{day 2} knowing you have a story.

if you would have asked me a year ago what my story was, i'd look at you and say "well...it's...you know, boring." and i'd talk about growing up in a Christian home and the difficulties of living life as a good girl and how i married russ after experiencing an abusive relationship with another guy for three years... probably about half-way through you would have checked out, because my story wasn't authentic.

did everything happen? yes. at no point would i lie about my history.

but the conflict wasn't true. not really.  

i want to be clear here: conflict is what makes a story. so, if my story truly was what i shared and my struggles really were rooted in obeying rules and not getting in trouble, then that's my story. 

the problem we have as human beings is the stripping away of the good stuff - the hard stuff. in this stripping away of everything that makes us who we are, we limit ourselves and force our lives into this cubicle where we don't fit. in her book one thousand gifts, ann voskamp says "i'm amputated. i have hacked my life into grace moments and curse moments. the chopping that has cut myself off from the embracing love of a God who 'does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow' {lamentations 3:33} but labors to birth grief into greater grace."

in learning how to own my story, i had to understand the story He's given me. it took months of pushing away and detaching myself from "that part" of me. i knew i had a story - i just didn't want to know the whole of it. so i'd live in denial. i experienced all these second-hand symptoms and chalked it up to "it's just how i do things" - even though i knew, intrinsically, this wasn't the case.

because what i felt? the anger, shame, fear, anxiety...this isn't how Christ wants us to live.

dan allender mentions our story is birthed out of tragedy. from this moment of grief, we begin to see the workings of redemption and reconciliation - and the gripping fear of conflict. my own moment of splitting open came when i was young - too young to remember much of it other than the feelings of manipulation and dirtiness.

but my story? my story began last january when i fully embraced the whole of it - the darkness, the goodness, the laughter and the pain. through embracing everything, my heart learned how to beat again. the verse about turning your stone-heart into flesh? i know it well because i've lived it. knowing the mess i've experienced and the hurt i've endured and the shame i've carried and the truth that He loves me still is just about enough to bring me to my knees every time.

and from this moment my purpose is understood. 

everyone has a story. everyone. not one story is the same. not one story births the same elements of grace as another.

but every story speaks of His love and rescue. and YOUR story will be the instrument He uses to bring others to His love. because there's something about your story that only you can say.

do you know what that is?


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Posted on October 2, 2011 and filed under finding{and telling}your story.