Each of our lives is a series of stories. Maybe you really embarrassed yourself one time and now it is your go-to story to make your bestie laugh. Maybe you hurt yourself playing as a kid, and now you have a dramatic story to tell when people ask how you got that scar. Or maybe God brought you through something really difficult that you never want ANYONE to know about, but deep down you know that if you shared it, it could really help others and point them to Christ. Yeah, I struggle with that too.
We live in a world that is constantly inundating us with other people's highlight reels (I'm looking at you Instagram), but trust me, there is always more to the story. True vulnerability is where life change happens. So why are we so scared of it? It is because we are afraid of what others will think about us. I get it -- you want to appear like you have your life together. I mean, why should other people know what I'm going through? It's clearly none of their business, right? Well, in many cases, this could not be further from the truth.
The Bible is very clear on this subject. In Mark chapter 5, Jesus drove demons out of a possessed man. Afterward, the man asked if he could stay with Him, but Jesus told the man no. Instead, he said, "Go home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you" (verse 19). The man did so, and the Bible says that many people were amazed at the wonders of God. I totally understand why the man wanted to stay with Jesus. Clearly, being possessed by demons is not something I would want advertised to a bunch of people. But Jesus saw the bigger picture and knew that people would be amazed at what He had done if the man would only have the courage to tell them.
You see, sometimes the Lord brings us through something really hard so that others can discover Him because of it. So, by not sharing our story, we are possibly preventing people from finding Christ. This is not to say that every detail must be shared, or that when you are in the middle of something hard, everyone needs to know. Obviously, the timing of sharing a testimony depends on the situation. But we do need to be aware that after God brings us to the other side of the trial, He can use it if we let Him. Knowing this can also shift our perspective in the middle of the trial.
I'm going through a hard season right now, and while now is not the time to be sharing what it is, this perspective shift has greatly affected the way I view what I'm facing. In a way, God is giving me a gift. Of course, there are the usual learning experiences and added maturity that come with difficult circumstances, but there is also more. If I remain open to vulnerability, then this part of my story is a gift I can use to point others to Christ one day by showing them what He did for me. So today, I want to encourage you to be vulnerable. Consider sharing your testimony. That really hard chapter is in your story for a reason, and my prayer is that lives will be changed because you have the courage to share it.