Share Your Story

When we share our stories, what it does is, it opens up our hearts for other people to share their stories. And it gives us the sense that we are not alone on this journey.
— Janine Shepard

Nothing does the soul good, like hearing and seeing good news from someone you know and love. Hearing about that friend getting the job that they've been hoping for. Watching family members graduate. Seeing your old coworker finally start that company they've been planning for years. Watching your sorority sister walk down the aisle to get married. 

It stirs something up in us. Gives us the feel goods. Just a little bit of joy in our day. And ultimately it stirs up a little hope for our own lives, to know that good things still happen.

But, unfortunately we live in a society that teaches us not to share. In a world crowded with every tool imaginable to HELP us connect and share our lives (ie: social media, faster transportation, better technology), we're taught to keep our stories to ourselves. We're taught to sit down and shut up. Society: If you're going to share, only share the highlight reel, but don't share too much of the highlight reel or it'll seem like you're bragging. 

Essentially, share, but don't share too much, and CERTAINLY don't share too much of the good stuff and never speak on the bad stuff. 

I'm here to say enough with that. Share your story and share it with the knowledge that in some way shape or form, your sharing is helping someone else, or even helping you. People need to see your story and they need to see ALL of it. The good, the bad and the ugly, so that people know they're not alone, that others are trying to figure out this life too and that ultimately things always work out in the end. 

So here's a few reasons why I think it's important to share your story:

It allows others to celebrate with you - The Good

Listen. I don't know about you, but I love a good birthday (June 24th if you're curious). It's the one day of the year, where it's literally all about me. I'm shaking my head as I am typing this because it sounds so bad, but it's my truth (and I'm working on it). On my birthday, I get to be #VainVina and sharing the good in my story allows people to celebrate with me, kind of like a mini birthday. Trust me when I say, there are genuine people in your corner who WANT to celebrate your highs with you. They WANT to see you succeed and do well, but the only way they can celebrate those moments with you, is if you share! It also gives people hope and encouragement.

Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
— Psalm 107:2 (NLT)

Lately, my favorite part of the services at my church have been when my campus pastor reads a few of the Praise Report moments. Stories of healed sicknesses, relationships mending and finances improving are so encouraging to hear because it gives me hope for the things that I'm praying for. It reminds me that the same God who did it for the people in the praise reports is the same God who will do it for me. Knowing that, I can celebrate their wins while staying encouraged for my own yet to come. 

It allows others to correct you - The Bad

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
— Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)

I love correction as much as I love cleaning my house. If you know me, you probably chuckled because you know I hate cleaning. I love a clean house so unfortunately it gets done, but that doesn't mean I have to enjoy the process. The same is said for correction. Personally, I love looking back where I can see the results of a lesson I learned, but before I got to the end result, I had to go through the correction first. Yes, it's annoying, and painful and humbling, but it's necessary and in the end, true correction is fruitful.

Sharing your story allows for the ones in your corner to see where you're messing up and correct you before it gets worse. You'll be able to look back at the moments in your life where you were headed in the wrong direction and you'll be thankful for the friends that called you out on it. Your friends can only do that, if you share your story. 

It allows others to rally around you - The Ugly

As much as I would like to believe that life is nothing but high moments, it's not, and the lows are going to come. And when they do come,  you need a good support system around you. This life is rough and we were not designed to do it alone and sharing the bad in your story allows people to wrap their arms around you and support you when you can't support yourself. 

Every Tuesday, I meet with an amazing group of young adult women and in between our giggles and gushes over shoes and nails, real life change happens in that group. The best nights are always the nights where we lay our truths down for our sisters to help us pick up the pieces. We rally around each, lift each other up and pray for one another when one of us is going through a rough patch. It reminds us that we're all in this together, we're not alone and that we need each other more than we realized. Moments like that bond us tighter than before and could never happen if we weren't bold enough and vulnerable enough to share with each other. 

People need to see your story and they need to see ALL of it. The good, the bad and the ugly, so that people can celebrate with you, correct you and rally around you. So that others know they're not alone, and that we're all trying to figure out this life too and ultimately, that things always work out in the end.