There are chapters of our past we wish didn’t exist. We would love to tear them out of the whole story of our lives if we could.
Do you have chapters like that? You know, the seasons of life where you just fell apart? Where things got ugly. Where your soul was ripped in pieces?
Yes, I get it.
I have chapters like that in my own life.
But the older I get, the more I am realizing that those are the chapters I need to highlight. I need to book mark them. Turn back the pages and reflect.
I don’t know the specifics of your story and your difficult chapters. But I DO know this:
There are other people out there who have similar chapters to yours. They have experienced the same circumstances. They too, know what it’s like to have their soul ripped apart in the same way yours was.
What’s sad is that many people think they are the only ones with that kind of chapter. That nobody understands. That nobody really gets them.
But that isn’t true at all! It’s a flat-out lie.
The enemy is the father of lies and he wants us to think we are alone. That we are the only ones walking a difficult path. That everybody else has it all together and something must be wrong with us.
Wrong. Lies. Not true.
God even tells us in His word:
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man…” (2 Corinthians 10:13)
He also promises that when we suffer, He will comfort us.
“He comforts us in all our troubles.” (2 Corinthians 1:4)
This is great news! Yes, God does comfort us. But that’s not the end of the verse!! Read on…
“He 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 1:4)
Did you catch those two words??
God doesn’t just comfort us for our own sake. He comforts us so that we can pour that same comfort into others who are hurting. It may not be right away, but at some point we will come across someone who is hurting in the same way we have.
You can count on it.
But here’s the thing. The only way we know WHO to comfort are those who speak up and tell their stories.
The only way I know who God is calling me to comfort are those who have actually spoken up. Maybe they haven’t told all the details of the entire ugly chapter. But they say enough to make it loud and clear that they are hurting.
The only way someone else can bring you comfort and help you along your journey is for YOU to tell YOUR story. This works both ways.
I have experienced this on both ends. Because I have been willing to share my hurt–the ugly chapters of my life–I have been blessed to have others pour God’s comfort all over my aching soul.
And because of my own journey, I have connected with others who have stepped out and told their story.
Or sometimes a person will hear two different people share their stories and connect them together. One may be on the other side of the hurt and already into a different chapter of life. And the other person is just beginning a painful chapter.
So go ahead. Tell your story. (Of course we need to use discretion and wisdom on when, where and who we share with)
That one chapter you want to tear out? Don’t.
It may just be a life line to someone else who thinks they are the only one.
Lord Jesus, I pray today for whoever is reading this. If there is something in their life you want to use to comfort someone else, would you please reveal that to them? If someone is hurting, would you connect them to someone who understands? And give them courage to step out and tell their story. Amen
Blessings to you!
Author of Embracing The Race