I have a messy story, maybe like you. Sometimes i don’t know what do with it. I can spend my life running from it, pretending my most shameful things never happened or I can embrace it and own up to even the most darkest of chapters. What does it look like to embrace the dark sides of our stories? I think for everyone it’s different. For some, it means taking that brave step to see a counselor and talk about the things you’re most ashamed of. For others, it looks like telling a friend or a loved one. Others might be called to be public shame-breakers and share their stories for small or large crowds of people.
Being vulnerable can be terrifying, but being unknown is isolating. In his recent book, Mike Foster wrote, “People may be drawn to confidence, but they connect with weakness.” I so love this quote, because I’ve found my “hard chapters” to be superpowers in the way they allow me to deeply connect with other people, specifically teenage girls and women.
The past three months have been some of the hardest, but most transformative months in my life. It’s been rough, but as of January 1, 2017 I’ve turned a corner and I’m not going back. I am committed to being brave with my story whether I land my dream publisher or not. I’m wondering, what does it look like for you to be brave with yours? I’ll leave you with this quote by one of my favorite authors:
“In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.”
― Brennan Manning
PS: This photo of me was taken at Pepperdine University, the school I loved but had to withdraw from after my sophomore year due to severe depression in 2004. The amazing thing is nine years later I was asked to speak there for the second time at our Wonderfully Made spring seminar and share my story. Isn’t it cool how when we think one chapter closes God can open it again?