When my husband asked me to share a part of my story for a night of worship at our church on Easter, I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to recall the hard and sinful places I’d been. I didn’t want to reopen the scarred over cuts. I didn’t want to remember the hopelessness. I didn’t want to revisit the brokenness and sinfulness.
The truth is, I wanted to stay right here, where I am now. I want you to see me the way I am now—the Bible teacher, the wife and mom, the encourager, the lover of the Word and of words.
Because, honestly, there is a part of me, the part that has known the sting of rejection, that part of me that holds back from sharing the depths from which God has saved me, that part doesn’t want to tell you all of my story because I’m afraid you’ll push me right back into that deep and dark water.
But stories matter.
Stories Matter … Tell Yours
When I sat down to write out what I wanted to say for that night at church, I thought about all the regret and rejection in my past. I recalled all the horrible choices and the haughty rebellion. And I wept.
Because that’s what happens when we know the depths of our sin—it breaks us wide open. I’d been there before and I knew the secret truth—that Jesus covers all the wide open spaces in our lives. But as I sat there at my desk, empty paper in front of me, my chest tightened and the tears fell.
Here’s what I shared:
When they showed the video at church on Easter night, I couldn’t even look up at it. I couldn’t look around. I just prayed that God would protect my heart.
You see, just an hour before that video was shown, I’d overheard some people saying hurtful things about Scott. I am sure they didn’t realize I could hear them and I’m equally sure they would say today they didn’t mean to hurt me. And, honestly, I think that’s true.
Nonetheless, I couldn’t breathe. Because what if those same people decided to turn their harsh words toward me.
I held back my tears in the same choir loft where almost three years ago I had a heart attack. Hurting hearts come in all different forms, I’d learned.
By the time we began the first song that night, I felt like I was being held together with scotch tape and string. We sang of the beautiful name of Christ. Two other members of our church shared their testimonies. And then there I was, on that big screen telling of a suicide attempt and how I’d asked Scott to leave the ministry one time.
Because even though you may never have actually started swallowing pills, you have probably felt completely hopeless and alone. And while you may never have asked your husband to leave the ministry, if you’ve been in church for any length of time, you’ve probably been hurt deeply by the words of other Christians.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all been hurt and carried the weight of our sin. We know regret and rejection. We know hurting and heartbreak.
Our stories may not be the same. But they matter.
Because there is one Author of all our stories. One Hero. The same God who whispered into my heart that long ago night as I wept, “You are precious and I love you” — that same God says the same thing to you.
And, maybe He is asking you to share that love with someone else. Maybe your story is the one that will connect with a broken heart somewhere.
That video has been shared and commented on a lot since it was first published Monday night. I’ve gotten messages from people who are hurting, from moms whose daughters are cutting or suicidal, from those who have avoided church because of the harsh words and judgment they’d experienced there.
And with each one, I find my tears fresh all over again. Because the truth is, I don’t have any great insight or words of wisdom. I just have this—
Time and again, in my deepest hurt, my darkest struggles, it’s been there, in the pages of His story where I have found hope and healing for my own.
And so I share mine. And you should share yours. Because how could we not tell the story of our great Rescuer and Healer and Hope and Savior?
video produced and edited by Studio 318