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Your Story Matters!

Episode #102

Often we don’t understand how our past impacts our lives and struggles and challenges that we’re currently having. Spending time with God, getting to know and understand our stories, can help us be aware of and heal from past experiences.

Highlights:

“what kinds of things might have happened, that have created some of the ways they think about themselves or life…”

“our stories, each one is unique and has a purpose”

“we don’t know the questions to ask, the doors to stop at that are significant…”

Questions:
Do you believe your story matters?

What is the biggest barrier to sharing your story?

Have you brought your full story to the Lord?

Mentions:
Coaching

Click for Full Podcast Transcription

Kit
It’s been really interesting to get to understand both in my own life and with clients that I meet with, how important our stories are, and how unfamiliar we really are that we even have one. I’ve had several people come into my office over the last year, and it’s a common kind of theme with, um, folks that when I get to know them, I’ll say, um, tell me your story and they look at me and say, What do you mean by that? And I’ll say, Well, you know, like tell me where you were born and about your family and about you know, what happened to you as a child and into your school years and just tell me the important things, the relationships and they’ll these thinking about a few people in particular who were like, Well, it was finding my childhood was fine. Um, really pretty normal. Nothing really to say. And then I’ll ask a little further like, Well, tell me what you remember about growing up. What was it like to be, uh, in your family? What was your relationship like with your mom and your dad? And often I’ll hear things like, um, a particular person said, Well, my dad, it really wasn’t around very much. She traveled a lot. I didn’t really know very well. And when he was home, my parents fought a lot, and that was actually pretty hard. So it’s been really interesting to get to understand both in my own life and with clients that I meet with, how important our stories are, and how unfamiliar we really are that we even have one. So we want to talk about that today.

Josh
Yeah, yeah, thanks. I can relate with that. I think in my own life, you know, when I first came to regeneration swing with a sexual addiction, barely aware that that’s what it was, but certainly aware that I was acting out sexually and felt ashamed badly about that as a Christian man. But, you know, I mean, my first night at the group like that, people were asking and talking about their stories, and I was like, Does this have to do with that? It was That was a paradigm shift for May, and I was honestly, I was suspicious of it. At first. I was like, You really like So

Kit
yeah, these these these clients that I’m thinking of, you know, they came in because they were just like, life isn’t making sense. It’s not working out. You know, I’m frustrated with relationships that just never seemed to be working for me, your romantic relationships or traces that I’m making about my sexual life. I just I keep making these choices. I have no idea why. And yeah, And so as you hear their story, I always listen with an eye. Once they kind of tell me they’re like, Why are you here? What are you hoping for? And they share that with me, then is I hear their story. My antenna can be up a little bit for like, what kinds of things might have happened that I’ve created, Um some of the ways they think about themselves or life that might be contributing.

Josh
Yeah. Yes. Okay. I mean, I think you’ve talked a little bit, but, you know, for somebody who’s listening is going Okay, well, you know, I’m aware of some things are currently facing in life. How do I know if they have any connection to what I’ve lived through in the past? How does a person begin? Like, how do you do? You mean is the assumption there’s always some connection in the past. Yes. OK, say more about that.

Kit
I mean, I think you know our stories. There are stories there, significant stories. Each one is unique and has meaning and purpose. And there’s reasons why a guy I often say to clients, you know, there’s you like they’re like, I don’t know why I do these things. I don’t know why I make these choices. I do what I don’t want to do. And I don’t do what I do, what I want to do. And of course, you were accountable. But I always Consejo Well, there are some reasons, you know, if you think back on things that you did, you were told as a young girl things that you began to believe about yourself. You know, I am not lovable. I’m gonna have to prove my love ability. I’m going to have to earn it. And you can connect. You know, you can connect what happened when you were younger and how it’s playing out today. And that could be, you know, just being aware and being awakened to the fact that there’s a connection can be hugely and insightful and freeing for people.

Josh
Essentially, if you think about Scripture throughout Scripture, people are not identified, usually with maybe the exception of milk acidic. People are not identified as these kinds of solo appearing from nowhere kinds of people you know there is. This is so and so the son of so and so who was went to so and so and so and so. There’s a there’s a cultural, familial, historic context for the people throughout Scripture, which that I think Scripture writers. We’re you know, we’re trying to say like these were real people. They are connected Teoh, other real people and, um and that matters for who they are. And it matters just to the reality of this larger God story that you’re reading about right now, So, yeah, yeah, it’s our culture is different. I think we tend to be so independent. Individualized. Um, well, I think we can often deceive ourselves or be kind of tricked into believing that where we’ve come from is something that we can I have separate ourselves from and cut off from without any impact. Uh, and I haven’t found that to be true with people I’ve walked with either.

Kit
Yeah, you know, I think it’s too. It’s We don’t really have very much of an appreciation for the because significance and the power of the fact that we each have a story that God created. And he’s writing. You know, we kind of were like, Well, we’ll just put her head down the liver life one foot in front of the other And we don’t stop and say, Wait, what? What is my story? What has it been and what is it now? And what do I want it to be? So I think, just, um, acknowledging that we each have a story and then and then figuring out how to know what it is, whether it’s coming into, you know, because you’re like cash. Something’s not going right in my life. And so you end up coming in to talk to somebody, region or someplace else, and begin to really tell it and someone helps you tell it or on your own with a mentor, a friend, you start to just write it out. Like what? What has happened in my life could be really an interesting thing to Dio.

Josh
Yeah, no, and really valuable. And I you know, I think about how you begin to know your own story. Question. Um, I think that other people are really invaluable with this, especially if you’re just starting out because like, I didn’t know. And I think a lot of people don’t know the questions to ask. We don’t know. The doors to stop at that are significant. Some people do mean something. Yeah, this, of course, was devastating to me, but even a death of a parent or yeah, for sexual abuse like I could recognize those are significant. But I don’t think we necessarily know how to navigate around what happened in a way that really opens our story to us in new ways right when someone else is listening to our story and can listen with compassion. And we can see on their face some response to what we’re saying. Yeah, in some ways, where they, you know, I know for me some of the experience has been and I’ve had the honor doing this other people, too, to ask questions around things that a person may not think matters. But even the honor of I’m asking you more questions, I want to hear more about this particular moment or this experience or your feelings around. This can open doors that a person I think usually can’t figure out to open on their own.

Kit
And we forget. Yeah, and we forget to. We have I forgot so many things that happen to me in my life because you just do is just it’s just the way of things. And so my first experience with telling my story was with a group of women who decided to do that. Let’s tell each other our stories, you know, there were about 10 of us, and so he took turns and we actually prepared, you know, we sat down. We invited, got into the process we really began thinking about, you know, um, family and friend relationship school experiences, um, our sexuality, our sexual experiences when we what was thought about God and when we came to think more about God and then like, actually timelines and we wrote it out and what happened was remarkable because all of us said I had no idea there was so much

Josh
right, right? And that’s yeah, and all a sudden our stories can begin to pop for us. Yes, let me before we go for that one. I ask you to tough questions because I can hear because I’ve heard these questions in my office. 22 objections. I think that a lot of people have to this kind of thing. One is Paul’s pretty clear in Philippians, he says. I forget the things that lay behind and I press on towards the pickling Christie’s. I’ve heard Christians say, like no, no, that’s the past. It’s all in the blood. So I left for you to respond to that to that kid, maybe to begin with and the other The other question I’ve heard people say, Well, no, no, I’m not gonna dishonor my family and I want under my parents. I don’t want to speak badly of them. So how do you respond to this? Does those two things?

Kit
The first thing I would say is it’s not like you’re going off, you know, telling your story or creating a story apart from God that I wouldn’t recommend that you know, this is saying, Lord, remind me and show me what my story has been because I want to know where you were. I want to know ways that you took care of me and I want to know you know how to how to remember and think about the ways that you’ve written my story. So it’s not like we’re going back and creating something apart from God. It’s actually inviting him into what he’s already written and to help to help us become more aware of who we are and God, so that that would be the first thing I would say. And then the second thing is it often with parent people, they’re concerned, like one want to throw my parents under the bus, and that’s such an important thing to address, because what I always say is, you know, we’re all broken. I’m broken His apparent Your parents were broken, and we all do things and do things that hurt our Children out of our Brokenness. And so we’re not saying your parents are particularly flawed. Terrible people were just saying some of the things they did or didn’t do hurt you. And you need to be able to acknowledge that and bring that to God and allow him to show you. You know what he wants to say to about that? How he wants to heal you. So it’s not about, you know, calling out your parents as much as just technology that it’s a broken world. And things do happen that hurt us.

Josh
Yeah, I think I think couple of thoughts with the last one is, you know, learning your story and learning to kind of walk through your story doesn’t mean that you’re broadcasting it on the night. Right? Right there. There are places to do this that still seek to honor under your parents. I think the other thing for cultures that are more shame-based or honor-based cultures where there really is a very serious you just don’t speak badly about your parents. Um I think that needs to be taken into consideration. But again, if you could find a safe place to do it And my experience has actually been that people who do this work and press through, like learning their stories, coming to recognize the good, bad and ugly of families figure up in, um and then forgiving their parents. They actually, in real-time, Yeah, able to honor their parents.

Kit
It’s really true. That’s a really good

Josh
point. Relationships that, you know, way. Don’t talk about that. I don’t talk about this, right? You know, I respect my mom, but we don’t really talk. I kind of get snarky with her. But like when we pressed through our stories come to forgive, recognize our part, own, we can own it actually enables us to then be more differentiated. I think from our family of origins that we can then go back and love them in appropriate ways and set boundaries that we that are honoring as opposed, dishonoring

Kit
Yeah, and in terms of that idea of going back instead of forgetting about like letting the past be the past. I just had this memory off when I began to tell my story that I remembered some things that happened to me in high school with a high school principal. That word was inappropriately touched me inappropriately. There were a couple of rides home I got from guys and there was some in it. And I had I didn’t remember a saying event. Now, God, I think I believe that when I invited got into those places with me, he brought those up to be with me in them and to heal me and to draw me closer to him. So it wasn’t that these things I remembered, um, somehow interfered with my becoming closer to God or more whole, that it actually helped me in that,

Josh
Yeah, you know, the illustration that comes to mind for me, as you say that is, Have you ever been reading a book for watching a movie? And it’s maybe the latter half of the book or movie and all of something. Something happens with the character, and you’re like, What? Just who is that? Who is that, like, Why? Why what’s what’s going on here? Yeah, somebody else in the room says, Well, don’t you remember like That’s the That’s the same guy from back on page three year that’s going back and see that piece again. Then all of a sudden, the present-day story kind of opens up in a new way. I think sometimes the Holy Spirit can be like that with our stories like, yeah, he remembers these key moments. These key experiences these things that we kind of drank in. Yeah, way back when? And you kind of holding the page on, we’ve got we live on, we move on And then at some point, something happened and he says, Hey, remember this and he won’t force us to. But I think if we’re willing to yeah, he’ll turn the page, is back with us and say, Yeah, I was here during this. I wonder I want to walk. You walk with you here where we didn’t walk together before here. So

Kit
I love that, and the enemy would want us to not be integrated with that he’d want us to forget and, you know, deny and push that under. God would want to bring it to light just for integration, you know, to help us see that he has. He is with us. He has been with us and he’s with the sound. He will be with us and there’s an integration.

Josh
What is he talking about? What you mean by integration and what and conversely like, What does it mean? To become integrated with previous parts of your life? Your story as opposed to being disintegrated from

Kit
what I think about a lot of us do get disintegrated because we week we arrive in our adult life and we go, Wow, none of this is making sense. And I must just be messed up because I just keep making mistakes and there’s no reason for it. I just I’m just a terrible, lousy person and, um, integrating your story and going back again It’s not like you say, Oh, so the reason why I do all this bad stuff, so I guess I could just keep doing it. That’s not what happens. Usually, when you integrate and you make these connections, you’re like, Oh my gosh, there are reasons why I feel like I need to again go out and earn my love because I really experience some hard things. When I was a kid and so got integrates those what happened before to what’s happening now and help spring wholeness and healing in those areas.

Josh
Yeah, I can think of some examples with some guys I’ve walked with where there’s been some real wounds between them and their fathers’ releases where they really felt like, you know, my dad paid attention to me when I excelled at this sport. He seemed to love this about me. Um, but that was it. And he was never physically affectionate. Um, and the kind of connect beginning to learn like, oh, is could that be a part of why I’m so driven today and so performance-oriented of such a difficult time trusting that if I’m not doing anything, God still loves me for trusting that what people say they care about me. I can just relax into that as opposed to having to continue to prove to myself and others that I have some worth or have some meaning. Yeah, and I think in the realm of pornography or sexual addiction, for for a lot of people that looking for another sexual fix can actually be a search for just someone who sees me or cares about me or can tell me that I’m worthwhile or can offer me cover me so many things that can connect back to stories of places that we never learned to be healthy. Never learned to receive those things, Or did you get those things in the past?

Kit
And parents really have great influence over us, you know? And it’s sobering is apparent myself to realize that it’s also a beautiful privilege. But so a lot of times we do have issues that have to with our parents. And some of the things that have happened with our parents weren’t even like horrible things that they did. It was, you know, uh, comments that they made that one child may not have any response to on another child may take it, and just like it may really deeply affect them. For example, you grew up in a family of extroverts, and you’re an introvert. This is true. Several people I’ve talked to over the years and in some way, shape or form, you know, a mom or a dad says you’re so quiet. What’s wrong with you? You know, why don’t you, you know, talk more and do something more they grew up. Their interpretation was, I’m not okay. I’m not seen. I’m not accepted and known. And so, in some life stories that translate into while I better you know, I better be what someone else wants me to be so that I can be seen and known. And that’s a driving force for someone’s life.

Josh
So, kit what I mean says, You know, say somebody identifies a cat. I can actually see how they’re You know, some of that stuff at me when I was a kid or when I was in high school or whatever. Like that really did shape my sense of how life works. And so I want to get after that. Or is it enough to dis recognize like, Oh, that’s where that came from her? That there’s a connection there for me. What else does somebody do without stuff like,

Kit
Well, it’s important to be able to, you know, really talk and process it through, and it can take a long time. It’s a matter of inviting God and his holy spirit in his healing into it. And then it’s also practical ways that you start to think about check your thought patterns. You know, we have a lot of narrative going on in our minds all the time that we don’t even know about. Like, yeah, You know, um, your that person over there much more loveable than me. Um, you I need to I wish I could be more like this person who really is accomplishing Maurin their life. All this narrative that we find ourselves. So we say, you know what are some of those ways? Some of the things that you heard growing up that you began to believe are true about yourself, that they’re not true, right? Him down. And what’s the truth? What would God say to you right now about who you are? And you, you really like, trust that God’s going to do things in his way to heal you. And there’s gonna be practical things that you’re gonna begin to, you know, choose how you’re thinking. God gave us a choice about how we think about things, and so you begin to choose.

Josh
And I think its okay here a couple things that one is his. When we learn our stories and begin to connect like oh, that there actually is a genesis to this kind of pattern in my life. Yeah, it can be empowering to help us to. Recognize that this is not some kind of innate, you know, dysfunction or foulness In May, This is right. Things had to start. It was something I picked up. And I can make different choices today. That’s 11 thing I’m hearing nothing I’m hearing is is that Jesus wants to bring healing. And, yes, even going back to that illustration of him holding the page in some places previously in our lives. Like he brings us back there not to just rub our noses in it. Not to say, Hey, so that’s, you know, doesn’t that stink? Good luck, but to bring healing. And, um I mean his, you know, his death on a cross applies to our pasts, our presence or future. So it applies to sins that we’ve done. It applies to sins that were done against us, whether they were intentional or unintentional, and by his wounds. We are healed past president future, so weaken. If he if he’s held a page, it’s because he wants us to be able to press our wounds into his wounds. And you’ve been experiencing some riel supernatural healing and some places

Kit
and freedom does come. It does, you know, it doesn’t come 100% automatic in one moment. But it comes, um, you can experience it is you begin to get in touch with some of these things you believed that aren’t true. And then you invite God into it. And you, you know, we pray together and we pray over these things that aren’t true. And we invite God to, you know, speak truth. About what? What is, You know, the truth and, um, healing it because it happens, it begins to happen, and it frees us from some of those things. And then as that begins to happen, we find ourselves as we think differently. We feel differently, and then we behave differently.

Josh
Yeah, and I do think that, you know, as we kind of near the end of this, I think one of the things that’s so valuable in all of this is I you know, again, this is one of the things I was told me when I was going through this process way, way back. But, um, there is there are parts of us that just have not grown up. You know, we and even in the internal, eternal scheme of things, we’re all kids in some places inside. And so to find that Jesus wants to meet us as a zone older brother, the father wants to father us in those places that the Holy Spirit wants to wants to minister and bring truth to those places. Yeah, even his presence in this place is can lead us deeper into just loving him. Because we experience in new ways that he is loving us in places that we were not loved before, did not experience love as deeply as we needed before. Yeah, that that in itself is that it’s the power of God who is with us, relates with us, and transforms us through his very his nearness in those places.

Kit
Really glad you brought that up because one of the things that comes up a lot that really is a reality is that as we get in touch with our stories as we tell our stories, as God reaches down and Inter lives to heal us, he’s re-parenting us. You know, he’s the perfect parent, and there isn’t any perfect parent on the planet. So we’re all gonna need a healing touch from God, who is the perfect parent. And so it really is a re-parenting, you know, it’s a receiving the kind of love and kind of acceptance that we really long foreign need that really only he can give us. And so when that begins to happen, it heals us and shapes us into some very significant ways.

Josh
Yeah, and, well, let me say a word to those out there. Kind of like, you know, I don’t know. I don’t think I need that. Not really for me. Um, I lived to that once. Don’t want to live through it again. Uh, I would just say like, if it’s if that’s working for you, then I’m not here to convince you otherwise, But if there things in your life that are not working for you, uh, then it may be that that just allowing Jesus to turn back the page a bit and to show you some other things can radically and and and really wonderfully ways reshape your future. Um, I don’t to say to the parents out there. If this is not work that you’ve done in your life, you have few. If you’re not up for allowing God to turn the pages back with you, then you really maybe kind of clipping your own legs when it comes to certain areas of your own parenting. Because if we want to be a whole and healthy presence in our kid’s life, kind of able to fearlessly walk with our kids with whatever they’re dealing with. Um, at least being willing to face some of things for own past is gonna help us. It is not going to get the easy. There’s still wilderness for their kids, but it will be tremendously helpful. I know that’s been true for me, at least thus far in my parenting. So yeah, well, kid, any other bigger categories you want to hit before we wrap up and I’ve got one exercise I would love to kind of put in front of people as we close this up. But what else is on your heart?

Kit
I was just thinking about when you were talking about when you talk to the parents and I, you know, I really have allowed this in my life to both, um, you know, here me and my own personal ways of my Brokenness, but also to try to understand, you know how it can affect my parenting. And there are things that are passed down. You know, like my mom was very co-dependent on and had a very in many ways, a very dysfunctional ish with my dad that costs a lot of havoc in her life and his life and our life. And I learned that I learned that behavior. But now I’m very aware at some ways that I’m I could pass it on to my children and that I have. And I’m trying to, like, ask God to help me, to continue to break those things in my life and to be aware of them as I parent and as I see them in my Children. So you know that that, to me, is very encouraging, right? That there are some things that we have with God’s help, we can have some influence over in terms of things that are passed down through families like co-dependency and other unhealthy things. So that’s my last night.

Josh
Yeah, Well, I can think of Ah, uh, a mother I know who came to region just was kind of a light thing. Just some, you know, a few things kind of in early adulthood that she had walked through and never really talked about with somebody, um, took just, you know, an appointment or two and kind of process through some stuff, confess some stuff, receives, um, some, uh, some healing prayer. And then, you know, that was kind of all she needed. And I think maybe the last 10 years, I think all of her adult kids have at one point another dropped into the ministry and got affordable than others. So I think, without meaning, Teoh it wasn’t like a premeditated thing. But I think she really kind of opened a spiritual door for some gas for work. That’s beautiful. Well, so here’s just one practical exercise that I think that if you have never done this work that I really encourage you to do, it can be really, really kind of eye opening and helpful. Uh, what exercise that that that I learned way back was to really write a timeline of your life There’s kind of down the sheet of paper. Break it up into five year segments. So 056 to 10 11 to 15 and then make three or four columns that go horizontally across the page. One column is good. Another column is bad. Another column is beautiful. Another column would be ugly and then just kind of thinking through what you know about your life during those age periods and being opening our old you are. This will be the one or two pages long or maybe more. Just make some notes like when, you know, and 00 to 5. Like what kinds of things happen in my life in my family that we’re good, Good things happen that were bad. What things were beautiful at this point in my life. What things were really ugly, Um, things that I did, things that happened to me or circumstantially kind of in the culture in my family, and that’s just a place to really kind of begin to piece together, like Oh my gosh there. There really is a narrative here, and, um, and then the next step might be Teoh, one of two things. One did notice like what? One of those things that you’ve written down in those five years segments That really kind of you felt something as you wrote it down. Yeah, there’s a real joy or real sorrow, A real pain, real anger. That kind of just maybe more than the rest like, really seemed to stir you. Which ones of those things really kind of stood out to you? Uhm And another thing you might do is look for themes like Are there anything aside? Look at this over these years of anything that seem to be repeating themselves, you know, like others rejection there and rejection, their rejection there. Just take note of those things and that’s a place to begin. One caveat to that. I was with a group of men not too long ago who were working through an exercise like this, and one of them said, Hey, look, I just to say like, this is serious business. There was some trauma they got for me, and I needed help processing through what I was feeling and realizing. So this is not a light exercise. It’ll be easier for some than others. But, um, as we’ve said multi times in this podcast, having someone else help you to kind of share your story is really important. And especially if there’s some weighty, weighty things. Yeah, Merson confusing things. So

Kit
and rash, I would say that is such a great exercise, and I’ve done it myself. And I’m really glad you brought it up. I think the thing that I would also just encourage people to when you sit down to do that in some somewhat because of what you just said that trauma can come up is pray over it and invite got into it and do it with them. Yeah.

Josh
Yeah. Good. Thank you. Yeah, it’s not something you prepare and then go talk to God about, but yeah, really seek to do with him. And if you need a break, take a break. This thing is not a marathon, or this is a marathon, not a sprint. So Okay. Would you just pray for folks as we close

Kit
Lord, This idea of our story has become so, so personally important to me, but because of my own life, but because of clients that have trusted me with theirs and learn. I’ve watched you move and he’ll and take care of people as they retell their stories as they awaken to their stories and as they begin to invite you into them more and more. So what? I just pray for anyone listening If any of this touched their hearts or brought up some emotions or desires, that word that you would continue to just gently and lovingly encourage them to find a place, a person, a time to begin this journey. And I just learned I thank you and ask that, um, they would know that you would be with them in it and that you would guide them through it. Thank you, Lord, for all the ways that you care about us and our with us, no matter what in Jesus name. Amen.

Original music by Shannon Smith. Audio engineering by Gabriel @ DelMar Sound Recording.

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