By Meghan Hatcher
I recently had the opportunity to break bread with a woman who was part of the pilot storytelling group that ended last April. Over the months she participated in the group and afterward, we gathered multiple times for coffee and happy hour to talk about experiences in the group and process life together. This most recent visit came with an unexpected blessing as she shared with me the ways the storytelling group experience continues to bear fruit in her life and relationships.
She shared a story of a recent date that involved more vulnerability and candidness than she typically allows herself when first meeting someone. She feels this is a direct result of the storytelling group and the ways that experience continues to encourage her to be brave and share more openly with other people rather than presenting a very guarded version of herself. She also mentioned that the storytelling group invited her to explore areas of her life she had not previously tapped into and she’s seen reconciliation in relationships where it was longed for and needed.
As I developed the format this storytelling ministry would take, a question that lingered was how the participants would engage the experience after the final storytelling event. It is enormously encouraging to hear that, at least for this woman, the storytelling group not only gave her space to be more self-reflective about her life story, but also equipped her with a set of skills that can be applied in a variety of situations. In this way, the learnings, growth and community the storytelling group participants experienced and created together continue to bear fruit for months and years into the future. Like seeds scattered on ready soil, this ministry takes firm root in each participant’s life. Thanks be to God.