“Our stories are our offering.” – Matt Bays

I wonder what you think of your story.

Perhaps you think it’s just a little bit dull? Full of day-t0-day drudgery and the ordinary.

Possibly its a story you’d rather forget, with too much pain and trauma.

Maybe, though you’re proud how far you’ve come?

Perhaps your story doesn’t feel like it offers much.

To mark World Mental Health Day 2016, we want to get you thinking about your story, and in particular how sharing your story has helped you or someone else, because our stories offer something of ourselves and something of the God who is writing our stories.

It might be that you’ve just shared your story with your closest friends and found comfort; or it might have been writing a blog or giving your testimony to raise awareness, for others offering your story will be a private thing done between you and God in prayer.

However it looks for you, we want to encourage you to #OfferYourStory this World Mental Health Day and we’ll be sharing a few people’s stories over the coming week of God moving as people tell their stories. Stories can break down stigma and offer hope.

And yet for many of us, the stories of our mental illness are agonising to tell, and so we avoid telling them to run from the pain. But as Brennan Manning writes:

“In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.”

The #OfferYourStory campaign is here to encourage you to let your story be a light, whether it be for one person or one hundred people, we walk in the footsteps of the storytellers of the Bible.

The stories of tears and weakness and triumph give us a glimpse of the character of God who sent His son to be the saviour of all of our stories. Dan Allender puts it beautifully saying:

“In many ways, the plot of our life is the story of humankind. It is about how we came to be who we are (Creation), how we lost ourselves (the Fall), what it means to discover the name God has written for us (Redemption) and how the end of our story reflects the great consummation of God’s story (his coming).”

So if you would like to get involved in #OfferYourStory for World Mental Health Day, get in touch on Facebook or Twitter or by dropping us an email and we’ll be sharing as many as we can.