I remember the day God told me to write my story down for others to read.
I was on the seventh floor of Duke University Medical Center. My husband laid beside me, sleeping, the television was on some daytime show, and I sat right there, in the chair that I had pulled up next to his bed so that I could touch him, with my laptop on my legs.
I started blogging when we got married, mainly for fun, but in May, on that day when things began to change, writing suddenly became what sustained my breath. Every day I would come home from teaching and write about what life was like with a husband who needed a heart transplant. He sat beside me as a I wrote.
God would bring into my mind memories of me writing as a child – like a gift I had suppressed for some reason. I remember writing a fiction story about a unicorn, but I did so in secret. I didn’t want anyone to read if for fear they might think it was dumb. I also wrote some poetry.
Briefly in college I contemplated majoring in English. Those were my favorite classes. Writing a twenty page paper was nothing – just don’t make me memorize a bunch of facts or do something crazy like math. But what would I do with an English degree, right? That’s what the voice in my head told me, so instead it became my minor. I majored in education.
The call to write wasn’t shocking to me – just to everyone else. For me it was coming home to a place inside myself where I was always supposed to be. Everyone else thought it was impractical and a big waste of time. Blogging was for people with too much time on their hands – people without “real jobs”.
I kept thinking about what if I never shared what God had done in my life over the past twenty years especially. What if no one ever heard the story He set into motion to show His provision, love, and redemption?
Suddenly keeping my story in seemed selfish. It would be like hoarding a scarce gift that everyone is ravenously searching for themselves.
So I kept writing.
This coming weekend I have the opportunity to attend the She Speaks conference for writers and speakers. The opportunity is a blessing that I feel humbled in receiving.
At this conference I will learn how to share my story better.
I will also have the opportunity to meet with three publishers and pitch a book that I have started writing about finding peace in the middle of faith and surrender – the story given to me in my days and nights in Duke University Hospital.
It is embarrassing for me to write that I’m pitching a book proposal to publishers. The voice in my head almost talked me out of the whole thing all together.
I keep reminding myself of the gift I’ve been given, His gift to me in the form of a story, that is not meant to be hoarded but meant to be shared.
Not all of us are called to write. Some of us hate to write, and that’s o.k.
But I want to argue that all of us are called to speak. I speak best when my words spills onto paper. You may speak best when your words spills out your tongue. Others may speak best when their words spill through their hands and into a masterpiece of creation.
Regardless, we are all called to speak our stories. Our stories are God’s gift to us to be shared, so that others may recognize their stories too.
Today I want to challenge you to speak your story. It doesn’t have to be in some fancy formal way, like in a book proposal. Speak it to your children, speak it to your parents, speak it to the cashier at the grocery store. Just speak it.
Your story might be just want saves someone else from never knowing theirs.(<-Tweet This)
How do you “speak your story” to others? If you don’t feel like you do this, how can you this week?