Do you believe your story matters?
Before it’s all wrapped up with a bow? Right now, in the middle of the mess and the unknown?
In between bills and dreams and the seemingly ordinary?
I do. I believe it does.
If something is tugging inside, prompting you to open your mouth and share, move your fingers across the keys and begin typing, schedule a coffee date and encourage a friend…. but you’re scared, you don’t know where to begin, or you’re convinced your story is still too “in process”?
Well, I have a short story to tell you, an easy way to begin sharing your story – today! – even if you’re a little bit scared inside. (P.S. You might already be doing this without even knowing it.)
We live in a world that likes our stories wrapped up with a bow, a world in which many people read the last few pages before beginning a novel. (For the record, I am so against this. But, uh, in life? I’d like to know the table of contents and what the next chapter holds, thankyouverymuch.)
I get it, I do.
But sometimes that spreads right into social media and we all start living behind masks, instagramming the one corner of our house that isn’t covered in piles of paperwork, tweeting a Bible verse when we haven’t opened the Word in a week, sharing the filtered because the regular ordinary feels all too mundane. We can be quick to post the lovely while hiding behind the device, breaking down a little bit inside.
Or maybe that’s just me?
Not everything belongs online, not every story needs to be told to the masses. But your message is probably written somewhere in the middle of your mess, your testimony hiding in plain sight right smack in the middle of that test you’re going through. We need you to share it so that we can hear it.
This past week was a doozy, to put it lightly. As I mindlessly scrolled through Instagram, I thought about what I would honestly say about my day. I didn’t have anything pretty to offer, anything beautiful to add to a filtered feed. But the captions I connect with the most are the ones written in the thick of it, the ones searching for a message to share in the middle of the mess. And so I typed it out, my mess of a day (which topped off one heck of a week), and I hit “post” before I could talk myself out of it.
And do you know what happened? People responded. They got it. They saw their own lives reflected in the unfiltered story that wasn’t wrapped up with a bow.
Going past pretty and sharing real takes effort but it’s so worth it.
Your honest telling of your real story is an invitation for others to enter in and find that they aren’t alone.
And so, maybe? Maybe it’s time to share your story.
I suppose it comes with the territory, but when the tagline of your blog is “every story matters,” you’re bound to receive dozens of messages on how to begin blogging, how to start sharing. And I am so for that. You feel called to write a blog? Write it. You feel something prompting you inside to get the words out, tugging at your heart to write them down and let them loose into the world, trusting God will take them where they need to go? Girl, do it. Write it, speak it, preach it. Do your thing, make your art, share your story.
But you know what? It might not look like blogging, at least not at first.
This week I was reminded of an easy-to-use tool, one that’s probably already on your phone, that gives us an opportunity to speak the truth, encourage one another, and share our stories.
Yep, Instagram. (See, it’s not really that scary, right?)
What if we got a little crazy and shared the #beautifulordinarynow, the regular parts of life that still hold little glimpses of beauty? What if our captions were honest and true, a peak into the glorious mundane?
It can still be pretty, still be lovely to look at. You can still blog and write a book proposal or stand on a stage and speak. You can share your story one hundred different ways. But if you’re scared, if you aren’t sure where to begin, if you’ve ever wanted to email and ask how to start? Maybe, lo and behold, the answer is a little app called Instagram. Or maybe it’s inviting a friend to coffee. Writing an email? Making a phone call? I don’t know, but I bet you do.
A few hours after hitting “post” and sharing the mess of my crazy, not-wrapped-up-in-a-bow day, I read through the kind comments written by a community of people who understand the real.
And these words came to mind:
Even in the mess, in the test that doesn’t quite feel like a testimony just yet, in the crazy and in the ordinary, there is always a reason to give thanks. Always.
Share your story. Even if you’re scared, even if it’s all still so very much “in process.”
You may never know just how much someone needs to hear it.
P.s. Later this week I’ll be sharing the ‘give thanks’ image with all blog subscribers. It will arrive in inboxes as a 5×7 print, and I’d love to send it to you too! You can subscribe here, if you haven’t already.
P.p.s. don’t forget: