One of the biggest discussions I see going on in the blog/Twitter world is about being real and authentic versus only posting the positive parts of your life for other people to see. Usually, this is centered around moms and motherhood and certain mom bloggers (usually more well-known ones) coming out and talking about how they don't want people to think they have it all together because they don't. Obviously, I can't participate in that conversation seeing as I am not a mother, but it's been on my mind a lot today.
I think the same idea can be relevant in other areas, as well, even just with being human in general. I've been wondering if part of the reason my story hits people so hard isn't just because of the details, or because of how I am now on the other side of it all, but if it's also because people just haven't heard stories as extreme or intense as mine.
Here's what I'm trying to get to, though: There are plenty of other stories like mine out there. Heck, there are people who have lived through horrific tragedies that I couldn't even imagine surviving (though competition is far from my point right now). I just feel like part of the reason my story is such a special thing is because lots of other people who have powerful testimonies like mine have been shamed into staying silent. They want to appear like they have their faith in check, that they don't struggle with God, that they're "fine" and always have been, because if they voice their problems with their faith, they'll be told or made to feel like they're just not a "good enough" Christian. I've heard so many times that if my faith had been stronger, I wouldn't have faced all the problems I did, and well, I'm just grateful I have enough wisdom to know that's not true...at least, I do now.
Beyond the fact that I think the whole "you can't have God- or Bible-related struggles or questions or you're not good enough" mentality is damaging to a person's spirit and heart, I think it stands in the way of one of our greatest avenues to spreading the Gospel. Our testimonies are one of the strongest ways we can show non-believers what the God we serve is really like. Our testimonies are one of the clearest ways that we can strengthen the faith of the believers that walk alongside us. God gave them to us for a reason.
So you see...my story is not special. I am not special. I am only different, radical, because I freely and openly tell the world just what my God has done and can do. And if God wants to use me as a stand-out to bring people closer to Him with the intense, epic story that He has given me, then that's great and I will gladly take it and run with it and keep doing what I've been doing.
But right now, my prayer is that more people will start talking, that they will stand up for the God that has given them everything and tell everyone just who He is. I'm far from the only one with a story of great redemption. Your life doesn't have to be one that the world has labeled "difficult" for it to mean something. One of the most beautiful testimonies I've ever heard, which was from a friend who slowly found his way back to Christ, didn't have a single, earth-shattering, heartbreaking moment. It was beautiful because it was his and he was honest. It gave me the same reminder that God never gives up on pursuing the hearts of His children that I know my story has given to others.
You may think your testimony doesn't have much power or won't really matter because it's not epic or gruesome, so telling it wouldn't really make a difference. But I'd be willing to bet that if you think that, you've never actually tried telling anyone. I didn't even know my story had power until I met The Vespers and talked to Bruno that first time. So start talking. You'll be amazed at how God changes people through you, and you might just meet a kindred spirit along the way.
There is power in our testimonies. Humbling, grace-filled, power that draws you nearer to the Lord. It's not our power, it's His, but that power can't be made known unless we tell people. And that's why I'll never stop talking.