I turned 30 in February (yay for a new decade!), which means I’ve been telling my story publicly for 17 years now. It’s crazy to think that’s well over half my life!
To be honest, I still sometimes struggle with being well-known. I’m not the type to want a lot of attention, I love and desire a simple life. I am often asked what has kept me speaking out all these years. It’s a good question, and important for me to reflect on my “why,” when I sometimes struggle with my public life.
The truth is, I have the same answer now that I did when I was 13… I tell my story in order to encourage others. I marvel at the fact that while still in the hospital as a young girl I had the foresight to wonder what God could do with my story. It’s not always easy to be public and vulnerable, but at the end of the day I’m thankful to be able to be a light and share my story.
I believe we are all called to be storytellers and we all have a story to share with each other. Every single person has lived both an ordinary and extraordinary life and every one of us has the power to encourage someone else. We all have experiences with pain and joy, with disappointment and triumph, with loss and love. The details of our stories are unique, but the themes are universal. We never know the power of being vulnerable and brave and sharing our lives with others. So many are suffering from similar pains being hidden inside. We never know who is out there and needs to hear from us.
The scale of our storytelling doesn’t matter, and often it is the one-on-one conversations that make the most impact. Think about the people who have impacted you with their stories. Sometimes it is a big public voice sharing at a conference, in a book, through a sermon or at a large scale event. But just as often it is probably a friend, neighbor, family member, or even a stranger who shared a truth, a nugget of wisdom, or a simple story about something they experienced.
I believe we all can share our stories. We can pray for courage to be open to share with others. We can trust that sharing our stories, our painful and joyful stories, will never be wasted.
Being Unstoppable means owning and telling your story, both as an act of gratitude and in order to encourage others! We can discover hope in the hard things.