This Day’s Thought From The Ranch- What’s Your Backstory?

This Day's Thought from The Ranch


by Eric Elder
The Ranch

Special note from Eric: I’ve just completed an audio version of my new book for those who would like to listen to my story rather than read it. The book is called Fifty Shades of Grace (written and narrated under my pen name, Nicholas Deere), and it chronicles my intimate journey from homosexuality to marital bliss and beyond–and how Christ can work in any situation, no matter what you may be going through in your life. If you need some hope in your heart, I hope you’ll listen to my story! You can get a copy of the audio version from Amazon, Audible, or iTunes (or in Paperback or Kindle editions). All proceeds go directly back into our ministry to help us continue sharing Christ with as many as possible. Thank you!

Fifty Shades of Grace - Audiobook Cover

Everyone has a backstory: the story-behind-the-story of the life they’re living now.

In movies, like Star Wars, a character’s backstory influences their actions in the film. Each character’s backstory is often hidden, however, to keep the audience in suspense.

When Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Darth Vadar first appear on the screen, we know very little about them. Luke is a farmer, Leia is a princess, and Darth Vadar is some kind of walking evil. It’s only as the story unfolds over the course of six films and nearly thirty years that we learn about the interrelationships of these characters and why they do what they do.

As each layer of each character’s backstory is revealed, audiences let out a collective gasp as the light of understanding finally dawns.

You have a backstory, too. You have a story-behind-the-story of the life you’re living now. Yet many people who know you only know you as you are today. They don’t know your backstory. They don’t know all of the situations and experiences that have influenced you to become who you are.

But what if they did? What if they knew your whole backstory? What kind of light of understanding might dawn upon them if you revealed to them “the rest of the story”?

Last weekend, two dozen of us gathered here in Illinois for our 3rd Annual Ranch Retreat. It was an intimate weekend of sharing our testimonies with each other–our “backstories,” if you will, as one friend called them.

As each person shared their story–and how God had worked in their lives through each experience–I could see a collective light going on around the room in the expressions on people’s faces. People were filled with hope that God could work in their lives, too.

The whole weekend was not just revealing; it was healing. It was not just emotional; it was inspirational. It was not just helpful; it was hopeful.

Sharing our backstories–in the context of how God has shown Himself faithful through it all–gave each of us a renewed hope that we could put our faith and trust in Him for everything we were going through, too.

How about you? What’s your backstory? What’s the story-behind-the-story of the life you’re living now? And how might it help to inspire hope in the hearts of others who may need to hear it? Your story can do the same thing the apostle John’s stories did when he wrote them down. At the end of the book of John in the Bible, John said:

“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31).

Your story may be just what someone else needs to hear to bring them to faith, to encourage them in life, or to help them get through whatever they’re going through.

Why not take some time right now to pray and ask God how He might use your story for good? Ask Him to show you how to share it, with whom to share it, and to bless all those who hear it, in Jesus’ name.

If God calls you to it, He’ll help you do it. As the Bible says:

“…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

P.S. Here are the links again if you’d like to get a copy of my “backstory,” the story-behind-the-story of the life I’m living now. The book is available in audio from AmazonAudible, and iTunes, or in Paperback and Kindle editions. All proceeds go directly back into our ministry to help us keep sharing Christ with others!

Fifty Shades of Grace - Paperback Cover

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