No two are alike. Some have white picket fences with families intact and a comfortable life in the suburbs. Others tend to venture down dark alleys with pitfalls and road blocks. But we all have one thing in common: we all have a story. Or, if you’re like me, a trilogy.

Your story doesn’t define you, but it certainly shapes the way you think. It should never hold you captive, but it will affect the way you interact with other people. Have you ever been around an animal that has suffered from abuse? They tend to cower and shy away from strangers and spend most of their waking hours on guard preparing for the next blow. Dare I say that some of us are walking around the earth in the same manner? We have seen the ugly side of humanity, lived through the nightmare, and some of us are still enduring it. Each blow adds another layer and another label. Pretty soon, you are weighed down with layers and labels, and you are drowning. If someone would just send a lifeline, maybe look you in the eyes and tell you that you are enough. That no matter where you have been, what you have done, what has been done to you…you are enough! You need someone to take you by the hand and say, “I know how you are feeling, I’ve been there myself.” Or, “Where you have been is not important. What matters is where you are going.”

Someone did that for me, one day in an office mail room. He told me that no matter the circumstances there is a God who loves me and wants nothing more than to have a relationship with me. The same God that formed the mountains and commands the oceans created me and has a purpose for my life. He looked me in the eyes and said there is something better for you–this is not the end of your story, keep fighting! It took ten minutes out of his day, but it changed the course of my life.

So why do we say, “You need to share your story”? Not only will your story help others, it will help you to write it out. As you allow yourself to go back to where you came from, it allows you to celebrate just how far you’ve come. Telling your story can be frightening, but it’s the only one like it. Someone needs to hear you have been in their shoes and that you made it out on the other side. That may give them a hope they haven’t had in years, if ever. You never know how your story can change a life.

We aren’t privy to God’s plan, but we do know there are thousands of women out there just like you and me who need a little encouragement. Let the tests of your life become your testimony.

Until next time,

~ Melissa

We want to hear from you. Share your story, ask for advice, or send in a prayer request. How can we encourage you today?

When you  send in your story, you will be entered in a drawing for a free copy of the new book Breaking Up with Perfect by Amy Carroll. Please submit your story by August 12th. Happy writing!