[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ fullwidth=”on” _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_fullwidth_header title=”The story behind the stories” subhead=”Dec 18, 2018 | Our Story” background_layout=”dark” background_overlay_color=”rgba(38,38,38,0.32)” _builder_version=”3.0.92″ background_image=”https://truestoryproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/TheStoryBehindtheStories.jpg” custom_padding=”200px||200px|” text_orientation=”left” header_fullscreen=”off” header_scroll_down=”off” image_orientation=”center” content_orientation=”center” custom_button_two=”off” button_two_icon_placement=”right” custom_button_one=”off” button_one_icon_placement=”right” /][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.0.47″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.92″ background_layout=”light”]
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]’ve always loved stories. I remember as a child reading about the missionary Jim Elliot in the jungles of Ecuador and being utterly captivated. His story has been so important for me as I’ve navigated my way through my teens and tried to work out what I should do with my life! I think there is much to learn through watching and hearing about the lives of others. This is what the True Story Project has been all about — enabling real-life stories from young Christians about life and faith, with all the highs and lows, to be heard. Our prayer has been that through reading these stories, you might be motivated, encouraged and excited to follow Jesus!
I’ll put it to you that one of the most amazing stories of all time is the story of the Apostle Paul. Paul hated Christians. Yet one day, on his way to Damascus (to imprison Christians) he met with Jesus in the most remarkable way (Acts 9). As a result of this, he became totally sold on the good news of Jesus — a radical change! In a letter to a church in Galatia, Paul describes his experience as a transformation from death to life (Galatians 2:20). Paul’s story is amazing, not only because of his missionary journeys or shipwrecks or multiple imprisonments, but rather because his story is one which shows the result of a life totally transformed by Jesus.
While I might not have had a dramatic experience like Paul’s (I’m pretty ordinary), my story is in many ways similar. Like Paul’s, mine is a story of ‘death to life’ in which I was totally dead in my sin, and yet, through the life-giving, saving power of Jesus’ death and resurrection I have been radically transformed. Through Jesus I have been restored from this point of nothingness and death, and recreated into someone who is alive and fully able to embrace the meaning, depth and vibrance of life.
My story is one of privilege and grace. I’ve been raised by parents who have encouraged me to get to know God. Yet, I’ve so often lived in a way which has been in direct opposition to God’s character and holiness. So often I’ve blatantly rejected his calling over my life and lived in a way contrary to the one I have been designed for. But God is so generous and good. Regardless of my mistakes and disrespect towards him, he loves me. Utterly loves me. Through his grace, he has used the stories in my life — those of Jim Elliot, the apostle Paul, and my parents — to show me what a life sold out for Jesus looks like, and then inspired me to live it!
The True Story Project has given me the opportunity to place some of my own stories alongside those of others — to be a part of this small and beautiful tapestry of God’s work in the lives of real people. Stories and people with different experiences and perspectives, yet all woven together by the story of Christ and the life his death and resurrection brings.
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