My friends Jon and Kelley endured heartache and indescribable loss when they lost their baby girl to SIDS a few years ago. From that experience, songs have been shaped and formed in them that they are now sharing with the world.
Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, have grieved greatly after their son Matthew committed suicide last April. But they are touching millions around the world as they make room in the church to talk about mental illness.
You have a story. You may not be a published musician, a famous pastor, or an established writer. But you have a voice. You don’t have to have a blog, or a book, or a record, to tell your stories. You can start by sitting down with someone over lunch or coffee.
You’ve been brought through experiences, trials, joy and pain, all to this intersection in time and history, and your journey, your story, could catapult the person near to you on their next chapter.
So, are you telling your story? Are you embracing the scars, the pain, and the heartache? Are you looking for the redemption in the cracks of your life, and showing it to others? Are you letting the people around you see past the sparkly windows, to the real you?
Remember when Thomas, doubting Thomas, struggled to believe that his crucified leader was indeed alive? He said that "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my fingers where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."
Chances are, there’s a doubting Thomas around you. Someone who has trouble believing resurrection is real, and that redemption and hope is possible. Someone who needs to see it to believe it.
So let them in. Let them into the mess and the broken places in your heart. Let them see the scars, and the grace that has been a salve to heal them. Let them see the wounds and touch them. They may start to believe, through your story, that redemption is possible in theirs.
// Oh, and I highly recommend checking out Jon's album, and Jonathan's book. Real, truthful, hopeful.