Guest Post: Tell Your Story
It’s an honor to have Chelsea from Starbucks, Peace, and the Pursuit of a Baby posting for me today. She is by no means new to this space and I am always thankful when she is willing to share. Her topic today is one I am so passionate about and I am thankful for this post because she shares it so much more beautifully than I ever could. Every person has a story that matters and I pray her post sinks in and will leave you feeling led to also share your story, whether it be with one or with thousands. Thanks Chelsea!
Tell Your Story
What will the world miss if you don’t tell your story?
This question stirs around often in my mind. The truth is, God has given all of us reading this today a story. You have a story! The ups and downs you’ve faced are all part of your life, your story. The fact that you are breathing means you have the chance to impact someone around you with your life. That’s big-deal kind of stuff! Everything you have gone through – the things that feel small, simple, and mundane and the things that feel heavy, exhausting, and monumental – all have the potential to change a life, impact the world.
Your story is quite remarkable. You see, no one else in the world has a story just like you.
So often women reach out and ask me when the right time to share their story is. I smile immediately because the fact that they are pausing to ask the question may mean the time is a lot closer than they think. Perhaps you’re asking that same question today: When is the right time to share my story?
The nudging you feel inside of your heart to share who you are, what you want, the conflicts you’re facing, and the need to engage, all mean it may be time to take action. Without the story tellers in this world, we would have no one to relate to, learn from, be impacted by, grow from, or be challenged by. Those gentle stirring deep down are the Holy Spirit’s way of saying “Go on! Do it! Give someone a chance to say “me too!” I’ve got you. Trust Me.”
But perhaps that feels really scary to you. And what does it mean to share your story? If you are trapped by worry or anxiety about starting, can I encourage you that story-sharing doesn’t have to be big? Telling your story, whatever it might be, doesn’t mean you need to write a blog or publish a book. It doesn’t mean you need to stand in front of your church and give your testimony. It doesn’t mean you need to start a business with a sparkly mission statement or post every detail to social media. It doesn’t mean you need to open up to all your colleagues at the next brown bag lunch or call a special meeting of friends together. While story telling CAN include all these things, it’s more important to remember that story sharing is uniquely different for everyone. It may not look like any of that for you. For you, it may mean simply opening up to one people, inviting them into your world, your journey, your life. It may mean vulnerably sharing that your story includes cancer, infertility, debt, marital struggles, parenting battles, depression, the ache of a heart longing to find a spouse, an eating disorder, or an addiction.
Your story may be laced with a happy childhood, a healthy marriage, but still, there are things you struggle with – loneliness, restlessness, fear, inadequacy, resentment, self-critical thoughts. Every season of life is part of your story, which is what makes it uniquely and richly yours. Work through the tension of figuring out what your story is and how God wants to use it. Only YOU can own the responsibility of pushing forward.
Sharing your story can be small and delicate, short and sweet, and still richly big and bold and beautiful and YOU. Don’t feel the pressure to make your story sharing like someone else’s. And likewise, don’t try to make someone else’s story yours. Own your story. Own the beginning, the middle and one day, the end. Use it to encourage others. Use it to relate to others authentically. Use it to let someone inside the carefully created walls. Use it to breathe purpose into your life. Use it to create community. Use it for God, to see His redemptive purpose. Who knows what the world would miss out on by you simply staying quiet. You’ve got this friend. Be brave, step out, and share.