You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.Psalm 139:16
In 2012, my parents sold our family home in Portugal Cove. My Dad called me one day and asked me to come to the house to go through an old bin which he had found in the attic. We lived in that house for 22 years, so you can imagine the bins and bins of memories. As I lifted the cover off the bin, there was a shoebox full of old journals and letters. I couldn’t help but snicker a little. I remember Dad asking, “So, will I take all this to the dump?” I was quick to give a firm answer, “NO!”
“Why in the world would you want to keep that?” he asked. My response was very simple, “Dad, that’s a bin full of memories. It’s all the things that shaped me into the person I am today!” I fixed the lid back on the bin, and my Dad loaded it into my car. As I drove away I thought about that stuffed bin, and in that moment something occurred to me – that bin contains a story. My story.
We all have a story. Some, like mine, are tucked away into a shoebox where books and books of journals hold the depths of my heart.
That night, I sat on an empty bedroom floor and read the old letters and journals. I laughed and I cried. Memories of significant moments came flooding back as if an old song played on the radio. There were letters I found from people who are no longer with us and to see their handwriting warmed my heart like nothing else. There’s just something about a handwritten letter. Maybe because of its rarity? It’s most certainly a treasure to me.
As I read the old letters and journals, I could see how my life formed a path to where I am today. Sometimes the path was rough. Sometimes it was messy and muddy. Sometimes I skipped over places to avoid the mess. Sometimes I took a turn in a different direction. Nonetheless, I remained on the same path. Like any path, there were highs and lows. Valleys and mountain tops. The valleys were hard and the mountain tops were picturesque, yet in the valley I learned some valuable lessons and the mountain top gave me a chance to breathe. There were some regrets and some things I wish I could do over. However, each of those moments have shaped me into the individual I am today. I realized that this box held my story, and though there were some disappointments and regrets, my story had great purpose!
When Jesus spoke to his disciples or to the crowds he often spoke in parables – short stories that people could relate to. Stories help people understand one another. Stories offer empathy and grace. Some people have very tragic and sad stories that, when shared, help another heart heal. Some people have stories of overcoming hard obstacles, while others have stories of true heartbreak. All these stories help us along life’s path. Someone may need to hear how you came through that heartbreak! Did your heart fully heal? Were you able to love again?
Someone may need to hear how in your most desperate moment the very person you needed to show up, showed up! Someone may need to hear how you overcame that obstacle or how you conquered that mountain of fear. Someone may need to hear that through it all, God was always with you, because after all, He always promises that He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6) And, that He has plans for you! Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future! (Jeremiah 29:11)
Don’t be afraid to share your story! Every chapter holds significant events that lead to the greatest story…the story of you! And, what’s so incredible about it is that your story is still being written by the One who writes the greatest stories! It’s never too late to allow Him to write the pages of your story – just hand Him the pen. When you do, the victories overshadow the disappointments, the heartbreaks are made whole, the tears are held and the tragedies, although they may leave a scar, there’s healing!
And, that is one beautiful story!