I had the honor and privilege of two coffee dates this week with two phenomenal women who have overcome a lifetime of shattering pain. We sat there on the porch of a local coffee shop as the cars drove by and the temperature began to cool, encapsulated in our own moment of time travel, stories, and survival. I sat there thinking, you should write a book. The world needs to hear this story.
You have a story. We all do. A beginning. That date on the calendar of our birth and arrival into a waiting world, followed by a timeline of details that shape us and scar us along the way. Events that bump, bruise, and sometimes fracture us. No one gets to bypass pain and suffering. Hard as we may try to escape it, it’s woven into the DNA of humanity. Our brokenness has left us hurting each other since the beginning of time.
There is so much more to each of us than what we see on the surface. The facebook version of our lives. There are complexities and layers. That guy ahead of you in line at the grocery might have just walked through a season of loss in which he thought for sure the pain would kill him. It’s very possible that he’s feeling much more fragile than he looks.
That mother that you pass every day dropping off her daughter at school? She might be struggling with deep insecurity and unworthiness set in motion by an absentee father and a mother that sought her own worth in men.
That coworker that you think has it all together (whatever that means), might be masking a deep shame triggered by something that wasn’t her fault, now buried beneath perfectionism and over achievement.
We’re all walking around carrying unread books, the stories of our lives that the world needs to hear.
I have a set of Russian dolls on my bookshelf that my daughter loves to play with. I watch her as she opens each one and looks over at me with a grin of delight at the discovery of the smaller dolls within. Again and again, until she is holding the smallest one in the palm of her hand.
But unless someone takes that doll apart, it sits on the shelf unopened, as if there is nothing more to be discovered within.
There is so much more to be discovered within each of us. There was a reason my grandma loved dolls so much. I think about this as I look at the picture of her at the age of two, orphaned and being raised by her older sister. I see the story in her eyes, just begging to be told.
Your story is begging to be told. Don’t believe the lie that it's insignificant. Or that it’s not dramatic enough or as important as someone else’s story. Or that it’s too much. Shame the lie that has been shaming you. Tell that thing.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay…” I hear the verse replaying in my mind. We are that jar of clay. You and I. Moldable, breakable, containers of greatness. Containers of the God of hope. Containers of stories of how we’ve survived and overcome.
Don’t let your story go untold. There is a waiting world.
Reference: 2 Corinthians 4:7