Again. I just got back from a couple of days in Sunny Southern California where along with representing the district and talking about the internship possibilities in the Northeast I was able to hang out with friends. And I have a friend (shocking I know!). I’ve known him for almost 4 ½ years now. Sooo crazy! My first semester at college was his last. He was a friend of a friend and well… to be honest I had a crush on him. I mean he was funny, smart and nerdy. What could have been better? And so started our awkwardly wonderful friendship. This friends name is Aaron Yenney… isn’t that an awesome name? I have always thought so.
Well since we first became friends he has graduated from LIFE, moved to WA, then to Oregon and then back to California. I have graduated from Ignite, graduated from LIFE and moved to New Hampshire. Well, when I was back in Cali I was able to sit in this friends office and chat about how wonderful our lives are because truly, we live rather great ones. But this is also a friend that I would love to convince to move to New Hampshire. Why you may ask? Because I love spending time with him and he challenges me to think deeper and love truer. Don’t tell him but my plan is to find his soul mate here…. or I’ll import her from Oregon. It’s going to happen.
Anyways. I digress. But I wanted you to get a glimpse into how awesome my friend is because what I am going to share with you next is going to blow you away. 2 years ago this friend was thinking about stories and how they relate to community. It all started at a Taco Truck but the rest of the details I’m rather fussy on… you’lll have to ask him… but the short end of the story is he started a get together that he calls Yarning in the Round. It is a place where a large group of students come together and tell stories: funny, serious, dangerous, sad, filled with God, etc. The point is that we all have a story to tell and no matter where we are in the spectrum we all 1. deserve to have a voice that is respected… and 2. These stories can always tell us something. (Mind you, this is my understanding of it so… if I’m wrong don’t judge me ;] ).
While I there I was able to go to a Yarning in the Round. I think it was God that made it possible. In a way that I was never able to feel before I felt at home in the midst of a group of people who were oddly similar and yet very different from myself. I felt like a kindred spirit. And as I sat amongst these students and listened to stories I couldn’t help but realize that this could very possibly be the last time that I sat in an “Aaron Yenney” Yarning in the Round. This made me very sad. And it dawned on me that I had yet to tell a story at a Yarning.
Pause. There is another important thing about my friendship with Aaron that needs to be shared. Aaron was on my licensing panel to become recommending for licensing in Foursquare. To be honest, in my opinion he was the hardest one. Partly because I knew him and I didn’t want to look stupid… which I did. And partly because he’s just so dang smart! Anyways that is neither here nor there. The important part of Aaron being on my panel is that at the very beginning of the interview they ask you to tell your testimony, how you made it to LIFE and where you are going to be going after. At this point Aaron and I had been friends for over 3 years but never before had he heard my testimony. How is that even possible? How is it that people who are the closest to us don’t know some of the most important moments of our lives? How have we not shared how the Lord has changed us, shaped us? I’m not sure but it had happened with us.
Anyways back to Yarning… I asked Aaron if I could tell a story because all I could think is about how in 3 years of our friendship he hadn’t once heard my testimony. I couldn’t leave there having not share a piece of who I am and what God has spoken to me. I wasn’t going to allow the stories that make up who I am in God to remain untold.
Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has something to share. But it takes making the moments and pausing in the midst of the busyness to share. We have to be willing to be real, to be honest and to understand that in some way we are all kindred spirits.
I challenge you to share your story. It doesn’t have to be all at once or even everything at all. You don’t have to be the best story teller ever. Just share. Make yourself available to share who you are and what God has done in you. Because we all have a story to tell… and He isn’t done writing yet!!