We all have a story to tell. Whether it is about love and loss, about triumph, hurt, betrayal, happiness, hope, disaster and everything else in between, we all have a story, either painful or hopeful, that we can tell, either as a warning to others, or as a testimony, of the good things that have happened in our lives thus far. It is whether we tell it or not that is a different story. We see people on television sharing what they have with others, whether it is through song, spoken word, film, through science, arts and the humanities. We sit and wonder to ourselves- do I have a story worth telling? Because the question of all questions is this- it’s not that we believe our stories are not worth telling to the world, it’s because we think they are, that we can sometimes stop in hesitation. What happens after? After people know our deepest parts of us? Would we become fame-hungry? Would people look at us differently? Will we still stand for our values and core truths, regardless of what people may think? These are all valid questions, and are all motivators behind whether we believe our story is worth being told, if not to the whole world, at least to the people around us, those who influence and impact our lives the most.
One of my favourite indie artists of late has been Naomi Striemer. Starting off in mainstream music, this Canadian with vocals similar to that of Rebecca St. James, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and even Celine Dion, we are blessed to hear such honest and heartfelt music from an artist whose transition into CCM from mainstream has been nothing short of God-orchestrating. From being touted as the next best mainstream act, and a ‘diva of the decade’ way back in 2006, it was Naomi’s chance encounter with the chauffer of Sean ‘Puff Daddy’ Combs that led her to be where she is today- a CCM artist whose underrated voice ought to be enough to listen to her music, knowing that it is only a matter of when, not if, a major Christian label signs Naomi in the upcoming months ahead. It is her song “Untold Story” that has made a great impact on myself, and hopefully you all, as I unpack the song in this combined blog of Message Mondays and Throwback Tuesdays, reminding us all that we all have stories to tell, most of them untold, and that it is God’s prompting and grace given to us that allows us to choose which stories to tell and the times in which we tell them.
While I may not have lived an extraordinary life like someone who is an actor, author, musician or even an artist or theatre performer, my life has been far from normal. A premature baby at birth, someone who was in and out of the hospital system for the majority of the first three years, stories like mine are certainly what makes for a great tale, one that gives us all a reminder of what God has in store for each one of us. Whether our stories are painful or miraculous like mine (way back when, my parents were told to abandon me and have another child, or risk myself being that of a person in a vegetative state for the rest of their lives), each of our stories are meant to be told, in the hope that others will be inspired, not just by the stories themselves, but by the one who is in control behind the stories. Everything we experience and will continue to experience will be shaped by God as He weaves what we know and believe in our lives to our good and His glory. Sometimes it may not seem like it now, yet when we look back, let’s say, 5, 10 or even 20 years, I’m sure we’ll see the hand of God in our lives during the moments we need assistance the most.
“Untold Story” is a revelation of sorts. Sometimes our stories won’t be told. We may not know why certain circumstances occur in our lives, and that’s ok. We will know when we stand before our Lord our God. And when we hear why from our Lord and Saviour, we will give Him thanks. Not because of anything else, but simply because we know He knows best, and that His presence alone ought to be enough for us to give Him praise for all the stories He has given us to share to the people around us. Quite possibly my favourite song from Naomi ever, this is a fitting song for a Throwback Tuesday, with the song released in 2012.
We ought not to be afraid by the stories God is longing for us to share to the world. We ought not to worry about acceptance, or what we may look like on the outside to the world if we decide to share with them what Christ has done in our lives thus far. It is often in the stories of our past that we have somehow buried down deep, God can indeed use and impact and influence whomever He chooses, if only we have the courage to just share our own stories, of triumph, hurt, betrayal, joyous occasions, and just watch and see what the Lord does in the lives of people who are hearing what we’re saying.
What is your story that has been untold for ages? Any artist, other than Naomi, that has impacted you through their music within the last few years? Have you ever been hesitant about sharing your own story with others? Has someone else’s story impacted you? Let us know in the comments. Til next time!