About a month ago I took my two youngest kids to see the new Cinderella movie. My daughter is fourteen and my son is ten. I wasn’t sure how excited he would be to see it since you know, he’s a boy. But he’s a lover of movies like his momma and besides, I’m not sure some of us ever grow out of the love of a good fairytale.
He did enjoy it more than I thought he would, but I think I loved it more than either of them. Growing up the Cinderella story was never one of my favorites, but at 35 years old I have found a new appreciation for the underlying message; especially the way it was presented in this current movie. Most of us all know the story, so I’m not going to repeat that here.
Throughout the movie “be courageous and be kind” was the theme, which is always a message that should be our mantra every day. But it was the fairy godmother’s words towards the end of the movie that had me tearing up and nodding my head and really hoping my children were paying attention.
This is perhaps the greatest risk any of us will ever take—to be seen as we truly are.- Fairy godmother
Some of the truest words spoken, even if it did come from a movie. Words I needed to hear and I think most people do. But that can be hard to do, when you’re not even sure yourself of who you really are.
I remember once as a little girl, I thought I would write a story. I’m not sure what prompted me to do this, as at that age I was not much of a reader. Maybe it was the first inklings of being creative stirring in me, maybe it was out of boredom, or maybe it was because even at that age I was already trying to find my voice in this world.
I didn’t get more than four sentences written before giving up. And the first sentence of those four began with “Once upon a time…”. Original, I know.
I didn’t think much about writing again until I was seventeen and married to a man who was on a waiting list for a lung transplant. In those days I read incessantly; mainly fiction. It was a nice escape from the reality that was our life at the time. A young couple with a small child trying to live a normal life that was anything but normal, when we had to carry a pager with us at all times, knowing that one day it would go off with the hospital’s number and that meant life or death.
I began writing a story of a woman who had lost her husband. I wrote one chapter. It was about her early stages of grief and how he was gone but still everywhere. Although I had not experienced this yet, I would less than two years later, and it was eerily accurate. I never wrote anymore to that story. I set it down thinking it was too morbid to be writing fiction on the death of a husband when mine was sick and facing that possibility every day. I did go on to painfully live that story, and have lived many more. And I have found I no longer want to write fiction. But I do want to tell my story.
When I started this blog a little over a year ago, I did so with the intentions of this being my space to write transparently and honestly of the struggles I have dealt with, of the dreams I have, of the brokenness I have felt, and life in general as I fall in love with Jesus.
And to an extent, I did that. But somewhere along the way my posts seemed to read like a devotional, and to be honest, I’m just not a devotional writer.
Author Donald Miller asks, “What will the world miss if you don’t tell your story?”
If I answer that honestly, I don’t think the world will miss much. When I think of the great expanse of this world and the billions of people in it, I don’t think my life story has much to offer. I have done nothing particularly great and after all, I am still living it and there are days when I feel I have it all together and am heading down the right path, and then there are days I feel utterly and completely lost. But I’m learning that is okay and that Jesus meets me wherever I am.
Maybe a little of my story might seem a little like your story, or a whole lot like your story and maybe if I share mine, you won’t be so afraid to share yours. I want my story to point to Christ, and I also know that in doing that I have to stay brutally honest to my experiences. I have to write unashamedly, even if it hurts in the process and I know I’ve held back out of fear of judgment, embarrassment, vulnerability, and the list goes on. And I bet if you’re having trouble sharing yours, it’s for a lot of the same reasons.
But something happens when you let Jesus get really real with you: He calls you to step outside of your comfort zone more often than not but promises to walk along beside you every step of the way. And you realize that your story-the past, present, and future-is your testimony to life with Him in it.
In the story of Cinderella, it was risky for her to be seen as she really was because being her true self meant possibly losing the interest of the prince.
It can be risky to be our true selves and let people in on our short-comings, our mistakes, and just our humanness because you run the risk of losing friendships or respect you once had. Because let’s be honest–people judge, even Christians who claim they don’t.
But we shouldn’t live in that fear as Christians, because our Prince died for us and He loves us at our lowest. And I believe He wants us to be as transparent as that glass slipper of Cinderella’s.
I love the words from author Shauna Niequist –
“My life is a story about who God is and what He does in a human heart. “
Yes and I’ll add still…what He’s doing in a human heart.
So, this space will now be me sharing with you what He’s doing in my heart. I pray that you feel led to share in the comments what He’s doing in yours.
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