What’s your story?


It is a question that can be asked in many different ways. It’s a question about your journey. How did you get where you are? What things have happened in life that have brought you to where you are now?

Not only where you are at in life, but how did you get to where you believe what you believe? What elements have shaped your view of the world?

The question is; What’s your story?

I want to hear from you. Comment me anything you want, no limits. Why do or don’t you believe in God? What has led you to that point? Why have or haven’t you given up on church? How did you reach that conclusion? How do you view Christians or people of other faiths and what brought you to that conclusion? Good or bad. No holding back now. Your voice matters and I want to hear from you.

What’s your story?

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About Stan Rodda

Follower. Husband. Father. Shepherd. Apostle. Husker.

Posted on 03/05/2010, in church, discipleship, family, the basics. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I love the idea of tracking God’s gentile guidance and presence in my life. First started thinking seriously about God in My Story when reading the John Eldridge book Epic. When we start each day concentrating on the fact that God is always at work around us and through us it is amazing what we will observe that might have otherwise gone unobserved.

  2. I think to tell “my story” would take up just way too much room… So, instead, I think I may just blog about it, in honor of this post!

  3. I began answering this when you first posted it… 7 pages worth of “story” later, I decided a condensed version would be better for posting :-)

    I grew up in a Christian home. I was blessed with awesome, god-seeking, serving, faithful, loving, compassionate parents. I have 3 brothers and 3 sisters. There are 21 years between my eldest sister and youngest brother. I fall #5 of 7 in the rank with 7 years between me and my older brother and 5 years between me and my younger brother. So, I was a brat :-) Dad often said I’d never met a stranger and I’d wander off to talk to people no matter where I was. I was spanked often, though not as often as I deserved :-) Dad taught me the patience of fishing–he joked that someday I would fish for men so I better learn to wait for the right bite from early on! Sundays were always reserved for Worship, Family Dinner and Family time. We often had visitors (or strays) with us for holidays and weekends. We lived near the Oblong Christian Children’s Home so Dad constantly had a young man he was mentoring or discipling–though they had no idea that’s what he was doing at the time. We had guys too old for the children’s home, yet too young to be on their own, camp in our backyard and share meals with us more times than I can count. We were farmers and we had a community spirit. We celebrated the holidays and I believed in Santa. But along with the fun of gifts and Christmas programs and crazy schedules, Mom made sure we understood it was all about God’s Greatest Gift. One way she taught us, was to secretly adopt a family that she was aware was in need in the community. She would buy gifts for them–nothing fancy, we didn’t have much money–but always something they needed, something fun and something to eat–for each family member. Then we would wrap the gifts and go at night to leave them on the doorstep of the family, knock and run away to hide so they didn’t know who had been there.

    Things changed when Dad was diagnosed with Cancer. He died a year later. The community he had loved and served–not just our home church–all came together to help while he was battling the disease and when it was clear he was losing the battle, and then when the battle ended and Daddy went to be with Jesus. I was 12. All of our lives were changed.

    We all had our rebellious times. Mine was rage,and language. Oh, I was sooooo angry with God. I began sinking into deep depression and extreme measures before I was reached out to by my eldest sister and her new husband. Mom had taken a job in Springfield, IL and we had moved from Oblong and I hated it. My sister and brother-in-law invited me to live with them for the rest of the school year. Mom agreed and slowly I began to thaw and allow God to hold me.

    I ended up recommitting my life to Christ and dedicating my life to full time Christian service my freshman year in high school. I became a strong leader in the youth group and helped lead the youth between youth ministers. I organized a group of students and gained permission to start the first Bible study meeting in the school in our county. That was the same year they said we couldn’t celebrate “Christmas”… so I sought permission to have a student-lead assembly to get around the ruling.

    St. Louis Christian College is where I studied. I unexpectedly fell into a calling to be a missionary. First I went to New Zealand as an intern; then Ukraine. NZ was lovely and wonderful–but Ukraine stole my heart. Through a long, entwined story, I graduated from SLCC in 1997 and left for Ukraine the following August. My plan was to be there a year. In 2004, I decided to move back to the US. :-)

    Upon my return from Ukraine, I was a broken spirit. So many things had happened and I’d seen way too many politics in the churches in the States. I had to heal. At the same time, I had to pay bills–which kept growing because I was learning how to be an adult in the USA all over again (the hard way!). I took a part-time ministry as a Worship Director in a small congregation. It was part-time pay but they wanted full-time work. 6 months later, I had to resign. My excuse was because of finances. The truth as I see it now was that I still had things I needed to sort out. So I moved back home, took a job at DQ where I had worked in high school. Later I took a job as a security officer. Shift work was a killer–so I went to Atlanta to stay with one of my sisters and see about work there. I am a highly gifted person with a lot of amazing qualities… but I could not figure out how to use those qualities to count as qualifications that would get me a job that paid more than minimum wage! My monthly bills were much higher than a $6.75/hr job would allow me to meet.

    Desperation and despair lead me to post an a profile on a nanny website with no hope that anything would really come of it. 6 months after joining that website, I got an email from a single dad in VA who had all 4 of his kids living with him full time. His current nanny was getting married and moving and he NEEDED HELP. That weekend I was on a plane to DC to meet the family for an “interview”. In fact, he was allowing me to meet them, because he said he already knew he was going to hire me.

    I’ve been out here for 3.5 years now. This family became my mission field. I’ve helped them in so many ways… but God has also used them to help me grow, heal, and gain boldness that I thought was gone forever. I still feel like a hermit crab… but I’m coming out of my shell because that is NOT where I was meant to live. My adopted family out here have all accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior and all of the children have been baptized by their own decision. There have been so many changes and I know it’s been in spite of me that God has worked. It certainly wasn’t anything that I could have done in my broken state. Praise The Lord!!!

    So why didn’t I give up on the Church? Truly, it’s Jesus I couldn’t give up on. He NEVER gave up on me. Through each step He has held me in His arms–even when I didn’t want Him to. Yes, my Dad died and it was tragic and painful and changed our lives and made life harder than before–BUT I’ve seen how God has used that experience to help me minister to people who I never could have understood so completely before. My parents gave me lessons as a child that helped me look back to God when life got hard. My God knew the plans He had for me even before I was born.

    All of this said,

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