The World Needs Your Story

February 20, 2016

Yesterday I wrote about sexual assault.  More specifically, I wrote about my own sexual assault.  It got some page views, a few comments, but most importantly,  several people I know personally reached out to say thank you.  Friends whose stories I didn't previously know.  Some of them shared their own stories with me.  Their fears, their struggles, their journey.  Others just whispered a quiet thank you, a simple acknowledgement that we've endured a similar pain, that we aren't alone.

I believe strongly that when we share our stories, especially the hardest ones to tell,  we set others free to experience their own stories with more grace and self acceptance. We send the beacon out that says it's okay to not be okay, it's normal to not be normal, and in Christ we go from weak and damaged to wounded healers on a mission.There was a purpose in our pain.

Jean Vanier, in Living Gently in a Violent World says "What we have in common isn't an idea, but stories.  And I cannot tell my story well unless I also hear your story."   This is one of the truest things I know. 

Our stories don't define us.  Each of us are so much more than the worst things that have ever happened to us, and the worst things we've ever done.  But these stories shape us.   And when we share them, we begin to set each other free from shame and fear.  The telling of these stories rips them of the power they hold to isolate us from one another.  

These most tender stories breed compassion and understanding and fulfil heart yearnings for hope and community and someone who "gets us".

Each of us has a lifetime of stories.  Of sin and pain and grace and breath. The good news, that God would venture into the dark places of our lives and redeem us, save us from ourselves while we were yet enemies with him, be glorified in those most fragile parts of us, it resides inside each of our stories, waiting to be told. It's beautiful.

Friend, can I encourage you? With deep breath and trembling hands, say your story aloud.  Because your story matters.  
It's a glimpse of God moving in this broken world.  
And we all need that glimpse.

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