When my children were little, I would read them bedtime stories to help them relax and get ready to fall asleep. They would sometimes ask me to keep reading another story or to read the same story again. They loved hearing these bedtime stories.
As adults, we never seem to get tired of hearing stories either. Stories takes on different forms depending on your preference – movies, songs, books, motivational conferences, news reports (the positive and good ones) etc. We love to hear a good story and we all have a story.
And…it’s time to tell your story.
Friends would say to me, “You’re such a strong woman, you’ll get through this.” But it wasn’t working to convince me. How could they stand there and say such words when my insides felt like mush, my heart felt broken into a million pieces and my knees were so weak I could barely stand?
They would not be saying these words if they saw how I collapsed in bed, hopelessly crying night after night. How could they possibly think I was strong?
They knew because they served the same God I did and had experienced their own painful struggles. And with the Lord’s help, they too were able to get through them.
It used to be hard for me to write things down – the kind of things that are personal and for my eyes only.
Years ago I wrote something so private and meaningful, and a person close to me not only found it, but they read it and belittled me for the words I had written. I was left crushed and silently vowed I would never write my thoughts down again.
Some of this mindset changed when I became a Christian. I love beautifully designed journals and I actually started collecting them and writing in them.
It’s Christmas time and there are signs of it almost everywhere you go. I keep noticing a particular phrase in holiday decorations. The phrase is simply one word – “Believe.” And if that isn’t enough, there are even Christmas songs telling us to “believe.”
The phrase is catchy and even fun for children as they wait for Christmas to come. One day as I was walking through a store and saw a piece of wall art with this phrase, it occurred to me how God asks us to believe Him for many things all throughout His Word.
My mom and I were sharing a memory from when I was a teenager. I and two other young ladies entered a competition in a local community organization. The winner was going to be crowned Queen and the two finalists would be crowned Princess and Duchess.
I came in third place and was crowned Duchess. I thought I would feel sad for not winning first or even second place. But once that crown was placed on my head, all I felt was joy. I was royalty!
I was complaining about everything – not out loud to anyone in particular, but in the solitude of my thoughts. On the top of the list was all of the household chores, not enough time to work on projects, people’s lack of accountability and aggressive drivers on the freeway!
I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. Psalm 77:3
I finally decided to do something about these annoying thoughts. I opened up my laptop and let my fingers furiously pound the keyboard documenting all 52 complaints. (It wasn’t really 52 but it certainly felt like it!)
I have been blessed with some amazing friends and I can share my joys, struggles and sorrows with them. They have seen me at my best and worst. They are friends I can trust to be honest with me. Honest enough to tell me how I really look when we’re shopping and trying on new clothes!
A friend loves at all times Proverbs 17:17
A couple of these incredible friends have moved away and I don’t get to see them as often, but we do keep in touch by phone calls, text messages, occasional visits and social media.