Oh my goodness people….how I have loved sharing my story with all of you, but I must say that I have loved so much more getting to hear some of your stories! Several different people have shared pieces of their own stories with me through email, private message and in person. I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to listen to these stories and help encourage them in different ways including encouraging them to share their story with others! And oh how y’all have encouraged me also!
Think back to your high school years, and ponder on just how superficial it was and still is for most teens. I mean high school is where so many are trying to find themselves, trying to figure out who they are, or who they want to become, trying to fit in here or there. It is where one would never open up or share their pain! Most have not a clue what the person sitting next to them is going through, or what they’ve been through. I often think back about so many people I went to school with and wonder what their story was and is. I’m almost saddened to think about how many opportunities I missed out on really getting to know some of them. Even my closest friends then, I now realize I really didn’t even know! I mean there is so much more I can think of now that I wished I would have taken the time to learn about them! It makes me wonder how different things would have been for so many if we all felt we could have been REAL, nonjudgmental, just looking for the good in others, and truly loving one another as God instructs us to.
John 15:12 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
Sadly, it doesn’t change much as we become adults. There is so much we don’t know about one another because we, as a culture, are taught to some degree that we don’t tell others about the “messy” in our homes and in our lives. Why? Well, because then we just might come off as imperfect, we may appear broken, or we’re just simply so afraid that everyone will come to know the REAL us, the us in our brokenness! Because surely no one has gone through what we’ve been through! Y’all! Our story doesn’t define who we are in Christ! It just brings us closer to Him when we trust Him through it. And He knew us before He even created us! He even knows the number of hairs on our heads! He loves us, He wants us to prosper, and He promises us hope and a future!
Jeremiah 29:11 says, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I want to know people. I want to know their story! I want to encourage them. I want them to know I am broken and I am weak, but with God I am made strong! I want them to know my GOD! Our GOD! I want them all to know His love, His grace, His mercy, and His power! I want them to encourage me! I want to know how God carried them, helped them, delivered them, healed them, how He used them and their trials to help others, and how He has used mine! But if we all just endure the trials, the pain, the suffering, and the messy, just to scoop it under the rug and pretend it never happened, then we become the prisoners of that pain. I know so many have been through some pretty hard and hurtful stuff, and some feel like they are the only ones. But trust me, they are not! So many have been rejected, abandoned, bullied, abused mentally, physically, sexually, have been the victims of alcoholism or drugs, the victim of an affair, or have been the adulterer or the abuser themselves, have lost children or loved ones, have suffered the pain of abortion, have been given a scary diagnosis, you name it. We’ve all been through something! I believe God allows us to go through trials so that He can mold us and grow us in our faith, bringing us closer to Him, so that we can then go and tell others of His greatness and His unending love! God wastes nothing y’all!!! He’s got a plan and His plan is perfect!!! We must look for the good and be ready to receive it.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” and
2 Corinthians 4:17 tells us “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”
Everyone has a story! Make it count! Give God the Glory! We all have a story whether we want one or not, and we have that story for a reason. God has a perfect plan for each of us! Share your story and how God has carried you through! If you don’t feel like you’ve quite made it through, then give it to God, lay it at the cross, and pray for Him to take the burden from you. HE can and HE will! Keep your hands, eyes, and heart open looking for the good in whatever the situation is that you have gone through or may be going through. God will reveal it to you! Maybe He was preparing you, building you up, making you stronger, molding you into the perfect person to minister to another going through a similar situation.
Matthew 11: 28 to 29 tells us, “Come unto me all who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
It’s time we start looking at others differently, with an open heart and open mind, all as children of the same God! It’s time for us to stop judging, but instead to start praying for and loving one another, by encouraging and building up one another! This life is temporary and it’s so short! We must quit living waiting to die, but realize we are dying waiting to LIVE! God gives us all spiritual gifts, gifts to help others in some way. Use whatever it is God has gifted you with! Yours may not be speaking or encouraging and that’s okay. I encourage you to pray about whatever it is and start using it to glorify HIM! If it is to encourage others with your words, then I encourage you to be vulnerable, be bold, and be open!
1 Peter 4:10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
If you do feel you have a story you want to share, I encourage you to share it! I’ve already spoken with a couple of friends who have been preparing parts of their stories for the past week, and they want to share them! I’m so happy for them. It’s so freeing, it helps others, AND when God is in the center of it, HE is glorified! We should not be embarrassed or ashamed, but we should be shouting out from the rooftops the work that God is doing in our lives!
Matthew 10:27 says What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.
With all that being said, I will be opening up my blog to share other’s stories. If you feel bold and vulnerable and want to give God all the glory by sharing what God has done or is doing in your life, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are all in this together!