When I was in college I spoke at a weekend retreat, called ‘Tool Time’, that the university hosted for high school youth group students from across the state. As hundreds of high school students, chaperones, and college kids sat in a dark auditorium, I took the stage to tell a story that changed my life. We all have a story, and that day I shared mine. I spoke of real heartache, pain, and confusion that ultimately the Lord used to change the course of my life. I was nervous to get up there, in the bright lights, being so vulnerable to a group of strangers. But I faced my fear and shared my real story.
The next week I was sitting in the back corner of a dreadfully boring Government 101 class, just trying to stay awake. As the class was coming to a close, the girl sitting next to me slid a note across the table to land in front of me. The note read “Are you the girl who spoke at ‘Tool Time’ last weekend?” I looked at her, smiled, and politely nodded. She took the paperback and began writing. As the professor was dismissing the class the girl slid the paper over one more time, then stood up and began to walk out of the lecture. This time the note read “I heard you speak and your words moved me. I went through a very similar experience myself and never had anyone to talk to about it. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone. Thank you.”
And we went our separate ways.
That day I felt a way that I had never felt before. I had impacted another woman in an incredible way. Sharing my real heartache and pain brought her peace.
As a writer, some days it’s hard to find the words to share with your readers.
Does anyone actually want to read this?
There’s no way anyone else feels the way I do.
Is this real?
And recently I have been struggling with the words to say; doubting myself. I write with some amazing women whose words are so real, honest, and vulnerable that, truthfully, I’ve been intimidated to write.
But I need to remind myself that my story is REAL.
Everything I do every day is real. The good, the bad, the funny, the crazy, and of course the hot mess stories are all real.
I have a lot to share with my fellow women and mamas. Just like that night in the dark, crowded auditorium, each day I am given the opportunity to connect to others with the words I write and say.
And you do, too.
Share your triumphs, your struggles, and your simple everyday stories with others around you. Your story will bring comfort, laughter, and joy to someone out there so why not share it?
We are privileged to live in a time where women are able to influence and empower other women every day. We are able to share, connect and be real with those around us however and whenever we want.
So, don’t be afraid to share your story. Be real. Don’t just give people what they want to see. Give them to you. Nothing is more respectable than pure vulnerability and your truest self.
Share, talk and laugh together.
Just be real.