Why we must keep telling our story


“See, healing comes through story.” Our youth pastor, the speaker for the weekend, halted his pacing back and forth across the stage to let his words sink in. “People aren’t moved until they hear the Story. So share your story!”

I thought about that for a long time after he had moved on to other points. The truth of his statement resonated with my spirit like it was born there, and I’ve pondered those things in my heart ever since. Share my story? Which one?

I could open up about childhood abuse, talk about the way I lived for years believing I had caused my father’s death, recall the times I almost died, share the words that were spoken to me that pierced my heart and set the stage for a lifelong fear of rejection. What good would that do?

But then I remember that those things aren’t the end of my story. They aren’t even the middle. They were only the beginning, and much has happened since then. Much that has changed the course of my life and set it toward much clearer skies.

Perhaps the story our youth pastor means for me to tell is what God has done with the life of a girl beset by so many obstacles at such a young age. It isn’t the hell I’ve walked through in shiny white Easter shoes that people need to hear about. It’s the healing that has come because Jesus is very much alive and God is always good.

My story isn’t over. I can tell it from the beginning, and sometimes I do. Sometimes I start in the middle and work up to the present. Wherever I start and stop, God is there. And it can be pretty hard to explain how God was there the day my childhood innocence was ripped away or when my daddy was lowered into the earth and I thought it was my fault.

It’s hard to explain because I don’t fully understand it, either. But I believe with my whole heart that God truly is good, and that He is always for me. He is the author of my story beginning to end, and only He fully knows the reasons behind what has been allowed to befall me. I can remain stuck in that little blue dress with the white lace collar, or I can trade it for something much more fitting for a girl heading for Heaven.

So I tell my story, which is really hundreds of small ones all held together by time, me walking through each one in its moment but never alone. I tell it in pieces as chances come, and always with the focus being a redemption I am hard pressed to word. Always with my eyes on the God who created me and who alone holds the right to allow what He wills.

I can’t make it all make sense, but I can tell it. And I can always, always end it with hope.

9 thoughts on “Why we must keep telling our story

  1. Oh Lisa, as one who is just beginning to tell her real story with depth and clarity…the abuses, the hard years, the wounded places…your words are a timely reminder that my words have no real impact on the lives of others. It is God’s Word that changes lives. He watches over HIS Word to perform it and HIS Words will not return to Him void, but they accomplish much. Thank you. Thank you.

    • You are most welcome, dear friend. I love your thoughts here, and completely agree that is what God does in and through our story that makes it worth telling–compels us to share it or bust. Thank you for opening your heart here as well.

  2. People need to hear what we have to say. They need to know that there are others who have been there; and not only survived but emerged beautiful and strong. I love this post. I know we have talked about this very thing recently. I thank you for the reminder to keep sharing.

    • It has been nothing short of watching a miracle unfold walking this journey with you, my friend. I can’t describe what a blessing it has been sharing this path of healing and seeing what God is doing in your life because you are willing to let Him. I am so proud of you, and happy for you and your family. I am honored to call you friend.

  3. Sis, I hope to someday be as strong as you are. I am in that daddy
    death guilt spot myself. It hurts as an adult. I cannot begin to imagine
    the pain that you endured as a little girl having the fault of it
    thrust onto you when it was not yours to bear. You had no fault in your
    daddy’s death. You were just a little girl. They had no right saying
    those mean things to you in their own hurting.

    I hurt
    my daddy by the leaving, the 15 years of separation. No one has said to
    me “you killed him” like your little girl heart had to endure…but I
    know that I broke his heart with the leaving and the years of not being
    there and him not knowing what had happened to us. The guilt for not
    being there at the end, with him almost begging for me to come home. He
    didn’t stop asking until he was unable to talk. I didn’t call him on his
    birthday, December 3, because it was such a struggle for him to breathe
    and he could barely talk and couldn’t hear too well anymore. And then
    they called me on December 9 and I won’t be able to tell him Happy
    Father’s Day now. I should have been there…

    You know
    much of my story, the nitty-gritty parts, the happy parts, the
    crying/screaming parts. You’ve been there through many of my smaller in
    time/bigger in hurt stories.

    I am glad that you share
    your stories. I am glad to know all that makes you “you”. We are
    different; we are the same. Broken girls made into glued-together women,
    hoping not to fall apart again, and knowing that HE is there for us no
    matter what comes along to knock us off course.

    Love you, Sis. You are such a blessing.

    • Your words bring me to tears on this rainy summer night, the imagery of your weaving setting scenes of little girls and grownup girls and their daddies they love, and all that guilt weighing so much on frail shoulders. We carry things we shouldn’t. We carry them because they are there, and well, someone will have to so why not us? We pick them up without much extra thought, because it is what we do. I both love and hate that you can relate to me and I to you, because we are sisters in this painful place. But we are sisters, too, in this healing because we know where our help comes from. And no matter what happens or how heavy life gets, we always know where to run. And if we meet one another there, in His lap, then all the better. I love you.

      • I love you, too, Sis. Thank you for your love and for always understanding, even when I don’t understand myself. I am sorry, too, that you have this hurt. I am glad that we are sisters in this and through the One that will heal us of these hurts. {{{hugs}}}

        How do we get to the point of not carrying these things that we shouldn’t carry? I don’t know how to let go.

          • Praying for one another and learning a thousand different variations of “Jesus Loves Me” to sing to drown out the guilt and assorted other things that we shouldn’t be holding onto might work, even for one so stubborn as me. 🙂

            Strength in numbers is a concept that I’ve tried instilling in the children, too. Apart, they are more vulnerable. Standing together, they can face anything, even these emotional, spiritual attacks.

            Thanks for everything, Sis. {{{Hugs}}}

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