Some kinds of hope only grow in the dark, the kinds born from our deepest fears actually coming true. For the next two weeks, I’ll be sharing stories from women who have been through scary stories, places they never thought they would have to go. They are stories of fear, loss, and hardship, as well as stories of miracles, redemption, and healing. You can read them here.
My friend Dawn recently told me about working at a women’s rescue mission. Most of the women there have lost everything because of their choices in life. Because of their great loss, they don’t hide who they are anymore. Loss can help us find our truest selves and God.
The staff at the mission told Dawn to be herself, to not hide the good parts of her life from these women, to share her story with them too. There in the sharing of the hard and the beautiful, connection happens and God can enter in.
Sometimes we think we need to hide the hardships in our life, the scary stories that might be too much. I live in a picture perfect suburb, but I hear from so many women here who long to get past the facade, to be heard, and know they are not alone in the hard bits of life. By hearing others’ stories, we can understand our own broken pieces.
In my scary story, God was there through the darkest times: postpartum, strong-willed child battles, and physical pain. I am not the person I was before I suffered these hardships. I am now a woman who knows her story.
Hope can grow in the darkest of places. Tweet This
Sharing honest, vulnerable story often feels like throwing ourselves out there, our scars exposed to the world. I remember the first time I shared my story in a small group surrounding me in my living room.
I was a complete mess. Through tears, I shared my life story on yellow construction paper. I had paired a song title with each life event. Recently, I heard one of those songs. It sums up the fearful hopes so many of us have to be loved in spite of our stories, to be seen as good:
That I would be good even if I did nothing
That I would be good even if I got the thumbs down
That I would be good if I got and stayed sick
That I would be good even if I gained ten pounds…
That I would be loved even when I numb myself
That I would be good even when I am overwhelmed
That I would be loved even when I was fuming
That I would be good even if I was clingy
That I would be good even if I lost sanity
That I would be good whether with or without you
(Alanis Morissette, That I Would Be Good)
I want to be loved, even when I am scared and feel scary. The beautiful thing is, God doesn’t need us to be good. He knows our stories well, He walks with us in them, and only He can make them better.
When the core of who you are is taken away, you have a choice—despair or let God rescue you and create something better out of your pain. These women have chosen the latter.
I know each of the women in Scary Stories personally. I respect their God journey as brave storytellers who know story helps us to share life truly and deeply. They write words out of a place of compassion and a desire for you to know you are not alone. So you can move from:
- fearful to brave,
- isolated to known,
- ashamed to loved.
We tell our stories because many of us have been to hell and back. We know Jesus is our Savior, even on the dark side. Through the tramautic, dramatic, earth-shattering, perfect-life obliterating, God is with us. More than eighty verses in the Bible tell us this, but sometimes, to believe, we need to hear from someone who’s been in the pit to lead the way out.
As you hear these stories, maybe they stir up a desire to write down your own story, to explore pieces of your past, or to search for God. Check out these resources to help you tell your own story:
When To Tell Your Story and How, by Sheridan Voysey. Food for thought: “Share your pain publicly only when you’re ready to help others.”
Storyline Blog, stories and courses to help you live a better story
The Rubies Project: Share your story to end slavery. A beautiful purpose.
When we share our scary stories, darkness dies in hope’s light. Tweet This
What’s your scary story? If you need a safe place to tell it, I’d love to hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more Scary Stories here.