Your Story Must Be Told
“I can’t share my story.”
“No one cares what I have to say.”
“I’m under qualified.”
“I’m too busy.”
“It’s too late for me.”
Are these excuses keeping you from telling your story?
You have a story to tell. We all do. Whether it’s through sentences on a page, a song, a painting, a speech to a large crowd, or words tumbling out in an intimate group—you have a story. Your story is worth telling, it is powerful, and it should not be quieted.
We have the tendency to make excuses though, don’t we? We feel under-qualified and awkward, busy and beaten-down, restless and distracted. When I was in college, I knew I needed to tell my story. For a few years, I did nothing with that nudge. But then, I shared with a mentor and a few weeks later with a small group of peers.
Soon after, I stood in front of 25 and talked about my struggles and fears. Next I told my struggle with body image to a large group. But somewhere in the transition from college to the ‘real world’, I grew too busy to keep telling my story. I was partly ashamed of my past and just wanted to be rid of the reminders. I spent years trying to quiet this nagging feeling that I really should be writing . . . until I finally I was tired of my own excuses.
Are you in this place? What is holding you back?
Here’s what I know about telling your story:
- You will never have enough time. If you don’t wake up tomorrow and start, you will always be too busy for writing, for singing, for painting.
- You will never feel qualified. Plus, if you read the Bible you know God always chooses the least qualified to tell his stories. It is when we are weakest, that our stories are strongest.
- It’s never too late to start listening and stop making excuses. Period. I know a woman in her seventies who is sitting with young women weekly sharing her heart and helping them through the valleys of life. (Talk about not wasting a moment of life, right?)
It’s hard to share the moments of our lives that are far from shiny. But hiding our stories away only makes us feel more alone, more lonely than we ever imagined possible.
Telling our stories has a way of breathing into existence our deepest fears and showing us what they really are: mere shadows of the past, not predictors of the future. Telling our stories helps us come alive with the healing power flowing through us onto the lives of those with which we share. Your story should be told for your healing and for theirs.
Writing Real Men Don’t Text challenged every ounce of my pride. I had to decide and keep deciding that I was writing this book not as the writer that has it all figured out, but as someone who has been in the mess, the heartache and found a way out. It’s terrifying to think about so many reading about the shadowy places in my life—but I would have it no other way. Truly, when we become lesser, Jesus becomes greater.
I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes:
“This is what I want you to do: tell your story. Don’t allow the story of God, the sacred, transforming story of what God does in a human heart to become flat and lifeless. If we choose silence, if we allow the gospel to be told only on Sundays, only in sanctuaries, only by approved and educated professionals, that life-changing story will loose its ability to change lives. Your story must be told.” –Shauna Niequist
I pray you find the courage to share your story. It’s needed, I can promise you that.
I hope to see many of you tonight at Barnes & Noble to celebrate the launch of Real Men Don’t Text (details here).
For the rest of you, if it makes sense, we’d covet your help in spreading the word about the book. Hopefully after you read it, you won’t need convincing!
It’s here. It’s finally here.
Do you have a nudge to start writing or sharing? What is holding you back?
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