I really hate it when my own words come back to haunt me. I’ve been sharing my story for almost five years publicly on this blog, and yet yesterday I was discussing with my counselor the shame I feel. Shame in not wanting people who are seeking my services in my new job to know what I’ve been through, and how I dealt with it, or didn’t deal with it.
The suicidal thoughts I had and trying to take my life….being on disability. Even though it was over eight years ago, there’s still shame there and the invalidation I’ve gotten from a few people lately has kind of added to it.
I don’t know the people that well, it was just a group I was placed in at church to finish out a discipleship course, but the look they gave me when I shared that I tried to kill myself -I just felt judgment.
Of course, I don’t know what they were thinking and that is probably more me placing my thoughts on them and not giving them a chance, because that’s kind of delving into the deep end of the water.
But yesterday, when I was talking to my counselor, and I said I just don’t want people to know…. without me thinking out of my mouth came, “but if I don’t share my story God can’t be glorified.”
And I just started laughing because I really felt like God just put those words in my mouth and said, “See, this is why you’re sharing your story. And deep down you know it because you just said it.”
I know God has a sense of humor, but it can be incredibly scary to share your story. Whether it’s with one person or a lot of people, sharing in person makes you feel vulnerable. However. I’m always taken back to the story of Esther and how “perhaps we were created for such a time as this.”
Does this mean that everyone you share your story with will understand? Does it mean you will not be invalidated or judged? Unfortunately, no. However, that is their issue and not yours.
God wants you to work through choices you’ve made whether they were sinful or not, and He wants to take your story and use it.
It will take time to not let other peoples reactions bother you, and I admit I am not there yet. However, everyone has a story and because we live in a sinful world, everyone has made choices they are ashamed of or wish they hadn’t. Whether that be because you were trying to deal or not deal with trauma or something else, we all have that speck in our own eye.
I know I tend to look at the speck in other people‘s eye before I look at the one in mine. And the one in mine is usually a 2 x 4 compared to the splinter in someone else’s. However, as I work with God, and the people He’s placed in my life to help me process and work through my trauma, He continues to open doors to share my story. It’s always my prayer that He will be glorified, even if it just reaches one person.
So, as I’m still working through what it’s going to look like to share my story with people, when I feel shame and insecurity I remember how far God has brought me, how He’s redeeming my life, and how He’s helping me heal.
Ultimately, it takes me back to the vision, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us and eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17
I have to keep the eternal perspective in mind. Always. So do you.
Stay strong friends, and pray for opportunities to share your story so that God can be glorified.
To Him be the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
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