Own your story!
So, it's Monday. The last week has been gloriously cold and I have loved every minute of the rain and colder temperatures. Yes I am that person. You see for me, when it rains, it's God's way of reminding me that everything is going to be okay. It sounds weird but time and time again, God has reminded me of his faithfulness with the rain. It's like a fresh breath and I just know. So when I woke up on Tuesday morning - to the cold and rain, it was like a giant God hug for me. "Everything is going to be okay!"
I found myself thinking about what to write for this blog post. How would I follow on from the last one? If you missed it - you can read it here! I honestly did not expect the response I got. Maybe, it's because at times, we can feel alone in our struggles or frustrations and questions. We think - nah, it's just me. I was so encouraged to know it's not just me. And hey friend, it's not just you.
I almost didn't even post that blog because I was scared of what people would say. Being vulnerable is not easy - it exposes us - and often times it exposes the parts of us that we least want people to see. The parts that we know need healing and help. The parts that are not pretty and often times the parts we try to "cover" up the most.
But I remembered why I started to write. It was off the back of a conversation with two beautiful friends. I had felt a nudge from God to write, but I was scared. And one of the friends asked me: "what was one thing you want to leave lockdown having done?" And I knew the answer, although hesitating slightly - to write! To which the response was: why not? And the answer was simple: fear. Call it past hurt or a once bitten, twice shy sort of thing - but I knew that I was scared. You see for me, I go deep and I go deep quick. I hate shallow conversations and always want to probe a little deeper. So how then could I do this, knowing full well I was scared?
The next day, over a FaceTime conversation, I told my bestie I had written something - and asked if I could read it to her. For me, it's important to be open and honest with the people around me - although sometimes difficult. And to ask for perspective in these sorts of things. She listened to me read the post and then said to me, "I think you should write more" and I knew I had to face this fear and just do it (thanks Nike). All that to say, although we are not getting any younger and we find ourselves living in strange times - there is so much to be expectant and hopeful for. Although now feels like a rollercoaster, with ups and downs, it's the time for us to reimagine the future - but I think in order to do that we need to: OWN OUR STORY!
I don't know about you, but sometimes I do feel like where I am on the journey is less important than where others are. I know I know, we are not supposed to compare but it's difficult not to. I know I have struggled to own my story. I mean, it could be a lot of things that hold us back: guilt, shame, mess, uncertainty, upbringing, you name it.
But very recently someone asked me about a key part of my story.
I immediately paused. Not sure how to open up about it, or say something without expecting a back lash. (Maybe some context: you see, last year I was engaged. Planning a wedding and I broke it off.) I was met with this question: what happened? Now, I had answered this question before and immediately felt the need to explain myself. My mind started racing. As I started answering, I realised that I was holding back. And then I looked up and said, OUT LOUD, you know what, no, let me own my story!! haha - so everyone heard it and something shifted as I said that out loud. I had a realisation that it is indeed time for me to own my story.
Now while I won't be divulging much more on that topic today, I will say that this is a big step for me and in an effort for me to own my story and off the back of my last blog post, let me add. Hi, I am Kelsey - I was engaged (to be married - said in a posh english accent because that's how it plays in my mind). I broke it off and I am trying to own my story bravely - it's the only one I have and through it, I have come to know the grace and kindness of God like never before. I also love to narrate moments as they happen and sometimes feel like I live my life in a musical.
SO, if this was a musical, there would be a dramatic pause. The audience would be silent. The dancers frozen on stage. The air thick with anticipation. And then the leading lady would break out in song (of course), with a big ensemble dancing beside her - okay maybe the last parts a bit much haha - but I can be a dramatic. What I am trying to say is that there is still so much more to my story and probably yours too. And there are moments that are thick with anticipation, where you are unsure of how your audience will respond.
But, today I wanted to encourage you to own your story! Don't let guilt and shame hold you back. Your story is beautiful and messy and imperfect but God redeems, restores and renews. Something that I am learning daily. And when we give control of our story over to God, I really do believe anything is possible!
So take a deep breath and next time someone asks you about your story, be brave, take one step and perhaps we will begin to learn that our stories are what weave us together and through them Jesus is magnified.