I have a whole knew respect for teachers. I’ve recently come to realize that when God puts you in any sort of teaching position, He has lessons for you to learn as well. Over the last couple months, I’ve had the privilege of leading workshops for members of the S.T.A.R. Centers (Stand Together and Recover). Most of the members in attendance were recovering from abuse or overcoming the challenges of mental illness and wanted to learn how to use their experiences to encourage others on similar journeys.
So, in light of their special circumstances, I made a few alterations to my usual “Transforming the Heart of YOUR Story” workshop to create “Sharing Your Recovery Story.” I was totally inspired by all the participants and their support of each other! We had a few big lessons emerge from the discussions. One was: healing begins with forgiveness and another was, sharing your story will ease your own hurts as much as it will lift up your audience.
In terms of storytelling, we covered the importance of not lingering on the trauma, but focusing on the tools one uses for recovery and how they can be passed on. There were those who want to speak to groups, a few interested in making videos and podcasts and some looking to become authors. No matter how they ultimately decide to tell their stories, everyone echoed the desire to share one message: “You aren’t alone. There is better out there for you.”
My heart was so full! It’s just like Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:4-7: “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.”
If you know of another group that would benefit from these workshops, please leave their contact info. in the comments or e-mail me here.