Our stories are powerful. We live alongside others. We dip in and out of people’s lives. We affect one another because of shared experiences and a willingness to be authentic.
It can be simple, little things. Sometimes I blog about a minute detail of my day. I see a connection to something and jot a few notes to share. It resonates with someone who comments or personally reaches out. Many times, they relate to something I didn’t intentionally include, but it’s what they experience. Something clicks between our stories. It can also be bigger things. When I wrote Fractured Into Wholeness, I wanted to be specific in ways that revealed enough of my story so that readers could see the need for healing, the power of faith, and the abundant goodness of God, but I didn’t want to be so specific I would either be disrespectful to others involved or narrow the story so much that others would dismiss it from theirs. I tried to capture the general emotions and chaos, as well as healing, so people might relate. I was surprised by how much they related. It made me sad at times to know the degree of people’s wounding, but I was grateful to have stepped into the authenticity of sharing as I heard snippets of others’ journeys. People reached out to share where they were in the past or present. And it was a reminder we need every day: our stories are not over.
When I finished the book, I knew it was simply a snippet. It captured a small season of life—and not completely. I glanced into the past for background and explanation and into the future for anticipation, hope, and healing. We are sharing snippets all the time, doing our best to give context, even when we don’t completely understand the context ourselves.
We share our stories to help each other. (And we need to be careful of our motives so that we’re not hurting others.) As we do, let’s remember, our stories aren’t finished. We’re still in process. We are still changing, doubting, learning, healing, wrestling, and growing. There is always hope if we’re willing to embrace it. And if we don’t? Well, that becomes part of our story, too.