Wednesday, 6 February 2019

What’s your story? by Philippa Linton

What's your story?   (Pixabay)

I was at the opera with a colleague – we’d got tickets for an opera I’d never heard of before, and neither had she, but we enjoyed it anyway.   As we were sipping our (ridiculously over-priced) wine in the theatre bar, she smiled at me and asked: “So – what’s your story?   Everyone has a story.”

I told her my story.   Adopted as a baby, brought up in a warm, loving family, traced my birth family when I was in my mid-thirties (over 20 years ago now) … I never met the love of my life, and there is perhaps more than one story behind that bald fact.

She told me her story, and we discovered common threads (there are always common threads): she too has a sibling who was adopted, and she is also a mentor to young people.

How do writers turn the raw material of their lives into stories?   I was once advised to ‘write what you know’, and I think of the Brontë sisters, who all had powerful experiences of love, loss, despair and betrayal, and created amazing, powerful stories of love and loss from the fiery crucibles of their imaginations.  That’s writing what you know, but it takes literary genius to create masterpieces with such an impact on the history of English literature.   I can’t say, with my hand on my heart, that I would, or could, aim so high …

However, I have a story to tell, and I believe I should share it: God is the one who gave me my story, and gifted me with the ability to write it, and surely as Christians we see our storytelling and our writing as gifts from God which he expects us to use.   Our stories about healing and hope and redemption (in whatever form they take – we all have such different stories) can bring healing and hope to others, and point them in the direction of redemption.   And so – in a small way – we can help to make this world a better place, through the power and beauty of words, and the power and beauty of sharing our common humanity, and the power and beauty of seeing how God can shine through the cracks and clouds of our lives.

What’s your story?

Share it.

Share it with the world.


  1. Oh dear Philippa! Last week my vicar said I should write my story but I told her I wasn't interesting enough for anyone else to read my story. Now I've read your blog I've got a haunted feeling. Two people in the last ten days. Maybe....