Remember when you were a kid and you’d see your teacher at the grocery store on a Saturday? Remember how weird that was? They couldn’t possibly need food—they live at school! They ate at school, too. Besides, there was a cafeteria and when that wasn’t open, plenty of vending machines.

But there he or she was: right in the middle of aisle 8, getting Lucky Charms. Gasp! Teachers don’t eat cereal! 

As you grew up, though, and had more teachers and more awkward grocery store encounters, you realized your teachers were actually real people with real lives and real breakfast needs.

I know it happened to you, because it happened to me. Then in high school, one of my former elementary school teachers actually started going to my church. At first, I wasn’t sure what to think, and I was always sure to be good around her. She was one of those teachers you didn’t want to cross (at least that’s what I thought as a second grader). And I was one of those kids who would cry if you looked at me crosseyed.

But as I got to know Mrs. Nabring in such a different setting—and with such a different* husband than I ever pictured her with—I slowly began to realize that she really was a real person. I learned parts of her story that I would never have known in the classroom. She was cool! And I learned we were really more alike than we were different. Because we shared new parts of our stories with each other.

The Nabrings remain one of my favorite families, and I know I could call on them if I ever needed anything—even if it was just a hug.

Why? Because we built a StoryBridge.

As you know, I work for Shattered Media, where we believe in the power of our stories. When we share our stories, we create real, authentic relationships and opportunities to see Jesus in our own stories and to introduce Him into someone else’s. We’ve done this through Shattered magazine and at shatteredmagazine.net. And now, we’re building a whole new place to do this—an app called StoryBridge.

StoryBridge takes some of the awkwardness out of sharing our stories—although it may always be weird seeing your teacher at the grocery store. Through the app, you will be able to explore parts of your story, see Jesus and share Him with others through your story, and connect with people who have similar stories. StoryBridge uses the latest smartphone technology to actually move people from the digital platform to real-life—to build authentic relationships driven by the love of Jesus.

We’re in the process of raising the money we need to build the StoryBridge App. We’ve launched a StoryBridge crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo. Please consider backing this project. Each level of donation comes with unique perks, from stickers to free memberships to beta-test members to sweatshirts. And, not to mention, the opportunity to be part of a huge storytelling movement—one we believe is going to change the tide of culture from hate and negativity to love and authenticity.

I love being part of this awesome movement, and I think you will too. 

Because everyone has a story. Yes, even you who don’t believe you have a story—you do. And your story matters.

Mrs. Nabring’s mattered to me. Your story matters to someone, too.

*Different in all the best ways! Mr. Nabring was “5-foot-20-inches,” had an epic Einstein mustache, and could shred the piano with only 8 fingers. He. Was. Awesome.
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