When we talk about someone having a past, that tends not to be seen in a particularly positive way. If we say, he has a past, she has a past, we wonder what she or he has done. But we all have a past – and, whether we view it negatively or positively, our past contains the roots out of which our present grows. Of course, we can put it another way. We can say that we have a story, and that tends to conjure up a rather different impression. It is good to have a story. And, yes, our stories do make us who we are – and they are all, in their own way, important. There are many things that I could tell you about my story, just as you could tell me many things about yours.
Our past contributes to our present, and so takes us into our future. Our stories are part of God's stories because God calls us to be partners.