An author once said to me, “I’d never write what you’re writing about.”
This was her response when I told her I was publishing my memoir-driven book Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest.
“How come?” I asked. My untold stories were about to be inked in black-and-white, held in people’s hands and hearts. I was so nervous.
“I wouldn’t want my blog to be taken over by people that are … you know… troubled.” she replied. She was being her honest self and not trying to be mean, but I was blind-sighted.
It made me doubt myself. This is why I’ve kept quiet my whole life. Comments like this. How people would misjudge me.
Excuse me… I thought. Do you realize, you’re actually talking to one of those people? I’m sitting right in front of you!
And ahem… Do you realize that you are also one of those people? Because… the truth is everyone is more or less broken in some way?
I didn’t express any of this to the author. I was too stunned.
The Fight in My Heart
But I left the conversation thinking,
Isn’t this the whole point of why our faith is beautiful? Because we are completely safe, loved and known by a God who welcomes us — and comforts us — and calls us His? As is.
This person’s words made me feel scared about putting my story out there.
But, it also injected some fight in my heart.
How can we believe that Jesus is only glorified in some parts of our stories and not the others? What happened to all the Scriptures that say when we are weak, God is strong? And how about all the Scriptures that point to God as comforter and our kind, loving, gentle Shepherd?
I think about all the stories in the Bible and everyone’s story was real — authentic. No one’s life is left untouched by heartbreak or sorrow.
How can we be God’s voice if we edit out where God is most present?
The Beautiful Truth
I thought about God — how did He decide what to include, given this is His only written book about Himself? Talk about stress and pressure to pick and choose!
But, God didn’t choose to write a book of rules or formulas. God chose to write a book about real people — His favorite stories of those He loved.
These were real people, all journeying through different human experiences. God did not choose to edit out tragedy, betrayal, and brokenness. He included it all.
In fact, Jesus himself said we will have trouble!
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
The Bible is beautifully filled with stories of troubled people — loved, treasured and cherished — and irrevocably named by a beautiful God who called them His.
The beautiful truth is this: the parts of me I usually like to hide are the very parts where God is working through me and my story.
Rallying My Heart
I had to revisit this encouragement to rally my heart last week — when I sat down to write an article. I’ve never written about the topic of sexual abuse, but decided to share my voice on RELEVANT Magazine and today it was published. Click to read the article “Churches Need to Stop Avoiding Talking About Sexual Abuse”.
I’m sharing it with you today, because
1) I need your encouragement. I’m still learning to be God’s beloved in Life 2.0. To keep living and speaking in my whole voice.
2) I hope it will encourages you or someone you know and love. Share this post with your friends, mother, father, brother or sister.
It was hard to write and put out there, but I passionately believe every part of our journey is soul beautiful with Jesus.
It’s our authentic stories that frees people to see that Jesus real, loving, beautiful and alive. Right now through you and me. As is.
The world longs to know God through real people. Your voice. Your story.
Love the world by letting God love us — through our stories.
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