Everybody loves a good story. It’s why we have bookstores and libraries (these days, both brick & mortar and electronic). It’s why there’s theatre. It’s why we spend millions of dollars in this country to produce a single movie. A good story will make us turn our head, pause, sit down, and pay attention. Story is worthwhile, captivating, inviting, challenging…it’s powerful. We are drawn to it. We also overcome by it.
They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb and the bold word of their witness. (Revelation 12:11, MSG)
I’m sitting in my living room watching the Your Story DVD…and crying off all my makeup. This DVD is pretty much person after person willing to be vulnerable enough to share their struggles, trials, victories, and triumphs with a faceless audience. These beautiful people have walked through all manner of difficulty and come out on the other side better, stronger, and more whole than they were before. It’s terrifically inspiring. For me, there’s even a touch of surrealism watching that girl with the curly hair talk about regaining her emotional life. (That girl is me.) As I listen to each story, the faceless audience they spoke to is granted a face and I become another life touched by these people’s courage. Which reminds me of dear Brené Brown again:
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” -Brené Brown, from The Gifts of Imperfection
Think back to science class. Remember learning that there is no such thing as darkness, only the absence of light? Since darkness itself is not a thing, you can’t dispel it by running from it; that’s a lot of effort expended without any payoff. You have only two options: succumb to it, or introduce light. When we stand up to the dark places in ourselves and are brave enough to address them, we introduce light where there once was none…and that light is stunning in comparison.
“Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story. It hates having words wrapped around it – it can’t survive being shared. Shame loves secrecy.” -ibid
This is why we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Sharing our story is like kicking the enemy in the head with a steel-toed boot. Not only does it free us from the shame associated with those dark places by introducing light, it inspires others to do the same, freeing them as well. It also allows us to connect with other people as we share our story with them, making us even more wholehearted.
This is partly why I started this blog; I just couldn’t put words to it at the time. I get plenty of notes and comments from readers saying how me sharing my story affects them…and I love hearing about it! But what about you? What’s your story? Where do you need to shine some light? I invite you into the conversation. Introduce light into your dark places. Commenting here might be a good place to begin.