A Simple Story

A Simple Story

“Mom, Mom, tell me again!!”
I smile, “Honey, I’ve told you this story twice already on this trip”
“Again, please Mom!”  
It’s only been a thirty minute car ride but she wants to hear one of her stories again for the third time.  I don’t mind telling it again, it’s one of my favourites, but I put on a show, let out a long sigh and say, “Okay, honey, but this is the last time today ”
"Okay, Mom … go!!”

It’s the story of the day she was born and it’s one of her favourites too.  She loves to hear about how slow that day started out, how bored I was with the waiting for her to be born, how many times I cleaned the house from top to bottom in the waiting, how that very day the doctor said I would have to wait a few more days, how we got to the hospital, what the nurses said, how loud I was when I was in pain, how many people came to see her, and how happy I was when she was finally placed in my arms.  She responds with questions and comments.  Different each time, but always filled with curiosity about every detail.  Questions like, “What was the look on their faces Mom?  Did they love me right away?”  Every story I tell comes with these question and comments, sometimes throughout the story, and sometimes at the end after she has thought about it for a while.

I’ve been telling these life stories to her since she was about three years old.  Simple and true stories about her life, and the lives of those she loves.  She really likes to hear the stories … I think most children do.  They get to hear about how much they are cared for and what impact they have had on people and world around them, and it starts building a confidence in them like little else.  

There is another life story she likes to hear; it’s about the time she accepted Jesus into her heart.  She really loves this story too.  Not just because of what He has done for her, but what He has done for people she loves.  In this particular story she heard that she was the first in our family to accept Jesus.  She was only five, but this event had a huge impact on everyone in our home.   She tells me the impact of the event herself now and even years later she comes up with new questions or comments like this:

“Mom, your heart was so hard.”  
I reply, “Yes, it sure was honey.”
“How old were you again, Mom?”
“I was 39 when you asked Jesus into your heart.”
“Oh, right …”  “That was a long time to go without Jesus Mom, you must have been sad.”  
“Oh, I was.  But when you accepted Jesus everything changed.  I loved you so much and my heart was definitely soft for you.  I wasn’t too sure what to do or say, I knew nothing.  I think if it weren’t for what you did that day my heart would still be hard towards God and Jesus.”
“I’m glad you accepted Jesus too Mom”
“Me too honey, me too”

There are other stories of her life like this that I’ve told her and her older sister over the past twenty years, but as they have grown I get to hear more stories than I get to tell.  As they get older and spend much of their day or days without me, I get to hear stories I’ve never heard before and even some I could not possibly imagine.  Many stories that include their friends from school, work, and other travels.   Now I get to ask the questions and make comments … sometimes throughout and sometimes at the end … after they got it all out and I’ve thought about it for a while.  I’m very grateful to be there to listen.

Sometimes after … and in the listening, I still get to tell them stories they have never heard before, but the main character in the story is different now.  Now I tell more of my own life stories from before they were born … the ones I’ve held back but find that now is the right time.  They are not always easy stories to tell but they are the stories they need to hear.  They are still stories that change their hearts, build bridges, and proclaim God’s kingdom on earth and in their lives today.  It means being open and vulnerable, but inevitably it encourages them in their need.

The Simple Story started out so … simply; but it has grown now into new life stories that are told by them to not only to me but to others in their life.  Stories that need to be told, stories that are beautiful, stories that are difficult … but they speak and they get it all out … and they do it with confidence.  

If you have already started telling your child their life story and building this confidence in them, then bless you in what you have already discovered!  But if you haven’t yet, we hope you are encouraged to start today … start with something really simple, like the day they were born and wait for it to take off!

No Comments