Not wasting a story

How did a girl of nineteen, mama to two under two, take on another, wounded and broken, as her own?

God’s grace.

How did a family grow, through the pain and the twisted knife of fate, closer together rather than achingly apart?

God’s grace.

How did a woman break free from the bondage of silence and facade to spill out the grace from fingers to keyboard?

God’s grace.

How did she find strength to stand, heart bare and vulnerable and pour out the offering of her story for His glory?

God’s grace.

I spent many years viewing the gift of story as anything but.

The desire to hide the sometimes ugly and scarred truth of my life from people and pretend that everything had been okay, would be okay and was presently okay suffocated my story.

I kept secrets, not stories.

Tending deep, dark, festering secrets is a full time job.

Along with the secrets lived bitterness, regret, rage, anger and unforgiveness.

Until the day I allowed God’s grace to seep through to the crevices of pain and shine Light into the darkness.

Two and a half years later, trembling from the process, I still view writing and speaking from arms length. I am half heartedly obedient.  I accept speaking engagements but don’t pursue them.  I write when I have time rather than making time.  God and I wrestle about words, my words, His story ALL the time.

Every blog post, article and manuscript bear the sweat of wrestling with the Word.  Laying heart issues bare in front of people I yearn to please is, to this closet introvert, unbearable.  There are days, like today, that clicking publish will take concerted effort.

God’s grace, meaning unwarranted and unmerited favor, was given to this girl. To be quiet, in this space or any other space God leads me to, would be to hoard grace.  The grace I know is to precious to hoard.  It must be shared.

There are two places in the Bible that speak directly to my heart when I feel conflicted about sharing my story.  One is found in II Corinthians 1.  We are told that one of the reasons for the trials we face in life is so that we can use the comfort we receive to comfort others.

I have been sent a Comforter.  One who wiped my tears, bound up my wounds and erased the slate of sin and shame.  That comfort would be wasted if I hoarded it.

Story is never wasted.

We are told in Revelation that our stories have power.

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. ~Revelation 12:11

The prospect of sharing my story, putting my heart and thoughts out for people to see, is something I shrink from.  In the shrinking, there is no truimph.

For the sake of not hoarding grace, not denying others comfort and for the pleasure of defeating the enemy every time I type or open my mouth, I must speak my story, write my story, share my story..all for His glory.

Almost two years ago I attended a conference that changed the way I viewed God.  I wasn’t ready to hear about writing or speaking as it applied to me, but God filled my cup there in a magnificent way.  Now, I pray that I can attend She Speaks again.  A conference in North Carolina for story tenders like me, where you don’t have to feel adequate or ready to embrace your gift to be blessed by the knowledge imparted. And one of my favorite writers, Ann, is hosting a contest to win a scholarship to She Speaks and she implored us to take a chance and enter…so I prayed and wrote and entered.  And, now I am hitting publish….and exhaling.

 

Comments

  1. Half heartedly obedient? Ya, this describes me, too.

    This post is beautiful, convicting, and real. Thank you for {wholeheartedly} sharing you heart here! He is proud.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I read this post this morning and I had to come back to comment once I was in front of a computer. Melissa, these could be my words here. I so get it. Story, wanting to hide but knowing you need to share, healing….all things percolating in my heart right now. Loved this post.

  3. I’m so glad you’re daring the journey to share. Hearing yours helps us in ours and all of it to His glory.

  4. Beautiful – your words and His grace! These words of yours, all of them, so resonate with my heart. So thankful I stopped here to read today.

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