A good storyteller doesn't just tell a better story, though. He invites other people into the story with him, giving them a better story too. - Donald Miller A couple months ago I introduced you to my sister Blanche. Two years ago this summer, she went to Haiti. I couldn't have been more excited - I took my own trip to Haiti which sparked an inciting incident in my life the summer after my senior year in high school. Once there, I was never the same. But more on that story later. During Blanche's trip to Haiti, I prayed. I prayed and waited and prayed and waited some more...so anxious for her to come back and tell me stories of the country I missed so much.
Blanche's inciting incident occurred in Haiti as well - while holding a little boy in the middle of an orphanage. She took pictures, wanting to etch into her memory the faces of these precious children who stole her heart. Hearing their story, she never wanted to forget.
She went to Kenya this past summer - loving on orphans and falling in love with Africa. Once again, she came back with pictures. With tears in her eyes she would tell us the story of the little girl in the picture who had been found herding goats at the age of four - so far removed from society she had no knowledge of any language. For every picture, there was a story.
We dreamed about what it would mean to actually go and just listen to people's stories. We planned a trip - flying into Cape Town and traveling up the east coast of Africa just listening, writing, taking pictures, filming...no agenda. No hope for money making or gaining popularity because of the trip. Just curiosity and an urge to fill blank pages of our life story.
Since then, her love for photography and story and living a life centered on James 1:27 has blossomed. But, it was after a particularly rough semester filled with failure and redemption, she found her own story.
She called me one night - breathless with anticipation. "I have a BRILLIANT idea" she said as her words tumbled over one another. I couldn't help but smile because I recognized the urgency. All three of us Jacobson sisters inherited it from somewhere - a sense that our idea needs to be written down, filed, locked away and kept under high scrutiny until it's come to fruition. It was in this conversation that Stories for Stories was born.
Her idea resonated with me - particularly because the same week she was in Haiti, I was at Lake Junaleska, realizing my purpose was to tell the stories of those forgotten. Immediately, I knew she had something huge.
There's always a risk - always some challenge. There's always some situation or incident that catapults us into the unknown. There's always pain and tears and black moments where we don't believe we can make it another day. But. There's hope and beauty in risk. The unknown is scary, but worth every blind step. The pain and tears and black moments make us question why we ever bought into this story in the first place, but once we're on the other side, our ragged edges serve as a reminder of our survival - and it's beautiful.
We'd love to have you join us. It's really quite amazing, hearing all of these stories. And if you are one of those people who believe you have no story - that you are just another ordinary person with nothing extraordinary to your name - I say one simple phrase: you're wrong.
You have dreams. You have aspirations - however secret or pushed down deep under your comfortable life. Answer this question: what would you do if you had the opportunity to write your story? What would you attempt - what would you hope to accomplish in your life time? Don't limit yourself. Most importantly, don't limit the ultimate Storyteller who is dying to write an epic tale with you as the main character.
Live. Risk. Write your story. Listen to the Storyteller within you - chances are he's been begging you to do something for awhile. And when resistance comes, push harder. Go deeper. Find the courage to pursue a life abundant with adventure.
We'll be waiting on the other side cheering you on - waiting for you to share your story.
If you would be interested in joining us, please go to our facebook page for more information.