Psalm 107:2 says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story…”
I didn’t talk about my brother’s death for years. Five to be exact. At first it was because I was in denial, then I wanted to ignore it because it hurt too much, but eventually, I caved. God began tugging on my heart to open up and share. He started putting certain people in my life and using our conversations as a way to soften me. The more I shared the more I felt Christ’s comfort over me. I was beginning to feel less tense and sharing became easier and easier. I learned to accept the tears and take each time as a way to heal.
The Lord kept guiding me to share more and more on what it’s like to lose a sibling, what it’s like to lose a sibling to heroin, and how God redeemed the brokenness in my life. The more I shared the more thankful I felt towards Christ for being with me every step grief took me through. It was really hard in the beginning but each time it got easier and easier to open up, be transparent, and not fear expressing emotions. Whether it was in person, on a stage, or in writing, I was now willing to open up about the hardest time of my life whenever the Lord led me to.
One afternoon I received an email from a lady who read my story online. She expressed her gratitude for me opening up and how similar her story was to mine, but also the parts that differed. She said that she bookmarked my blog and has read it every other day. She thanked me profusely stating her words cannot express in completeness how my transparency helped her breath that day.
I sat there reading that message over and over again. I was stunned that God would use my words in such a powerful way in someone’s life. To think there was a person who felt the weight of grief lifted a little because of my story. Then, another message came in. A reader found me on Instagram and she too lost her brother and found comfort in my story. She thanked me for sharing and shared her story with me.
I spent years not sharing about the goodness of God in the darkest time of my life. That’s years where I could have allowed God to use my story to encourage others. That’s years of missed opportunities of lives being changed and brought closer to Christ.
Maybe you too have experienced a death and have a story of Jesus’s light in your dark valley. Or maybe you have a past of sin, shame, and regret- but, God has done a work inside of you, a transformation has taken place and you are a new creation. Whether it’s a story of healing, salvation, or forgiveness, it needs to be shared.
What story do you have that needs to be shared? What life experiences did God move in and you’re withholding from sharing it with the world around you? Everything that you walk through in life can be used for good, according to scripture, so why aren’t you sharing?
I was embarrassed because I worried what others would think of me since my brother was a drug addict. I thought others didn’t care enough to listen and I feared people would think I was being overly emotional.
Can you relate?
Do you hold yourself back from sharing your story out of fear of it ruining your reputation?
Do you tell yourself that others don’t care about your story and it won’t help anyone, so why share it?
Will people judge you because of your story? Unfortunately, some might. But, who are you sharing your story for; the judgemental or for those who will hear your story and lean on Christ as they become encouraged?
Will there be people who hear your story and won’t care or be helped by it? Yes, but not every story is for every person. Your story is for the person who will be able to relate and be moved by it.
According to scripture, because of the blood Jesus shed for you on the cross and your testimony of Him and His goodness in your life, you can overcome the devil. Which means your story has power. The power to shed light on Jesus, who is the author of grace, forgiveness, and healing. The only one that doesn’t want you to share your story is the one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy- Satan.
What’s your story?
Do you have a story of infertility, pain from meaningless relationships, or God’s healing of a mental/physical illness? Maybe you have a story of waiting or lessons from poor choices you’ve made, or you’ve walked the path of our spouse being unfaithful? You’ve had seasons of financial struggles or are currently in one praying for Christ to provide.
Whatever it is, there is always a story. A story to show what you’ve learned or are learning. A story to encourage others with God’s faithfulness. Don’t believe the lies and allow yourself to be stopped by sharing your testimony.
What story do you have of God’s goodness that you can share with someone today? Tell me in the comments.
Heather Margiotta is a Christian Writer and Speaker from northeast Ohio. She is a wife to a loving husband and a mother to two handsome sons. She received a bachelors degree in Theology and writes about her faith, adoption, relationships, and grief on her blog, HeatherMargiotta.com. Besides loving Jesus and her family, Heather is obsessed with coffee, local pizza joints, and nail polish. Find her on Instagram and Facebook.