We all have a story. In fact, we have multiple stories. Each one connecting to another in a string of events that equal our life.

Some stories are painful, full of deep sorrow and regrets. Others are joyful, full of life and love. Over the span of a life, we have some of both. It is these smaller stories that shape us, making us who we are. They dictate how we react to certain situations, our level of trust, our level of curiosity, willingness to step into new things, and ability to build bonds of deep friendship.

When our story contains much pain, we find ourselves holding back, hiding behind masks and shields. And that has been my story – hiding. But that is not my story any longer. I am fighting back, ready to claim the person God has always intended for me to be. Ready to stop hiding in fear, ready to stop resisting the urge to do and say what I feel led to do and say. I’m not talking about “nerve” or “guts” to be rude or aggressive. I am talking about being real, honest, vulnerable.

Stepping into who God created me to be means letting some people down. It means not performing to meet an expectation. It simply means choosing to follow Christ, by faith, without hesitation, without considering what another may think, desire, or want. It means following at all costs. Something I have withheld from doing because it meant trusting the invisible.

I have always stated that I believe God is trustworthy, I am willing to obey, I am available. When push comes to shove, however, my actions often say something different. That’s part of my story.

If we are honest with each other, we could admit that our past dictates our future to some degree. And, I would be the first to tell you I never realized it, never saw it, until my life became so painful to me that I wanted out.

In turning to Christ in honesty, He has helped me overcome many things. In dealing with the past, some wounds had to be reopened, torn raw, to expose the poison that had been hidden deep.

Am I better? Completely healed? Well, I’m getting there. It is a process. (Remember a recent post, “Progress is a Process”?) The more I work towards wholeness with Christ, the more I find that needs to be fixed, rearranged, changed, overcome. That’s okay with me. I finally feel like I am getting somewhere. I am flourishing in areas I have struggled for too long.

Don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself and others. Get help if you need it. There are some amazing Christian counselors who will lead you to finding wholeness, and in helping you come to grips with painful past experiences.

And the amazing thing about a story? When well told, it reaches others in ways that is unexplainable. Perhaps that is why Christ used story telling so often in the Scriptures. People understand story. So, keep telling yours and I will keep telling mine.