Community · Encouragement

Fun Fact Friday: A Little Something You Might Not Know!

The Power of Story

It is not uncommon to follow someone without ever getting to know them. In our social media world, we are often inclined to observe without engaging. I can absorb facts through a scroll that get me no closer to relationship–but temporarily dull the desire for connection. Do you feel that?

The power of sharing our story with others is discovering meaningful connections we may have otherwise missed. We shed light and peel back layers of our authentic selves when we invite others in. Maybe you have been to a funeral where you heard story after story about the life the newly departed once lived. Maybe hearing the stories encouraged you to keep living yours, but maybe the stories left you feeling like too much was left on the table. I have left funerals feeling like there was so much I never knew about someone I thought I did.

To be honest–I am inclined to keep things to myself. It’s not that I am stingy, but my natural bent is toward being quiet. In an effort to be stretched outside my comfort zone, I have decided to share a little fun fact I probably have never shared before.

Here’s a Little Something You Might Not Know

For several years [in the middle of my teaching career], I worked at Upwords, the teaching ministry of Max Lucado. The other employees became family and walked with me as I was raising small children. They reminded me to have fun and exhale in the middle of daily duties.

When I walked into the office one day in 2007, a coworker was bubbling with excitement as she followed me to my office. “Have you seen it?” she asked. To be honest, I had no earthly idea what she was referring to. My day had started off rough with my youngest. He was particular about food, and we had gone to blows on the way to preschool that morning. I was still sorting out my strategy for addressing the situation at pick up when her words landed on me.

Before I had a chance to ponder what I was supposed to have seen already, she held a small book out to me. It was darling, and it was written by none other than Max. This came as no surprise to me because when he had a new work published, we loved to admire it. When you believe in someone, you celebrate that someone. That is what I thought we were doing in that moment.

“That’s a darling cover. I love the illustration.”

“You don’t know. Do you?”

The title of the gift book she held out to me was, “God Thinks You’re Wonderful, Mom!” It had already been a hard morning as a mom. I was knee-deep in shame and negative self-talk that no one else heard. I knew I had blown it in the mothering department that morning and many other times over the years. While I was digesting the fact that I felt just the opposite about myself, hope emerged and pushed back the darkness.

She turned the page to the dedication, and it was then that tears welled up in my eyes. She knew what I did not. As I focused through the tears, I read these words.

Dedicated to John and Alyssa DeLosSantos because you love moms like God does. Huh. I had been so busy loving other moms I had forgotten to extend that same compassion toward myself. The dedication was a sweet surprise and honor, but more than that, it was a reminder to remember that God’s delight isn’t determined by my performance. His love for me extended beyond the morning argument about yogurt. I could trust that then and now.

What is Your Fun Fact?

Sharing stories is about creating connection. In a selfie society, it is fun to see beyond the curtain of what someone might learn on social media. Right?

You know my little book dedication trivia, so now it is your turn! What is a fun fact others may not know about you? Share your fun fact in the comments. I can’t wait to learn something new about you!

Thanks for being here, friend.

If you are interested in hearing more details of my story and how God redeemed a very broken season, check out my book, Broken Vessels.

3 thoughts on “Fun Fact Friday: A Little Something You Might Not Know!

  1. Good Morning, Alyssa! THIS!!!! I, like you, do not share much of myself (especially not publicly) but this was so helpful to hear today. I’ll leave it at that…for now🤗. Thank you for sharing. Yes, we moms can be hard on ourselves and I really admire your sharing of difficult topics. I hope you have an amazing week! One of these days, I’ll make it to a Pop up. Maybe, after the wedding🙏🏻 Hugs,

    Kathleen

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alyssa, I love this! I am also very quiet and don’t share much, but I always love learning about others.

    I’m not even sure that I have a “fun fact” about myself! Probably most recently is learning about a way to have my closed adoption records opened. I’m not sure I want to do it, but it is nice to know there may be a way if I decide to do it.

    I was adopted as an infant and my adoption was closed. For unknown reasons, my adoptive mother burned whatever paperwork she had about me. Growing up I knew I was adopted, but never thought much about it. When I became pregnant with my first child, I began to wonder. I was so tired of going to doctor’s appointments and every single time having to explain that I was adopted and had no family history.

    I registered on all registry’s available so that if my adoptive parents looked for me, they could find me. I did not search because I felt that they could have families now and not want them to know about a mistake they made when they were young. I do not have to the right to harm existing families and relationships. I have always thought that giving me up was an act of selfless love if they were young and unable to care for me.

    A few years ago I was contacted by someone that found me on FaceBook and they were searching for adopted siblings and thought I may be a sister. My age and birthplace were a match. They asked if I would do a DNA test through Ancestry and I did. Turned out that we were not a match, but it did provide other matches. There are hundred of matches, but most are 5th/6th/7th cousins, so they don’t know anything. A 3rd/4th cousin reached out and was very interested in helping me. She had an idea, but when she started asking questions to the family, they stopped talking to her. Exactly what I was afraid of!

    Last week, another distant cousin from Ancestry reached out and said that she, too, was adopted. We chatted and when I told her that my adoption was closed and my story, she said hers was closed also, but she got a letter from her doctor saying she needed it opened because she needed medical history. The judge opened her files with no questions asked.

    So, now I know there is a way if I choose to do it. I definitely want to know family medical history, but I am also afraid of what else I may find. I’ve lived 57 years without knowing, so why change that now? I had and have a blessed life. Not always perfect, but always blessed. I am at a crossroads now because while I may discover things I don’t want to, I also want to be able to provide medical history for my boys. So I just pray about and know God will show me the way in His time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lisa, what an honor to know this part of your story. I knew you were adopted, but I had no idea about the specific details. May you feel directed by God as you traverse this leg of your journey. You are an incredible woman, and your life has impacted mine for good—forever!

      Like

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