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Share Your Story | Student Connect

by Blaire Telford on April 02, 2020

SHARE |  April 6-11

Spiritual practices can be things like praying, reading your bible, and fasting. But, because those are things we often think of first when we hear "spiritual practices", we may inadvertently miss out on other, less traditional...but awesome and creative approaches. 

Sharing Your Story  |  We tend to think of our story in sections or chapters, often as if that one section or one chapter defines us and our lives...but we have a bigger story, and it's power and purpose is found in sharing it. 

This kind of sharing can actually be really life-giving, both for the teller and the listener...and may be just the thing we need, especially at a time like this. 

DAY 1: Let's Start With You

Before we can look into anyone else's story, we have to know our story. ...Of course YOU know your story--you're the one living it! But when was the last time you looked at the story of your life as a whole? Not just in sections or chapters. When was the last you shared your story with someone? Have you even considered you have a story to tell, or are you under the impression that you're too young to have a story? 

Have you ever heard of a life map? 

Here's what it looks like...

Life map

That's actually MY life story. Lots of ups and downs... There's high points and low points and defining moments tucked away in there. This can actually be kind of fun and quite interesting. Here's how it works. 

  1. Brainstorm: make a list of high points, low points, defining moments and role models in your life up to this point. These could be moment or "seasons" (longer stretches of struggles or joys).
  2. List: out your high points, low points, and defining moments in chronological order (the order they happened in your life). 
  3. Draw: a graph (20 rows going left to right and 11-19 columns going up and down). The # of columns is determined by your age. 11 columns for 11 year olds, 15 columns for 15 year olds. And so on. 
  4. Label: the sides... The left-side vertical line is a scale from -10 (most negative events) to +10 (most positive events). The middle value (0) is neutral. The bottom horizontal line is your age with ) being birth and the bottom right corner being your current age. 

Now take your list and start putting dots on the page for each even or season of your life. Connect the dots and it will help you recognize a shape and pattern to your life by revealing seasons that were positive and seasons that were challenging. 

You don't have to show this map to anyone. This exercise is for YOU. Understanding your own story will help you tell it well. ... What was that experience like for you? 

Day 2-5: Try it out

How often do we actually sit down and hear people tell the story of their life? How often we ask permission to look behind the curtain or even consider that there is a life behind the curtain? Your parents, teachers, leaders, friends, family...they actually all have lives you don't see. So, each day this week, our challenge to you is to ask for their stories and LISTEN. Ask questions. Be curious. If and why it's appropriate, maybe share some of your story with them too. 

  • Parent's story
  • Family member's story (other parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, etc.)
  • Friend's story
  • Small group leader's story

Here's some questions to get you started: 

  • I wondered if you would mind telling me your story. 
  • What was life like when you were a little kid?  
  • What were some of the greatest moments of your life?  
  • What were some of the most challenging moments of your life?  
  • What was life like at home?  
  • What was life like when you were my age?  
  • What was your bedroom like when you were a kid?  
  • What were 3 things you fought about the most with your parents when you my age?  
  • What social group were you in in middle school or high school? 
  • What was your favorite place to hang out?  
  • Where has God been throughout your life? What’s your journey with God been like?  

Day 6: Reflect

How hard was it for you to share your story with someone? Was it easier to share your story or listen to someone else's? What were those experiences like for you? What do you think those experiences were like for them? 

Tags: story, leader, student, connect, share, day, parent, practice, spiritual practices

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