share your story

tunnel_ When I first starting writing on my personal blog years ago, I was a swirl of emotions.

Flying high because my hubby and I were starting on a path to becoming parents through adoption. Thankful to have moved passed those three+ years of infertility hurts and disappointments. Excited to have a little corner of the internet to write and share the details of our adoption process with our friends and family.

I was also scared.

Scared because I was typing out feelings and stories that I had kept bottled up for so very long. Scared because sharing my heart meant exposing the hurt and the ugly and the mess that was in me when we were up to our necks in our struggle. For the first time, I was allowing others to get a glimpse into the pain. I felt the door was wide open for others to hand out pity or judgement or advice I did not want.

That open door was hard for the girl who had always worn a smile. I was the queen of I'm doing just fine! Everything is going great with us! I'd wear that mask around all day until I got home where it was safe. I'd whip that awful mask across the room and watch it shatter into pieces as I gasped for breath. Because I was not fine. I was lonely and heartbroken and sad. I thought I was fooling everyone with that smile and all that fine so I put it on each day.

That wasn't all of my story, though. During that time God was working on my heart overtime. He was drawing me closer to Him. He used those years to shape me.

He was my Hope. He was Grace and Comfort and Light.

He held me together and broke me apart all at once.

So give a girl a blog and she will write. It became my safe place. It felt right to type out the highs and the lows, hit publish and see the beauty God was cookin' up. So many lovely people, dear friends and family and new friends, were showing up and offering me handfuls of love and support, not pity. They were our cheerleaders and our encouragers. They were our prayer warriors.

They made me realize that I should have been sharing my heart all along.

Writing helped me let go. It helped me heal.

Maybe you have a story to tell, too?

A chapter in your life that could be shared?

Maybe it's about cancer. Or infertility or miscarriage. Maybe it's one of redemption. Maybe it's an addiction or a loss or an abuse. Maybe it's a fear. Maybe you are adopting. Maybe you placed a baby for adoption. Maybe your child or spouse or parent  is ill. Maybe you are following God's lead into the unknown. Or maybe you are feeling lost and don't know where to turn.

Each story is unique and it can be so scary or uncomfortable to talk about it, but when you do share it, others have the opportunity to witness God's hand in your life. To see His fingerprints all over your journey. They maybe can even see themselves reflected back. And you know what happens then. Instantly there's a bond. A connection is made. I guarantee you'll want to hand out hugs and high fives and me toos. There will be tears and maybe some laughs, too. At least I hope so, because everyone needs a shot of joy in between bouts of pain. I know all of this to be true. Women with similar journeys to mine have became my soul sisters. I love them something fierce.

There is something to be said about walking through the hard hand in hand with another who gets it or with the people in your life that love you. The pain and the mess don't magically disappear, but it sure makes for a less lonely journey. What a comfort and joy to have others come alongside you, support you, and pray for you.

So please, dears, offer up your story. Share where your Hope is because only He can bring true, long-lasting, precious, desperately needed heart healing. Write about it or talk about it or even sing about it. There's so much healing and freedom in the sharing. For you and for those who are longing to hear it.

And may the name of Jesus be made known in every word, in every breath, in every stroke of the keyboard, in every tear, in every smile.

To Him be the glory.

Psalm 19:15 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.