Written By: Krista Dunbar
I have always been ashamed of telling my story. Let me restate that. I USED to be ashamed of telling my story. Recently, I’ve felt God moulding me and coaxing me out of that unreasonable fear.
You see…my story is dark and different and not beautiful. It’s not what a pastor’s wife’s story should look like. It’s not what a good Christian woman’s story should look like…or so I thought. But it’s okay…because it’s my story. It’s the choices I have made, the people I’ve allowed in my life, and the roads I’ve travelled (as dark as they may be) that make it a story worth telling. Honestly that’s not even true. It’s the man I follow and will continue to follow that has made my story beautiful. It’s the Creator God that formed and shaped me, who knows the hairs on my head, who knows when I’m standing or lying down…it’s this God that has redeemed my story. It’s His Son who carried my baggage and cleaned me off.
It’s in my weaknesses that I can now boast…not because I have it together. I can boast because Jesus has bridged the gap from my ugly, ugly past…my dirty shame…to rectify the relationship with my Creator. I have nothing to offer but my worship and praise…and God gets all of it.
So back to my story…in the recent season, I’ve heard so many different stories from so many different people in all walks of life. Each story is beautiful. Each story is unique. Each story, no matter what that person is walking through-is known and being threaded into God’s bigger purpose.
I went to the Influence Conference last September and heard a pastor’s wife speak of her past. Her drug filled, depression ridden, dirty past. While her past wasn’t pretty, it gave me hope. She stood in front of hundreds of women and shared her raw shame and past in a way that was so beautiful because it was hers. She shared how she still sins. How sometimes God has to remind her that she’s building her own kingdom and not His. I don’t know about you, but that’s gutsy to share with a bunch of women. That’s gutsy to share in general. But I admired her for sharing because it showed me that she didn’t have it together and God cleaned her up and chose her. He chose to use her for His purpose…in telling of His story. She shared how she still doesn’t have it together…how she chooses Jesus each day and walks with Him because she NEEDS Him in order to build anything lasting. As a pastor’s wife that quietly shares bits and pieces of my own story with chosen audiences… this was a life changing message for me.
NO STORY IS TOO UGLY. NO STORY IS TOO DIRTY. NO STORY IS TOO STICKY.
In sharing of our sufferings, our messes, our dirtiness…God is glorified. We allow Him to shine through our holes…because He fills those gaps and holes in us. He washes our sin away and continues to make us new EVERY DAY. So whatever your story was yesterday…it’s a new day today. Be BOLD. Be FEARLESS.
Tell your story.
I’m speaking to myself in this. My story is shame filled and broken. But because of the redeeming work of Jesus…in that He lets me lay my baggage at His feet, in that He dusts me off, picks me up, and calls me His…I can share my story with boldness and humble grace. I can share my story because I know it’s not only my story but it’s His. It’s the threads of His bigger purpose. It’s a story of redemption and a continued process of moulding, shaping, and walking on this journey to the finish-line of grace and truth. I’ve come to love my story. I’ve come to accept it. It’s mine. God has used me to help others with what I’ve gone through. He’s taken my mistakes and times of straying from Him and grafted me back in. He’s pruned my dead and dying limbs and made them fruit-bearing once again.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 MSG
If God tells us the Truth, we need to tell ourselves that Truth and then we need to share it with others. We need to share our truths authentically with others no matter how messy. Because no one has the power to place judgement on you. No one has the power to make you lesser…because it’s not truth. You are more. You can do more. You are enough. You are not alone. You are not too far gone. Those things from your past? Those are the things that shape you into who you are…those are the things you can give to God right now…so that He can shape and mould you from those things…so that you can encourage someone else in that. So that you can walk in community with someone else that needs to hear the simple words, “Me too”.
You’re story is beautiful. I’d love to hear it. I’d also love to share mine with you. If you come along this journey with me, I’ll show you how God has been moulding the pieces of my past into this present journey of walking with Him.
If you’re willing…please send me a note and share your threads with me!