Why 2018 is The Year to Tell Your Story
I remember the first week of last year so vividly. We had just moved into a beautiful new office space and my heart was alive with the hope of what was to come. The first few days of the year were spent cleaning out the cobwebs of our old office while simultaneously unloading and unboxing all that we had taken with us into our new space. It was fun, it was exciting, and I couldn’t wait for what was ahead. I knew God was going to do big things inside those walls. I couldn’t wait to go to work every single day so I could sit in my little office while pinching myself that this was my life.
Here we are 12 months later and things feel a little different. The first day back this year took about every ounce of energy in me to make it into the office. It’s funny how in exactly one-year things can feel so different.
Honestly, 2017 was tough.
Most days last year I was tired, discouraged, and hurting. Some days I wanted to quit and go do something else. I constantly told myself that as a leader of a women’s ministry I should’ve been loving every second of it.
I felt this quiet pressure to bury the hurt in my life so that no one could see any ramifications of it. I did everything in my power to plaster a big smile on my face every day. I wanted any and everyone who looked at my life to only see infinite praise hand emojis.
So, I did that for a long time. I placed a cheap band-aid over my pain and my story. But over time, the edges started to curl and the bruises were once again exposed.
And so this year, I’ve decided that that’s not what I’m doing anymore. This year I’m sharing my story.
I’m going to admit that last year was hard. That hope that I began the year with turned into doubt, which turned into fear, which turned into bitterness, which turned into pain—plain old ugly pain. And that’s okay.
The world has tried to try to tell me differently but I’m here screaming back at it, “No! It’s REALLY okay!”
Because you see, it’s okay to feel. It’s okay to feel pain. It’s okay to be discouraged. It’s okay to look back at the last year of your life and to not always like what you see. Because what’s a story without a little bit of pain—even a lot of pain? God looks at your pain and he sees the chance to redeem a broken heart and a broken story. Our stories declare God’s beauty, glory, and goodness when we’re willing to share our imperfect, ugly, and messy.
Your story doesn’t have to be tied up in a big red bow for it to matter to someone else. Sometimes, what matters more is the simple admission that your story isn’t finished and that God is still chiseling, working, and molding you into someone new.
Sharing your story shines light into dark places and creates hope where only doubt lived before. If you’ve never fully shared your story before, here’s 3 reasons why 2018 is your year.
#1 It allows you to see proof of God at work
Sometimes we can become so consumed with our circumstances and disappointment that we can’t see the ways in which God is already moving in our lives. Taking the time to share your story allows you to look back on the ways that God was present in your every day and the things that He taught you in each moment along the way.
#2 It keeps you accountable to hope
Just like the stones of remembrance from Joshua 4, telling your story memorializes the goodness of God in your life. It acts as a symbol of remembrance when you enter into tough seasons. When you can point out the ways that God moved in your past, you can have hope that He will do the same in your future.
#3 It makes room for others to be broken too
When you share your story with boldness, vulnerability, and authenticity it inspires and encourages other people to share their story too. Instead of creating an atmosphere of perfection around yourself, sharing your true story shows people that they don’t have to keep it all together with you. It leaves room for them to be real and for you to have real and meaningful conversations with them in return. These are the kind of conversations that can lead to change and breakthrough.
So I ask you today, have you ever truly shared your story? Have you shared the messy parts? The parts that aren’t tied up in a perfect bow yet? Have you stopped to see the ways in which God has been moving in your past so that you can have hope for your future?
If you’re interested in sharing your story with the Delight community we have an incredible opportunity currently open! We are looking for writers for our next devotional book. Click here for more information and to take the first step towards sharing your story in 2018.
MacKenzie Wilson // @macleighwilson