This is My Story

Young boy reading the Bible

This is my story. This is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long.

Hymn Sings were a regular part of my church experience growing up. This hymn was a staple. The song leaders – Bert Rydquist, Doug and Lois Larsen, and Pastor Notehelfer, good Swedes in the Swedish Covenant church – led the congregation in a way that engaged even the youngest song-sters.

We enthusiastically followed our musical directors along with the entire congregation, belting out the lyrics and holding the vowels as we watched for their arms to cue us to breathe and sing the next word. My young friends and I prided ourselves on holding the notes as long as the song leader held his/her arms in the air.

Thi—-is i—–is my—-y sto—-ory. Thi—-is i—–is my so—–ong.
Praising my Sa———-avior all the da——–ay long.

Belting these notes alongside four generations of passionate parishioners is part of my story. Con-fessing in song the concept that I have STORY, long before I could begin to understand it, is a sweet part of my own story.

This is my story. I have a story. You have a story. God is telling a grand, cosmic, compelling, story. He commissioned us to tell His story. Storytelling is what Jesus followers do.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

These words are less familiar for the contemporary worshippers, but the story hasn’t changed. De-cades later I “google” the lyrics and “youtube” various bands singing the Fanny Crosby tune with its profoundly compelling lyrics.

Perfect submission, perfect delight. Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending, bring from above echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

I recall wondering what rapture could look like and what echoes of mercy might sound like. I did like the idea of angels coming down. I pictured Precious Moments cherubs falling through the ceiling of the sanctuary we sang about them in. That was before Precious Moments were created. But I knew they looked just like that. It was also before I read more theologically accurate descriptions of the intimidating beings. I liked the Precious Moments versions better.

Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blest.
Watching and waiting, looking above, filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

I didn’t understand submission, or rest, or blest. Except that my grandmothers and great aunts would say “bless you child” and “bless Gladys” when her husband had a heart attack. My grandma’s girlfriend was named Gladys. I thought grandmas were too old to have girlfriends and didn’t understand why Gladys should be blessed the same as me.

Several decades have passed since those Sunday night hymn sings. Yet, as I listen to the hymn the story comes back. It is my story. I remember holding the notes, and waiting for Mr. Z to do his chalk talks, and on special occasions going to Swensen’s Ice Cream Parlor with other families after church.

As I listen to band Third Day sing these same lyrics I wonder, do young people in this generation know they have a story? I didn’t understand the whole story. But I knew I had one. Everyone I knew had a story. And I knew I had a story. Do kids today know they have a story? Do they know Jesus is writing a story in them and through them? Do they know the importance of telling their story?

I have watched a lot of young storytellers transform as they came in contact with the wonder of their own story. I have seen them come to life as they recognize the Great Storyteller Jesus wants to share in their story. Knowing we have a story to tell gives us identity. Knowing how to tell our story builds confidence. Believing our story is worth telling reminds us we are valued.

There are parts of my story today that I still don’t understand. Yet, the story of my youth helped me grow into the story He is telling in me and through me. I want that same confidence for this generation. I want them to know they have unique stories, written in their lives by the Great Storyteller, who created all of us to tell His story – and how our story is part of His.

We are preparing resources to help young storytellers learn to tell stories well. Telling our own story well begins with telling stories really good storytellers have already written. More storytelling resources will be available very soon.
In the meantime, I want the next generation of Jesus followers to be able to sing (or in my case say):

This is my story. This is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long.
This is my story. This is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long.

Dr. Teresa Moon

Dr. Teresa Moon, founding President and CEO of the Institute for Cultural Communicators, is an internationally-recognized seminar speaker, education consultant, author, and leadership coach. Each year, she travels globally equipping students, teachers, and parents to become “cultural communicators,” transforming ordinary students into extraordinary communicators and authentic leaders.

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