I’ve spent the last several months intentionally connecting with different women.
I spoke with my three daughters, other family members, close friends, cousins. Sometimes only once, but often multiple times. It felt important to allow ample space (and grace) for questions and reflections.
At my invitation, each conversation centered on one thing:
Sharing my story.
Well, at least some unspoken parts.
Pieces of my life everyone understood as having a background, but parts not discussed face to face, much less heart to heart.
After thought, counsel and a good dose of please-help-me-God prayers, I made phone calls, Face Timed (is that a word?) and sat across from women holding intimate space in my life.
We talked…a lot.
We cried, took plenty of deep breaths. Question after question rose softly and loudly.
There was Silence. Anger. Disbelief.
Apologies. Sorrow. Regrets and finally PEACE.
It’s a story I plan to write here before this blog transitions and one I’m entertaining an invitation to share with a much larger audience.
But in order to feel comfortable with any future steps, I wanted those intentional conversations held first. Very grateful — even though it felt messy at times.
In the midst of these months, I pondered the power of story.
Your story, my story, the stories of others.
The ones we tell, the ones we keep. The ones which may never see the light of day.
Is this really worth it? I sometimes wondered after I hung up the phone or wiped tears. Facing details and emotions of our journeys is often intense work — laying ourselves bare holds challenges.
I don’t pretend to understand the psychology and neurobiology supporting our story sharing with others. From experience I know it to be transforming.
It’s simply amazing how our brains, bodies, emotional and spiritual selves literally transform through talking things out! [Other helpful tools may also be necessary, I get that].
So I’m still pondering, wondering.
Thinking on the power of story, imagining I have more to write in the future.
Today friend, I wonder about you.
What containers of grace lie in your community circles — space to offer your words to a listening soul? Alongside of relationship with God, who is allowed to hold your story and journey, past or present?
I’m aware of the fear facing our desire for soul-to-soul relationships…
…and the ease of choosing isolation versus the work of connection.
If these thoughts describe yours today, may you start small. Maybe begin with offering thoughts to God, sitting with them in prayer.
And if you feel well connected, well supported?
Well, celebrate this of course!
Then, I encourage you check in with a friend today, maybe your ‘strong’ friend. You know – the one who seems to have it together or you believe is doing okay? Yes, check on her.
May you and I make room to hold someone’s story today.