I’ve always had a pen in my hand. I used to write news stories in my Sesame Street notebook, in fake cursive.
My family tells me that one of my first words as a child was “why.”
So it made sense that I grew up to become a news reporter. I wore fancy suits, and chased down politicians and police chiefs, with a fake leather briefcase slung over my shoulder.
I still have my Rolodex — who uses one of those anymore? — and sometimes, I’ll thumb through it. I remember how my heart used to pound inside my chest, with this thumping, electric beat of excitement and dread as I careened toward my deadline. The next morning, before first light, the newspaper skidded onto my doorstep, with the perfected flick of the delivery man’s wrist.
And I slipped into my heels for the next day’s news cycle.
It all seemed so normal and ordinary, but when I look back on it now, I see how insane it really was: the macabre crime scenes, and the shouting matches at press conferences, and the angry mayor on line 2, and the short-tempered editor breathing hot orders across the newsroom.
I seriously cannot believe I didn’t spend more time crying in bathroom stalls.
What kind of crazy am I, to admit that sometimes? I miss it. I don’t miss the hard stories, the death, and the natural disasters, of course. But I do miss the being-in-the-thick-of-it, the knowing-the-news-first, the asking hard questions, the grand responsibility of presenting news to the public in a way that treated folks on both sides of the political aisle fairly. I especially miss sitting knee-to-knee with common folks who had uncommonly cool stories to tell. I miss gently weaving their stories in a way that would reveal some universal truth about us all … in a way that would make ordinary folks feel good about who they were or what they did.
I quietly exited the news scene years ago, when the city exhaled our family straight to the soybean fields.
I don’t cover the news anymore. But I still love to tell the story. (I’ve asked God if it can be my theme in glory.)
Over the course of my 41 years on earth, I have written millions of words, depositing them into thousands of news stories, magazine articles, blog posts, and most recently, a book that I’ll get around to telling you more about, one of these days. ~wink~
I have come to learn something really important that’s worth sharing: the best words a person could ever say will probably never make it to the front page, might never lead a newscast or make it between the covers of a book. They are the words you speak to God, to your children, and your grandchildren … and to your very own self.
The most important words are written, not on newsprint, but on human hearts.
And that’s the heartbeat of #TellHisStory — the peeling back of what’s happening inside of you.
We need your story. Not only the stories of those among you who are the self-described writers — though we need those too.
We need ALL your stories.
You, the preacher.
You, the kindergarten teacher.
You, the Instagrammer.
You, the grocery store clerk, and the traveling saleswoman, and the grandma.
You are the chroniclers. Your stories will help the rest of us make sense of the world. We are your people — we are your grocery-store customers, your grandkids, your neighbors, your Facebook friends, your blog readers, the people in your dentist chair, the weary women who get your well-timed greeting cards in their mailboxes.
We need you. We need your stories. So we know we’re going to make it. So we know we’re not alone.
So give us your poems, and your laments, and your narratives, and your hearts-spilled-out-red-on-the-pages. Give us your Instagrams and your one-liners and your laugh-til-we-cry mama-confessions.
Give us you. We are hungry for more heart in this world.
I had a women tell me the other day that she was afraid to share her stories in community with us at #TellHisStory, because she was worried her writing wasn’t “good enough.”
I told her what I’ll tell you: If I waited until I thought my words were as good as I wanted them to be, I wouldn’t have written a single news story, blog post, or book. I’ve always wanted more time to make things sound a little better.
But at some point, we release what we’ve got, and later, we look back to discover that our imperfect offering bears a loveliness all its own. Because it was truth — truth that rose up to the top of our hearts, before it rolled out of our fingertips.
And you look back, and re-read your words, and you see it there —
It’s the shimmer of something sacred, a story that connect your one precious life to the heart of God.
There are stories here, there, everywhere. What’s yours?
So, what’s your Story? A #TellHisStory is any story that connects your story into the story of God.
You’re invited to tell that story right here, in community with us.
Share your narratives, your poems, your Instagrams tagged with #TellHisStory, … your beautiful hearts. You are the chroniclers, the people who help others make sense of the world with your words and your art.
Story is how we know that, no matter what happens, we can get back up again.
Visit someone (or two) in the link-up to encourage with a comment. Then, Tweet about your posts, and the posts you visit, with the #TellHisStory hashtag. Come back on Friday to visit our Featured #TellHisStory, in the sidebar.
A final note: This is a safe place to tell your stories. You don’t have to be a professional writer or a grammarian to join us. Story is built into every single one of us. Your story matters, because it’s part of God’s story down through history, not because you punctuated everything correctly. Deal?
For more details on the #TellHisStory linkup, click here.
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Are you on Instragram? Let’s connect there. I’m here. Where are you? Tag your Instagram with #TellHisStory, and feel free to link them in community below.