One of my favorite past times is listening to stories. I like the stories that send you in a laughing frenzy and those of heroic adventure, but I’m most drawn to those I’m entrusted with, who find a space at my table. The tenderness in their voice always draws me in a little closer as they unveil a hidden treasure~THEIR story.
Years ago amidst unfinished pages, I wondered if my story was ever meant to be written…
We often distort our stories altering them in ways to make us appear better than we feel on the inside -but our stories have been given to us for far greater purposes than this. Stories brought into light have the incredible power to heal, yet when they become unspoken secrets left in the darkness of our souls they can haunt & paralyze us, leaving us empty and confused.
These secrets when hidden in our stories become lethal…shame convinces us the pain which lies within is better than the embarrassment of its exposure. Demanding to be kept quiet…..knowing its power dissipates when it’s spoken.
Because of this, I had no idea the impact my story held in its balled up state. I was too busy burying it deeper to know the strength it held.
For shame had whispered…..‘shhhh…..don’t tell~keep me locked up, a secret, stashed away where no one can see…it’s best this way~ so no one will ever know.’
Shame utters lies, pasting them upon our forehead~
Sneaking into the bedroom of our lives, shame disguises itself as a friend convincing us its presence is for our protection. While, the more shame hides the harder it becomes to be in its presence, constantly rendering up fear…keeping us trapped, imprisoned to its lies…only covering up and acting as our alibi.
But God speaks differently. His words build up, heal and bring to life that which is dead- as He masters in restoring lives.
Where beauty is seen in brokenness, hope buds. For even in our darkest hole, we’re never hidden from His love.
My story was suffocated beneath memories too painful to remember, but God never forgot! He carefully began uncovering what I had tried to hide away exposing it for me to see…and there in its raw and broken state He steadied my heart reassuring me He was there to bring recovery to my life.
Sometimes we are just desperate for Him!
This reminds me of my friend who told me about her Father in law’s truck which he was restoring~ after he carefully removed three thickened layers of paint, he discovered rust. Can you imagine? The multitude of hours he spent meticulous scouring, then to hit RUST hidden beneath the paint never exposing a hint of its decay.
Shame was the ‘rust’ God uncovered within my deep places.
His love tenderly began exposing the shadows of my secrets which became a beautiful aroma in His presence~His healing place~where deep soul healing happens.
I recall the day vividly when I first released the words onto paper. They breathed out of my soul with great relief…….liberating them was like freeing a butterfly from its cocoon. Words once buried in the covert spaces of my soul were coming to life on the pages of my story. Piece by piece He began restoring me~ what once felt like death was suddenly speaking life!
God doesn’t keep our secrets, He tells beautiful stories of restoration through them.
The sharing of stories are powerful and are meant to breathe life into the lungs of others. They pull us closer and let us see glimpses of God working. His hidden mercies strung all over our lives, bring hope and give strength at times when we don’t know if we can keep on going. Stories speak ‘it’s gonna be alright- you’ll make it through!’ They shout hope in desperate moments, give strength in the hard things and shine light in the darkness…but even more our stories connect us.
God-writings embody every life and tell stories of restoration. Each life holds a story which has been written to be shared, to become a lifeline of hope for others.
Through the sharing of our lives, God ushers in grace and offers moments for us to pause & listen, and where our presence alone becomes a gift. I first discovered the power of our stories, when a friend got brave in the midst of her pain. Her raw and wounded story breathed courage into my lungs and gave me the words to write my own. Stories like this take us hand in hand as they lead us back to the trail we’ve wandered from, reminding us we’ve still got chapters left to write. It was inside her story that I found my name was etched in the heart of God.
May we courageously open the windows of our hearts and the doors of our homes to welcome others into our stories…here we will experience sacred sharing where the healing of wounds, the giving of grace and communion happens at its best!
Ruthann is a trusted voice in my spiritual life and creative space. We’ve spent countless hours staying up super late talking about every.little.thing! She and her husband, Joe, lead a church in the Dallas, Texas area. To read more of what she’s writing/sharing, hop on over to https://medium.com/@brokenbeautiful.