By Mariah Mulderink
My dad is a storyteller. You can ask almost anybody he has met and they will probably tell you that they heard at least one story from him. Looking back, a lot of my memories around family dinner involved my dad telling stories of his childhood or my parents’ early years as a couple. I have heard those stories re-told over the years and I have also heard some new ones, a lot of which are about my childhood and that of my sisters.
My dad doesn’t tell these stories to brag about his life. I don’t even think he tells them over and over again because they are particularly interesting, but maybe I’ve just heard them too many times. No, I think one of the main reasons my dad tells stories is to connect. The most common situation in which my dad busts out all his stories is when he meets someone for the first time or is getting to know them. He lays out his life for these people and by the end of their conversation, I think a lot of them feel as though they just found a new friend in my dad.
Stories have an incredible ability to connect us with one another. It is through our own stories that we can reveal our very selves. In the stories of our lives, people are able to discover what it is from our pasts that makes us who we are today. Through our stories, we can allow people a glimpse into our sorrows, our joys, our faith.
But here is what is so beautiful about stories: it isn’t just about how stories are told. It is also about how stories are heard.
When I tell a story, when I share a piece of who I am, there is always a small fear that it won’t be heard. I fear that when I take something of myself that is so dear and precious and throw it out into the universe, no one will catch it and it will just fall to the ground unnoticed. In our world today, it may seem as though it is all about “sharing.” There is app upon app upon app that can be used as channels for displaying every tiny detail of our lives for others to see. But even though so much is shared, I fear that so little is actually heard. There is no connection.
The purpose of sharing is to connect, and yet, this piece is so often missing in our world today. This piece is missing because we do not always take the time to stop and listen or to notice those around us. This piece is needed so desperately. The power of stories, the power of connection is dependent on people willing to listen.
We at Chews Life want to hear your stories. We want to hear your stories so that we can see you and know you. As a team, we believe that the journey of faith is not meant to be walked alone. Each of us knows we cannot walk in faith without the support of others. Therefore, we want to support you. We want to offer our support and our prayers.
Tonight, we are sharing the story of Chews Life from these last few months. We will be sharing how Christ has worked and where He has been especially present for us. We hope you can join us when we go LIVE this evening at 8 p.m. CST.
We hope you can join us, but more than that we want to hear your stories. Please do us the honor of sharing where Christ has been present in your life these last few months. Whether you want to share your story with us on social media (Please tag us.), or send us an email, or comment below, we will hear your story. It will not go unnoticed.
Mariah Mulderink is wife, mom, Masters in Theology student, and marketing director for Chews Life. Her greatest joys are her faith, her family, her friends, and any chance to be competitive. For her, one of the greatest privileges she has received is the opportunity to pursue her Masters in Theology. Studying the faith is not only fascinating but is also a beautiful way to know God better. She hopes her studies and her faith will always equip her to share Christ in her work and with every person she meets.
You can find out more about her here.