Six Word Story

Have you ever tried to tell your story in just 6 words?

About a year ago, I was reading a devotional by Proverbs 31 ministries and the author shares a legend about Ernest Hemingway. Someone challenged him to write a story in just 6 words and he won the bet with the following: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

It is amazing how he could depict an entire story in just 6 words. My heart grieves for the parents who lost their baby. We don’t know the details of what happened but emotionally we are drawn in by those 6 tiny words.

I was intrigued by this devotional. Could I tell my story in just 6 words? I started to piece together words.  Honestly, it is much harder than it looks. You have to be very intentional about the words you choose.

Thankfully, the author of the devotional, Tricia Lott Williford, gave some examples.  Here are some about being a mother.

Goldfish crackers. Board books. All day.

Again with the laundry and cooking.

Please, can it be naptime now.

These words brought back memories for me when my boys were younger and the days were long. Again, it is crazy how 6 words can tell a story.

Tricia then goes on to share more of her story. Sadly, her husband passed away when her kids were young. She shares her 6 words during this hard season.

Widowed mom, trying to wake up.

Winter, winter, winter, winter. No spring.

I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.

As I read these words, I am emotionally drawn into her pain. My heart is deeply saddened for both her and her children. It is captivating how 6 words can say so much.

Again, Tricia shares some more examples in her devotional. Maybe you can relate to one of these:

Wishing someone could call me Mom.

I really thought he loved me.

This diagnosis will swallow me whole.

As I read these, I can picture a woman I know who has struggled with infertility. I have another friend who is currently grieving a divorce she did not want. I can also see a friend who is presently fighting a cancer diagnosis.   All of these 6 word stories describe someone I know.

Many of our stories involve going through something hard. Maybe you can relate to the descriptions above or maybe you have lost a loved one or have a special needs child. Whatever the circumstances, I don’t want our story to end in the middle of the storm.

A couple of months ago, this 6 word memoir challenge presented itself again. I am a member of Compel, a writing class with Proverbs 31 ministries, and they challenged us to write our 6 word memoir. We were able to read what others posted and what I saw was fascinating. It was clear that the storm in their life actually became a defining moment in their life that changed their trajectory. Listen to a couple of my favorites:

Blindness brought gift of Greater vision.

Loss doesn’t define me. Hope does.

She planned. God’s plans were better.

Sadly, we all will go through a hard time in our life. Storms are inevitable. However, how we get through the storm and what our life looks like on the other side is entirely up to us. We can choose to run to God during the storm or we can run away. I found such amazing healing by running to God.

As I began to piece together 6 words to share my story, I wanted to capture how God really transformed me along the journey. The heartbreak from my divorce was very real, raw, and hard but along the way, I learned total dependence on God. This saved me and made me strong in ways I could never have done on my own.

I would like to share with you my top three with the last one being what I entered into our compel challenge.

Brokenness leads to dependence on God

Your broken story becomes your ministry!

Heartbreak to strength with God’s faithfulness

God takes our deepest pain and turns it into our greatest ministry!   I pray that God can use your story to help you grow stronger in your faith and then allow you to help bring healing to others.  What would you write if you could share your story in only 6 words?God takes our deepest pain and turns into our greatest ministry. (1)

Show Us

What if you were the answer to someone else’s prayer?

What if your act of kindness was exactly what the other person needed?

So many of us including myself go through our day with our minds focused on our to do list and our problems. I think we miss opportunities in front of us when we are completely self-focused. What if we turned our focus more onto others? Imagine for a minute what our world would be like.

What do you see?

I see a stranger helping a young, sleep-deprived mom load her groceries in her car as her baby is crying and the mom is ready to break into tears herself.

I see a friend carrying a meal to her neighbor’s home. Their family recently lost their father to cancer and each day is an emotional and financial struggle.

I see a young child bringing a smile to a lonely, elderly women living in an assisted care facility. He is carrying a basket and delivering treats to each room.

These are all small ways to show love and kindness to others. They only require taking our eyes off of our own struggles and asking God to show us how we can help others.

PCR_0210_ArticleImg1_Kindness

God has shaped you with special gifts that He wants to use to bring joy and kindness to others. Some of you have the gifts of words of encouragement. Others have the gift of cooking or baking that He wants you to bless others with. Perhaps you have the gift of organization or leadership, God wants to use you to impact others. Everyone has their unique gift they can offer to someone else.   I pray we will daily ask God to show us who.

Show us who needs our words of encouragement.

Show us who needs a listening ear.

Show us who needs our unique gifts that God has given us to support them in their time of need.

Sometimes God asks us to do bold, large things but sometimes God asks us to do simple, small things that are big for the person we are helping.

It is natural to think that it has to be these big grand acts of generosity and love. I want to encourage you to never underestimate how impactful our smalls acts of kindness and love are for the person who receives them. I recently heard this quote, “Kindness is like water coloring. Even the smallest drop of paint in the water turns the whole thing colorful.” I just love this image.

I truly believe God uses ordinary people like you and me to carry out his plans.  My hope is that we will be open to God’s promptings as He shows us who He wants us to help. Then in our own special God-given way, we will let out a drop of our unique gift and brighten that person’s day with love and kindness. Who knows, you just might be their answer to prayer.

God, I pray you give us eyes to see whom you have put in our path today that we can show your love. Please change our focus so we can see others in need and be their answer to prayer. God, we ask that you show us who needs our acts of kindness as we walk through our day. In Jesus Name, Amen.