We all have a story to tell. Maybe yours is about addiction like mine. You could be deeply scarred by the physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of your past. Perhaps you struggled through infertility and miscarriage.
Regardless of what pain has consumed you. Whether you are fully healed today or not, I want to encourage you to share your story. It may not be easy. In fact, I can almost promise you it will be incredibly difficult at times.
Here’s the breathtaking part:
Telling others about your deepest and darkest pain will not only repair you, it will heal them by unveiling they are not alone.
We can’t let the guilt and shame associated with our pasts stop us from showing what God has done in our lives. Regardless of the nature of our story, if our agony came from our own mistakes or the sins of others, we need to remember those days are gone. We are new creations today.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
~2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
I can completely relate to wanting to keep those memories buried inside from worry of what others will think. For the past two years I’ve shared my story in this online space, yet very few people I personally know were invited here. As long as that girl with the jaded and ugly past remained Candace Creates, I felt safe.
I recently met with an agent regarding a memoir I’m writing about my drug addicted past and where God has brought me today. She advised me to set up an author page on Facebook with my real name to start building a community there as well. This is something I’ve deliberately avoided since I began writing.
The thought of my high school friends, my husband’s family, and casual acquaintances through my children’s activities knowing of my struggles, past and current that I so openly share here, mortified me. But I know it is time to show everyone the light God has brought me. Unfortunately I have to show the darkness to truly represent the power and beauty of His light.
You don’t have to start a blog, write a memoir, or even post your story on Facebook. This is part of my journey, but it may not be yours. There are many ways to put your testimony out into the world.
In my church community group, we are in the midst of sharing our pasts right now. As we release our words each week, with cleansing tears falling down our cheeks, we bond to each other. We heal a little bit more and allow other group members with similar histories to feel the always beautiful, Me, too. We see the hand of God in each of our stories bringing a once lost soul to that couch in our leaders’ home surrounded by people who care deeply regardless of our past circumstances.
I’ve recently started volunteering at a pregnancy center to offer help for others through my own devastation in this area. It is one of the most painful decisions of my past that I hope to spare other women from making for themselves. This is a part of my story I will share someday in the future here as well, but there is much more healing that needs to be done before.
Again, we don’t need to be fully healed before we share our stories, but where we discuss them may depend on it. You may want to start with a church family, your own special place to volunteer, a 12-step group of some kind, or even just coffee with a close, safe friend. But please just find somewhere to do it.
Tell your story, even the scariest places. Especially the scariest places.