Links Daily Devotional

The Whole Story

“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.” (Psalm 107:2,3, NIV)

Golfers love to tell stories. Stories about their lowest score, the craziest get-out-of-trouble shot, places traveled, and stories about matches won and lost. One of my own favorite stories to tell comes from the hole-in-one I made at the U.S. Women’s Open on live television. It was electric.

God tells his story on every page in the Bible, and he desires his people to tell about how he has rescued and healed them from different calamities—banishment, captivity, sickness, and danger at sea (Psalm 107:4-43).

In many ways, our lives are no different. We experience damage and harm from abuse, abandonment, neglect, loss, hunger, or sickness. When we tell our story, God rescues and heals our hearts.

Most often we hear a person share their “testimony.” The central theme in a testimony is about how a person accepts Jesus Christ into her heart. It is their salvation story. We learn about life before Jesus and then how life is different with Jesus. As a professional golfer, I have had many opportunities to share my testimony. However, I am also learning there is much more to my story then what my testimony expresses.

Often, the deeper layers of our story are filled with pain and loss that has never been spoken. But remaining silent leads us to build layers of shame and contempt around our lives and push God away. When we choose to take a risk and talk about the details of past harm, we begin the journey of healing and restoration in our hearts and relationships.

Entering into the pain and loss in our story requires a safe environment of a few people who can sit with us, grieve with us, and comfort us. In this safe place, we can name the truth in our story and expose the lies we believe that come from the enemy—lies such as, “It was my fault,” “I am a failure,” “I am unlovable,” “I don’t deserve better,” or “My feelings don’t matter.”

We also need to give ourselves permission to feel and grieve the emotional impact of the pain and loss in our story. As we name the truth and feel our pain, we begin to understand how our past directly impacts our present. This enables us to grow, mature, and be all that God has created us to be.

For many years, I believed my testimony was enough for me and for others, but my heart longs for more. Recently, I heard a sermon about how we need to let go of our past in order to move forward into the future. The speaker made it sound like it’s a simple choice, and in some situations it may be. Personally, until I started talking about the deeper details in my story, it had been a struggle to let go of my past and move into the present.

To really enjoy the present and look forward to the future, we need to be willing to talk about and feel the pain and loss in our past. It will require taking a step of faith with God in new ways. The reward is living with more passion, joy, and hope.

Tracy Hanson

January 30, 2012

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