SHARING YOUR STORY
A few weeks ago, I stood up to tell a group of women about the depression I went through during the worst of my Lyme disease. Through my story I shared how worship made a difference in changing my focus and became a stepping stone toward healing. I received applause and words of encouragement, yet felt embarrassed and withdrawn afterward.
I imagined words that hadn’t been expressed and worried about other people’s opinions. In trying to encourage, how was it that I felt obnoxious and egotistical?
When a friend reached out to thank me for what I shared, I admitted I felt foolish and had been fighting off panic attacks all afternoon.
She called out the lies in my head and redirected my thoughts to the truth: If I have something good to say about Jesus, God’s voice is not the one telling me to stop.
Her reminder directed me towards the words in the Bible that spoke of how God interacts with his children. If you are struggling with discerning between God’s push toward spiritual growth and Satan’s discouragement, ask yourself: How are the words in my head sounding?
Are they gentle or harsh? Do they come in a whisper or a shout? Do they cause you to act or to retreat? Is the focus on glorifying God or yourself? Do you find yourself looking for more opportunities for growth in life or simply going through the motions?
(Click the picture to print)
WHAT’S KEEPING YOU FROM TELLING YOUR STORY?
Everyone has a story. I didn’t realize how true this was until I started sharing mine. And in sharing, I continue to get affirmation and healing for the parts of me that are still wounded.
Sharing encourages those around you to open up and let you in on their lives as well. In becoming more vulnerable, I have learned of friends who have overcome infertility, abortion, abusive relationships, addictions, disease, betrayals, death, loss of faith, depression, and infidelity.
It sounds like a cry fest–it’s not. It’s a support system. It’s a way of spreading hope and encouragement to others. Sharing your story helps people know they’re not alone in their struggles. It teaches them how to deal with hard situations and live with focus and direction. Sharing inspires. And in my case, sharing has given me new friendships, more meaningful relationships and a stronger marriage.
Your story matters. Don’t think that it doesn’t.
How can you share your story with someone who needs it? Don’t be discouraged, friend! Be bold, be joyful and be encouraging! Great things await you!
BEFORE YOU GO…
Check out part of my story in Getting Out of Bed
Read an inspirational book about someone else’s story: 20 Memoirs and Biographies
And check yourself in What’s Your Soundtrack?
Or practice telling your story with 4 Ways to Start Journaling
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You’ve got this!