I walked into the college counselor's office and set my brown leather jacket down on the chair next to me.
He smiles, and compliments, "I like your jacket. It has a lot of character." I couldn't tell when he was genuinely saying something for himself, or when he was saying something to direct our conversation where it needed to go.
I thanked him and told him it was my souvenir from my time in Mongolia. My previous ramblings hadn't gone there before, so I spent a few minutes talking about that brief whirlwind of my life when I was 15-years-old, and the adventure of it all.
After this preliminary chit chat died down, I opened up that I wasn't sure the point of these sessions or if I needed to continue. My teenage world felt heavy and I loved the idea of an outside perspective to guide me along. But after a few sessions, the point had blurred. Isn't sitting around and talking about myself futile?
He gave an empathetic nod with his quirky smile that I just could never read. The following quiet pauses always made me fidget. Then, he directed attention back to the jacket.
"The worn lines give the jacket character. And when you told me about it, you came alive. What could easily have been something bought new off a rack at a chain store, turned out to be so much more."
I stared at the jacket, taking in all its details.
I had been looking for a leather jacket, and spotted this one high up on a vendor's cubicle in a local market in Ulaanbaatar (the capital of Mongolia). I was hesitant to ask about it. The language barrier was confusing to me, even when my friend was able to do some of the talking for me. After a little back and forth, the vendor finally understood the jacket I wanted to see. I slid into it as if a tailor had just finished altering it for me--my small frame fits well in Asia.
I was never sure of how to care for it. Any help the tag could be did me no good--it was in Korean. I equally hated and loved the authentic leather smell that followed me whenever I wore it, and how that magnified when dampened by the rain. And I loved the natural wear settling into its creases. A sign of use that the faux versions could never duplicate.
His words broke through my thoughts, "Its character is in your stories. Your experiences, the ones represented in the natural wear of this jacket, help you come alive."
Seven years later and I'm still struggling to accept this reality: I have a story to share.
It seems so large and beyond me. I have a story to tell?
No way. I'm so normal. And average. My life is uneventful. (Or is it?) And I am nothing.
While those statements are mostly true, they are also entirely false because I'm a daughter of the King. No child of the King is normal or average or goes through life with nothing to tell. Because His presence--His gifts, His salvation, His beautiful covering for her life--is everything.
He is everything good in my life. And that is worth sharing.
When we tell our stories, they give us life. They show our built character. They point to the Kingdom.
I am still discovering what God's story is in my life. Of course, it's still in progress, but what is He sharing through the parts that have passed? I enjoyed exploring this a little bit here >> in the prodigal's daughter. But that just opened the floodgates to the gospel God is writing in my life.
I look forward to sharing pieces of that here in the months to come.
For now, know this: You have a story to tell. And because of Him, it's every bit worth sharing.