I remember the way my body shook the first time I typed up my story.
The words just poured out of my fingertips, like water tipped over that cannot stop from spilling. It was gonna happen anyway. And maybe the water had actually been waiting all that time. Waiting to be tipped.
It still amazes me how many people decided it was “not ok” for me to tell my story, like the way they stood still for so many years was somehow STILL all about them.
Courage takes action. And stillness is the opposite.
I found that telling my story opened up doors to conversations and friendships I never saw coming. Because telling your own story isn’t about shaming your abuser. It stopped being about your abuser a long, long time ago. This is for you.
This is for the Body of Christ.
Your story is and should always be about honoring Jesus and furthering the Gospel.
And listen to me!!
You stand up boldly and bravely and despite the way your hands are shaking and you TELL it loud and plain: that you went to hell on earth and back and it was Jesus Christ who brought you through.
Your story, ultimately, belongs to Jesus. He is the one who rescued you, redeemed you, ransomed you.
Your story doesn’t belong to Mr. So-and-so who never did a thing to help you. Your story doesn’t belong to the evil idea that you need to hide the truth in order to protect someone who should probably be behind bars. And your story sure as hell doesn’t belong to “Its All In The Past”. (Yeah. That liar. He doesn’t get your story either.)
Because Jesus Christ never glossed over evil or sugar-coated abuse or made excuses for someone’s selfishness. Evil is evil is evil. And holy mother, am I ever fired up about this…
Jesus is all about exposing sin. Because what is hidden in the dark tends to stay broken. But what is exposed has a choice: rebel or repent.
When you finally get to the point where you can tell your story, its the most powerful tool of healing God gives us. Why? Because we were designed to the very core of our being to live in community, and when we tell our story we are embracing beautiful vulnerability within community.
We are inviting others in. And they say, “Look what God has done.” Or maybe even, “Me too.”
And you reach across the table or couch or aisle and you hold the hands of the broken who sit beside you and you say, “Me too.” And together, you grieve all that has been lost. And then…
you turn your face toward the heavens and you let God see you fully, without fear, without shame, and you let him enter into all the dark places – let him burst through the black of it all – and like Moses standing on Holy Ground, like a broken man inside the belly of a whale, like a woman who hung a cloth on pure faith and saved her family, you lean into the tangible fear and pain alongside a Savior and you let him burn his Holy Light inside you.
It’s not easy.
If it were easy more people would do it.
But this world needs men and women who do the hard and holy things, doesn’t it?
It doesn’t matter if you’re afraid.
Do it afraid.
And trust that God is faithful.
Trust that God can heal you.
Trust that God actually is who he says he is: the author.