We All Have a Story to Tell

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There are a few parts of my life and story that you should know because they will likely be referenced in future posts: traveling and experiencing culture are two of my passions.

I’ve visited several countries and forty states. There’s something that draws me to new places and people. Being a wanderer, I am not much of a homebody.

I love food. Connected somewhat to the above, trying new foods from all over makes me happy. As does baking and cooking and sharing food with others.  Food brings people together, forging a place to share stories, and it tastes good. (Or it should.)

Don’t ask me about favorites. For reasons that I have stopped trying to understand, it’s almost painful for me to pick a favorite of almost anything — color, food, movie.

I’m also prone to worrying — not so much as an art form, but as a way of being and thinking. I realize worrying isn’t healthy, but currently, it’s how I work. From little details like how I might spend time on a weekend to big decisions like where to move or which job to take, I spend plenty of time thinking and worrying.

Even with YOB, I worry whether I fit in here. I worry how much time I spend talking about these topics with these people. And I worry whether I even have a story worth sharing.

I wonder what I have to say that somebody else hasn’t already written here? Or could say better? Are my experiences needed in this conversation?

A few weekends ago, I went on a retreat with my life group — they’re good people, but I’m still getting to know them. I was just hoping for some relaxation and maybe a conversation that would draw me slightly closer to people in the group. Low expectations — it’s safer that way.

During worship the first night, another guy came over and asked if he could share “a word” for me. He felt God calling me to be a “path maker.” The visual he received was that of my going through thick brush, having to clear a way. This journey and work would not be easy — tiring and trying at times — but there were paths to be made.

God would (will) be with me as I trudge these new ways. And it was, he said, paths (plural) that I would be making for others to journey upon later.

Well. That was timely. And no pressure, right?

These words served as a reminder that my story — everybody’s story, really — is worth telling and sharing. And equally as important, truth needs to be spoken. Not that I have a complete understanding in my writing, but that truth about my identity and relationships and God needs iteration.

So, here I am. Still rather unsure of what story I’ll even be telling, but knowing that Truth being spoken and shared is vital for at least my own forward-moving life. I’m hoping that as I stumble through words and new experiences, something will strike a chord with another brother (or sister).

I’m expecting that conversations will be mutually beneficial, because I know I don’t have the answers.

Will you join a wanderer on this journey?

Say hello to our newest blogging brother, Kevin! Do you ever feel like you have little to offer a group? Has anyone ever shared “a word” with you about your life? Do you see the value in sharing your story, or does this seem unreasonable at this point in your life?

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  • Steven Michael

    I’m part of the group that does retreats for Catholic Singles. They normally talk about both loneliness and dating. While I could certainly offer more unique perspectives on that, they are the subjects that I talk least about because I’m not out to anyone there, and I am afraid of even letting little hints out.

    But overall I love to talk to people and share stories of my life.

    • Kevin Zimmerman

      Steven, So many time in my life have I wanted to share more of my story than I was able to because of group members or larger organization or fear. I’m sure that I will talk about these in future posts. But we – people struggling with ssa – have a unique, valuable perspective to bring to conversations.
      And yes, talking to people – sharing stories and life – is one of the greatest joys of life. If intimate, deep conversations were a love language…

  • Hi Kevin! It is good to meet you! I have been blogging here for about six months. I came back to the Lord after twenty years after a massive stroke, and do I have a massive story to tell. It is too long really to tell it here (and quite boring), but still, it is mine to tell. I have detailed it in a blog form that I will post a link to. I look forward to hearing your story, as no one’s is unimportant.

    https://brokenbutredeemedblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/introduction/

    • Kevin Zimmerman

      Hey! I have read a few of your posts before – and you definitely also have a great story to tell. I wouldn’t worry about it being boring. And too long…. I think that depends on who you’re talking to and then the art of story-telling.

  • excusemydust

    Welcome, Kevin. 🙂 I look forward to seeing where the paths you are to create lead. It sounds like the breadth of your experiences will offer a unique perspective and different viewpoints for all of us to use in making meaning of our own. Tell your story–in the words of Maya Angelou, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

    • Jeff Brady

      sometimes living that story is worse than leaving it untold

    • Kevin Zimmerman

      Thanks for the encouragement! Most days now I’m looking forward to putting words to my experience, but there are still days where I wonder what I’m doing.
      And I don’t know how I haven’t run across that quote before, but I love it!

  • Jeff Brady

    Hi Kevin…I look forward to reading more. Thanks for your efforts

  • mistaken identity

    Hey Kevin, I know it does little good to admonish one to refrain from worrying, but you need not worry if your story is worth telling. You have had valuable input here long before you started to blog. I am looking forward to what you will show us. And thumbs held high for cooking, travel, and culture!

    • Kevin Zimmerman

      I value reminders like this! Though I know that worrying does not help, and that my story does have value…there are lies seemingly always working against that. So, reminders are helpful.
      And yes, I’m always looking for new food/restaurants and the next trip to take. (path to travel?)

  • Kevin Frye

    KEVIN!!! High five for having the same name! It seems you and I have a few other things in common as well: we both love traveling, experiencing culture, food, cooking, and bringing people together. I’m not a worrier, though. Never really have been. It’s great to have you on here and I look forward to reading more from you and getting to know you more!

  • Alan Gingery

    Hi Kevin! Welcome to the YOB community.

    I assure you that you do have a story to tell and that we want to hear it.

    There was a time in my life when I was painfully shy mostly because I lacked confidence and self-esteem. I didn’t get much affirmation as a man when I was young. Yet, God took me places that I never expected and gave me experiences that I never thought I would have.

    I too love to travel and to try, cook and eat new foods. Great stuff. I live in Ukraine, BTW.

    I was utterly surprised when I took an enneagram test (after listening to Tom and Elliot talk about them so much) and I realized that I am actually an extrovert and not an introvert. Surprise! And when I thought about it, I realized that I actually am very social, I love to be with people and I am a teacher. Sure, why not? Yeah, it was all suppressed early on, but God helped me to grow out of that.

    I have had people encourage me with “a word” to do things. Now, I like to encourage other people with “a word”. I look forward to hearing more from you Kevin.

    • The Enneagram actually has nothing to do with extroversion/introversion; perhaps you’re thinking of Myers-Briggs?

      • Alan Gingery

        Yes! You are right of course…thanks…

  • mike

    Hello Kevin, greetings from Canada :).
    You say: “Even with YOB, I worry whether I fit in here.” While our stories are unique and we’re different that way, yet the SSA journey we share binds us into a brotherhood as we navigate this road together . There are ups and downs for each one and truly a circuitous path for most of us but each story brings refreshing encouragement into how God is working in each of us. Enthused that your story is coming!

  • At Peace

    I used to believe that my testimony was of no value because I was and still am a homosexual. I can’t join the other Christian men and women who can say, “I once was a ……..but now I am free”. I am free from religion, traditions that bind men into servitude to laws that condemn us to God, because we can never please Him with them. When I prayed for freedom from homosexuality, God gave me wisdom. When I prayed for freedom again, He gave me understanding. When I prayed to be set free, He gave me more grace and pressed that into my wounded soul. After praying for many years about something that He is more than well aware of, I abandoned that and found the freedom that I was searching for, His Grace! He was telling me for many years, “Karl, my grace is sufficient for you. You are already free.” I viewed freedom as having right desires, a wife, a family, but that is an a skewed concept. I was mixing what I thought was freedom to what God views as freedom. His freedom is being free from the “law of sin and death”, which was what I CAN”T do in my flesh to please God. But ONLY 100% complete trust in our brother and LORD, Jesus Christ. If we taint a thought that “we have” to do this that or the other to please God, other than the grace of God, then it’s law. We have to be on our guard that we do not fall under the yoke of condemnation. For in so doing, we become lukewarm. Grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and keep telling your story.

    • Kevin Zimmerman

      Yes, thanks for sharing this. I appreciate your wisdom and perspective on how you (and we) are learning even as we struggle and pray. Definitely will be seeing more of my struggle to understand and accept grace in future blogs.

  • BR Dude

    Welcome Kevin! We are honored to have you here! Hope you stay with us a long time!
    It’s always a thing about choosing the right words that make me stop, think and don’t say stuff. I’ve learned lately that we should say what our hearts have to tell (in the right moment, of course) and shine our lights in the world. So I start to write whatever comes into my mind, and I just rewrite what has to be rewritten 🙂

    So, welcome again here, and we hope to see more of you soon!