see the things that make me sparkle and shine.

I don’t want people to see me fail and struggle.

The question arises in all of this is, Are our accomplishments what make us brave and victorious or are our weaknesses what make us those things?

God calls us to tell our stories.

Our stories of struggles and of falling. Our stories of overcoming and victory.

Big Daddy Weave does a song called, “My Story.” The lyrics say:

If I told you my story
You would hear hope that wouldn’t let go
If I told you my story
You would hear love that never gave up
If I told you my story
You would hear life but it wasn’t mine

If I told you my story
You would hear victory over the enemy
If told you my story
You would hear freedom that was won for me
If I told you my story
You would hear life overcome the grave

Our stories make us human and help us relate to others. Falling and failing is part of the human experience, but overcoming adversity is too. They both go hand in hand.

Our failing shows our humanity and our overcoming shows our courage.

Our stories are proof of God’s goodness. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

They are all proof of what God has done. They are proof of the promises God has made and kept. They are proof of God’s great love for us.

They aren’t a mark of shame, but a mark of all God has done.

So what are you waiting for?

Go tell your story.

“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

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Photo courtesy of Lauren Rushing and Flickr Creative Commons.


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About the author

Lydia Grande

is an 18-year-old homeschool student from Richmond, Virginia, who has a passion for God and people. God has been faithful in her life and she wants to share the hope that He has given her with others. In her spare time, Lydia enjoys reading, blogging, and writing letters. She has a special place in her heart for children and hopes God will use her passion for people and writing to point others to Him.


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  • One of my favorite songs. Both in the words and musically, beautiful 🙂

    This is so true. The greatest part of our testimony is that we were broken, rebellious, sinners with nothing good in us, yet he graciously chose to save us.

  • Thanks for this!

    I haven’t tried writing any of my own stories in a while, because I thought I had nothing to say. I didn’t feel like I was wise enough, or a good enough authority and example. The truth is, I’m just not perfect, and neither are my stories. But if I’ve learned something from them, maybe someone else can too:) Maybe I’ll start writing them again . . .

    • You don’t have to have something “good” to write about, to write 🙂

      My favorite kind of writing is simply journaling about my life, the lessons that I have learned, the struggles that God has carried me through…..

      • I love to journal too! But writing about my life, and writing stories about my life for other people to read, are two very different things . . . on the one hand there is perfect security, and no need for perfection, on the other I would be putting myself out there, so to speak. People usually write “success” stories, but when you aren’t experiencing much success, writing about your experiences isn’t the most appealing task.

        • Yeah, I get that. I don’t necessarily journal about my success; instead I take a much different approach. My journalling is my raw, un-edited thoughts about my life, mainly the struggles and hard situations in my life. I journal about the bad, hard things. Yet while I’m realistic and say exactly what I mean about those hard things and what they are, I also write about how God has used those things in my life for good. In a way, my journal is like my autobiography-length version of my testimony.

          Everybody’s different and how you write depends totally on you, your life, your personalities, and your preferences. But, I would encourage you to keep writing even when it seems boring 🙂

          • Thanks, Olivia:) Your journal sounds terrific, and I think you’ve helped me get a fresh perspective on things. (I have a few new writing ideas, too!)

  • Yes, there is such great truth in this article. It is not our responsibility to have great stories to share with others. It is simply our responsibility to share our stories, and have the greatness of God shine through them. The times that I have had the greatest conversations, the deepest relationships, and given the most valuable counsel, have been times that I have simply risked being vulnerable and shared my story. God always seems to take care of the rest, even if we never see the results.

  • This is so good, Lydia, and so true! I completely know where you’re coming from when you say that you don’t want people to see you fall and struggle. I am exactly the same way. But the times when I fail and struggle are the times when God shows Himself most. My ultimate goal should be to glorify Him; God is great, so who cares if I messed up? Well, I care, but I’m trying to get past that, haha. Thanks for this great post(:

  • This is something I really struggle with. I often (usually, really) feel like my story isn’t something people want to hear. Not that God hasn’t been working, He has! It seems, though, like conservative Christians just don’t want to hear my story.

    • Your story isn’t usual. Neither is mine, as you know. But God has a use for your story and mine, regardless of whether conservative Christianity sees the beauty of God’s plan in our lives. 🙂

  • This post made me think of a song done by VOTA called, “Honestly.” The lyrics say:

    “If you don’t see the real me you won’t see what mercy’s done
    If you don’t see my weakness you won’t see what love has won
    If you don’t see the distance from the darkness to the sun
    You won’t see, honestly”

  • Amen amen ameeeen!!! God doesn’t call us to be ashamed of our testimony, but instead to share it with people and show them how God can work through the difficult things. Great post!

  • Sometimes I kinda feel like I don’t have a testimony because I accepted Christ when I was 5 and I have never had a huge struggle or been in a super dark place, but my mom tells me that that is as good of a testimony as anything 🙂

    • Yes it is! And you are so blessed to have that. Even though God taught me a lot by going thru darkness, I wish I would have stayed close to Him instead of wandering away and taking years longer to learn those lessons. But you–you’ve had that solid relationship for longer and earlier and can use that time of your life being way more effective for Jesus. God saved some of us from ourselves and the awful messes we got ourselves into; He saved you from ever having to go down that awful road of living longer without Him. ~Anna

By Lydia Grande
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →