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Monday, August 24, 2015

Tell Your Story and Tell It Well.

      "There are two myths we tend to believe about our stories: the first is that they're about us, and the second is that because they're about us, they don't matter. But they're not only about us, and they matter more than ever right now. When we, any of us who have been transformed by Christ, tell our own stories, we're telling the story of who God is." -Shauna Niequist 
If you had asked me a month ago if I was ever coming back to this blog, I probably would've shrugged the question off and made some joke about it. My head was quick to say no, but my heart was saying otherwise.  It felt easier just to let it go and keep blogging a thing of the past. But something was holding me here, something kept bringing me back, over and over.

This little space has been weighing on my mind lately; it is such a delicate balance of longing and dread, the back and forth of emotions between the passion I feel for this craft and the heaviness of finding my voice in the blog world. Comparison rears its ugly head and turns this love of blogging into an idol. But then, when we're lucky, God unexpectedly orchestrates things in our lives long before we realize and turns it into something beautiful. This blog is and always has been one of those things for me. 




I've written this post in my head 7 times already and twice on the computer. I've done the "apologize for being absent for 4 months" post and I've done the "act like nothing happened" post and just keep going. And you know, neither of them really fit where I am in life right now.

Life happened. I disappeared from here and I'm not sorry about it, but oh, have I missed this blog. My outlet, my therapy, my connection to women I admire. But then again, I've loved the freedom I found outside of the need to "keep up" in the blog world. I've wanted to jump back in head first and I've wanted to run away and never look back, sometimes on the same day, and sometimes in the same post.


Writing and blogging are two things I fiercely love and am equally terrified of, but at the end of the day, it's a part of me. Writing was imbedded into my soul when God created me and it's nothing I can shake off, as hard as I try at times. I will always be the girl who uses more words than anyone should and loves nothing more than a good story and through the years, I've learned to embrace it and turn it into something bigger. More than just words, but a real story. My story. His story through me.


Storytelling. There's something about it that wraps me up and makes me feel at home. It connects and inspires. This fact is nothing new--I'm not writing anything you've probably not experienced before on your own. You're part of this blog world and you know the kind of writing I'm talking about. The way words can paint a picture, define a moment, create a feeling...it's compelling and tends to draw us all in. It shows us something about ourself, draws on our emotions, and puts our feelings into the words we wish we could say ourselves. From life's sweetest moments to the ones filled with sorrow, words make up our story and tell the world what we've been through. It's our heart's cry through letters and phrases and punctuation.


This blog world is unique--we carry around little bits of each others' stories as we read and they become woven into our own. It creates this beautiful atmosphere of community that shows off His glory as we write and as we live life and share our worlds with each other--it's a way of life, really, and it's something that I can't fathom missing out on. God is constantly reminding me that blogging is part of my story and that's the way He created me--to be a part of something bigger.


Storytelling doesn't exist only here in the blog world; for those of you reading who are thinking, "but this doesn't really apply to me," you're wrong, so very wrong. Our every action, every emotion, every word tells our story. Through our jobs, our friends, our children, our marriages, our reactions, and so on, our story is being written. Whether you're "writing" it through creating artwork at 2 in the morning, pursuing your dream of entrepreneurship day in and day out, raising your children and being knee deep in diapers, working a big corporate office job, or being a loving wife and keeping a happy home, you are telling your story every moment of every day. There is something about this truth that is so impactful to me.


If I've learned anything over the past 4 months, it's that the Lord is rewriting my story into His and I find that utterly beautiful. When I read the Bible, I see over and over again to Jesus teach His followers through stories--Jesus was the best of storytellers. And He did that because He knew the deep desire of those around Him to be connected to something bigger than themselves. Isn't that awesome? And isn't it so encouraging knowing that He holds the pen in our story? I want nothing more than for Him to keep rewriting my life by telling His story through me.


I long to make this a space where the Lord is present. He has been nudging me back to this spot for months now, and I'm finally surrendering and waking up my creative, albeit dry, bones for His glory. I'm not sure where this will take me, but I do know that I want to spend my time here celebrating His story through me and through the good in my life. Through the precious but refining blessing of marriage. Through the lessons I learn as my family sits around the fireplace. Through the prayers I pray with friends across the couch. Through waiting for God to bless us with a child. Through the little moments and the big ones, my story matters. And by sharing life as it happens, we're watching God move through us and change us, little by little.


At the end of the day, words matter, my friend. MY words matter. Even when doubt tells me otherwise. My story matters. And so does yours. Yes, I'm talking to you reading right now. I pray this will be a place of encouragement and laughter and joy and growth; I'm eager to blog with intention and post only when I feel the need to. I'm breaking through the chains I created for this space long ago and rewriting it all. 


I'm not the same person I was when I started this blog. And I'm not even the same person I was when I stopped writing back in March. But as I'm growing and changing and becoming someone better through the good and the bad and the painful and the joyful, I'm going to write. I'm dying to find my voice again, because only then will I truly feel that contentment the Lord desires for us. 


Your story, my story, our stories...they're just waiting for us to give them life through the retelling. So that's where I am right now, and that's where I'm leaving an invitation for you, too. To come along with me as I wade through life and all that it entails. To tell my story the best way I know how, moment by moment. And I want the same for you. Let's tell our stories and tell them well. 

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