Some people can make you feel like your story doesn’t matter.
You know what I mean. You’re sitting in the corner of a friend’s kitchen at her Pampered Chef party, and you begin to pull back a bit of the tightly-drawn curtain on your life, so she can see on the insides a little. You start to tell her how much life hurts sometimes. And you can sense it right there, in the moment when she’s looking over your shoulder at someone else who walked into the room. You begin to feel like your story doesn’t matter, so you drawn the curtain tight again.
It might not even be true, that icky thing you’re feeling. She might actually care. A lot. But because you don’t feel your story is worthy of anyone’s attention, you drop your chin to your chest.
Yes, some people can make you feel that your story doesn’t matter. And sometimes that person who makes you feel that way … might actually be you!
We doubt the value of our stories, and sometimes, our very lives. We don’t believe we are smart enough, witty enough, shimmering enough, promoted enough, sexy enough, put-together enough, funny enough, skinny enough, (fill-in-the-blank) enough.
HIDING OUR STORIES
I’ve seen it replayed again and again, in my own life and the lives of other women, how people hide their story:
* In Bible study classrooms, women shield the scrawled answers in their workbooks, because of shame or rejection. (Or a sense that no one would care anyway.)
* Women keep quiet about their dreams, because we fear that if we speak them out loud, we’ll fall flat on our faces.
* Writers drop their heads on their keyboards, because they think that the story has already been told better, or more artfully.
We’re scared of our shaky voices, the thundering sound of our own hearts, a narrowed set of eyes in the audience — real or imagined. We’re scared enough that we just sit down.
I’ve felt it. I have.
THE COOL KIDS’ TABLE
The most insecure parts of me have tried to muzzle my voice. I’ve felt, at times, that my story doesn’t matter. Some of you don’t know this, but there are lists out there. Lists that rank bloggers, and tell us whose stories are most influential. The lists can tell you that you really AREN’T enough. Lists tell you that you’re not sitting at the cool kids’ table.
Most of you reading this post aren’t bloggers, so this all might sound a tad ridiculous.
But in your own way, maybe you’ve felt it, too? Because there are invisible lists everywhere. And maybe you’ve discovered that you weren’t invited after all.
YOUR STORY MATTERS
This noisy world can drown out that little story you want to tell. Can I pull you in close and whisper this one in your ear: Friend, you ARE invited. You are on the list. Your story matters. Because God stuck it right inside of you, for such a time as this.
That’s the fuel behind one of the objectives here in this new space, JenniferDukesLee.com. I want to encourage you to tell your story, or in this case, to #TellHisStory — not just in writing, but mostly in your very life!
Next Wednesday, we begin a #TellHisStory community, the sequel to God-Bumps & God-Incidences. I’ll be telling faith stories every Wednesday, just like always, and I invite you to tell yours.
A #TellHisStory is a simply a story that connects your life-moments into the larger story of God.
You will be able to link your stories up on the blog. (In addition, I will feature authors, editors and others who will offer us tips and encouragement. You can find out more about #TellHisStory right here.)
We want you to feel free to tell YOUR stories — not just in blog posts. But in your very life! Your story matters. Even if you think no one else cares. We do.
You are enough.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do.” ~ Ephesians 2:10