Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Stories within stories

Setting up for the interview
"Most of our interviewers don't ask about my childhood… it always starts when Darryl and I met, and then focuses on Darryl's Major League Baseball career…"

Tracy Strawberry trailed off as she gracefully recalled traumatic events from her childhood and into her adults years before she ever met Darryl.

On Monday, March 9, I had the honor to listen to 4 hours of Darry and Tracy Strawberry share their life from their earliest memories until current day.

Darryl is a former National League Baseball legend.  Tracy is his adorable and dynamic wife!  Together, they are a representation of God's faithfulness and forgiveness.

My Uncle Chuck and Aunt Sharon's ministry MARKINC arranged the interview for a new resource they are putting together for those struggling with addictions.  I ended up being involved because the interview was held at Wycliffe Bible Translator's headquarters!

Both Darry and Tracy Strawberry have intense stories of redemption.  Stories that they want to share with others, because they are stories about God and His undying pursuit of them throughout their lives.

Uncle Chuck and Aunt Sharon
Wycliffe Headquarters, March 9, 2015
Darryl and Tracy shared from personal experience about the power of addiction.  They talked about making wise choices to not place themselves in situations that would bring temptation.  They shared about how at one point they became followers of Jesus, but that sanctification is a continual process, and it is not easy.

My favorite part was probably when Darryl talked about the change he saw in Tracy when she started reading God's Word - the Bible on a daily basis.

"She would get up early, and read the Bible.  I would come downstairs and she would say, 'Hi Honey!' - and I wanted to know why she was so happy all the time.  I wanted that."

They explained in their testimony that it wasn't about being happy or having a lot of material possessions, as much as it was about the Lord's work in their life - and how that allowed them to have full confidence in Him.

Both Darryl and Tracy have huge stories hidden within their typically more famous story of Darryl's baseball glory years.

That started me thinking...

Darryl and Tracy Strawberry
March 9, 2015
What are the stories inside my larger story of who people know me by?

A newspaper headline about me only declares the major stuff that people can see.
But what about all that is unseen?

What are the stories that no one knows about?
What about the stories that seem insignificant, but contribute powerfully to who I am?

What makes up the larger stories and the underlying stories that God has given to each of us?

Is it really possible for each and every story
no matter:
- how big or small,
- how unimportant or how serious,
- how close or how far away from the Truth
to be redeemed by our great God?

Hard to believe, and even harder to live out out, but I am going to claim these truths today:

"For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God
reconciled everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ's blood on the cross.
This includes YOU who were once far away from God.
You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions.
Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body.
As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless
as you stand before him without a single fault."
~ Colossians 1:19-22

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