our stories matter

i’m sitting here at the airport attempting to process an amazing weekend at hope spoken. a weekend filled with the beautiful, faith-filled stories of women from across the united states. encouraging stories, heart breaking stories, joyful stories. it was so much and so faith filled that it’s going to take me awhile to process it all, but for the time being, i’m asking myself: what is my initial take away from this weekend?

and here it is :

we all have a story. 

and you’re like, “duh.” thanks for that…but seriously,

many stories were told this weekend from brokenness and tragedy, to forgiveness and redemption, to joy and acceptance. i was encouraged by each and every one of them. heart wrenching stories. stories that began sorrowfully and end with victory. stories that encouraged. that gave glory to our Maker. that made you feel as though you weren’t the only one on this crazy ride we call life.

this weekend helped me realize more than ever that we each carry our own beautiful story to offer up to each other. a story that when shared may encourage others who are in that same place. that same stage of life. that same trial. or struggle. or joy. a story that can offer hope to someone who needs it. what became crystal clear to me this weekend is that i, too, have a story to share. that sounds a bit awkward, another “duh” moment i suppose. because of course i have a story…

…and i realize that.

but what became clear to me is that MY STORY MATTERS. i have always felt that because i hadn’t experienced life with such heart-wrenching, life-altering experiences that i have nothing to offer. this weekend taught me otherwise. my story doesn’t look like anyone else’s. just as yours doesn’t either. your story is your own. it will weave into a beautiful tapestry with other peoples stories, the stories of friends and family, but the very root of it, the thread of it, is your own. and all our stories, each precious thread, are woven into the greatest story of all time. tying us all to Jesus. the author and perfecter of life.


for the first time, this felt clear to me. recently, i’d been praying that God would point me in the direction He would like me to serve Him. asking Him to make my spiritual gifts more apparent, more clear, put up flashing neon signs for goodness sake to point me in the right direction. in the direction of the way He wanted to use me. so i spent a lot of time praying. and watching for neon signs. or at least a flashing billboard. heck, i’d take a street sign at this point…

and i got nothin.’

i finally got something this weekend. and you know what it was? it wasn’t flashing neon. or a billboard. or a sign. it was a word.


it popped up in nearly every speaker i went to. in my small group. and would you believe even on the car ride to the airport?


i had been chasing God around like an annoying puppy. “what now God? what should i do now? what do you want me to do God? how can i be more for You? how can i do more for You? do you want me to find somewhere to serve? do you want me to sing at church (for the sake of the ears of others please say no to that one)? do you want me to give more? to serve more? throw me a bone here Lord.”

at hope spoken, i had found my answer in a single word.


here’s what i felt Him saying to me, what i still feel in my heart after this weekend,

“surrender to me. to the story i have written for YOUR life. not for anyone else. surrender to the fact that i have you doing your best works for me right now. you are right where i want you to be. you are a wife. a mother. and not just that, but a homeschooling mother. i have given you these little people in your life to help me do a good work in them. you are shepherding them toward me. so work at it with a happy heart. accept your story. surrender to it. accept that YOUR STORY MATTERS. it is the story i wrote FOR YOU. before time began. before the world started spinning. i have you right where i want you. so work at it with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your mind. work for me. not for men. share your story. there are other mothers in the trenches. who are working hard at a job that was not made to be easy. who may struggle and need to know they’re not alone. who may feel like their own story doesn’t matter. help them to see that it DOES matter.


 surrender to your story now. and acknowledge that it could and will change. but for now rest in it. own. it. it’s yours for the keeping. this is the good work i have you doing for Me.”


*let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story* psalm 107:2

and so, i tell you, too, to embrace your own story. accept it as your own. run with it. it is the story God wrote especially for you, and you alone. wrap your arms around it. it matters. share it. it matters. YOU matter. YOUR STORY matters.

OUR stories matter.

glory *

lifeasyouliveit.com/blogps * if you’ve written your own post about hope spoken, i’d love to read it! would you comment and link to it below? i’m sure i’m not the only one who would enjoy your posts! thanks friends * xo

Heidi - Thanks for sharing, Stacey…I’m sitting here with tears running down my face…it’s like what you said about your recent journey was written by me (but not actually, cause i’m not a writer, and you said it so well: )) I’ve been that annoying puppy…feeling like I’m just.not.enough. I love, love, love being a mom, but shouldn’t I be doing more, Lord?? Shouldn’t I be giving somewhere else…doing something else? But yes, through you I hear his voice saying, “Accept and rest in your story for now…yes, it may change…but for now, rest. enjoy. love your husband and your girl and just listen to my Spirit for the rest.” Thanks.

Becky @ bybmg - What great encouragement. Not a duh at all. I think we all need reminders of our significance and our Lord is working through all of us.

Lisa Wagner - That still small voice is more heart piercing than a neon sign! What a powerful word, my friend! You’ve given me so much to think about…you know Ive been forced to surrender but how often do i fight and wrestle against it?! So excited to see all that God is doing in your life…{coffee time soon?! I’d love to hear more!}????Lisa

Stacey - OMGosh…best post ever….thank you so much for these words; it is something I truly needed to read and hear {as I sit here with tears on my cheeks}. you matter. I matter. our stories matter. no matter what they are, they matter and I have to accept that. I only need to make one person happy, and that person is Jesus! This new transition is a bittersweet one for us and I am having a hard time with it because not everyone is happy that we are leaving; not everyone is happy for us…and this hurts me,(since I am a people pleaser) but then I remember that I only need to make one person happy. Thanks friend, for your post, your words, your faith, and your friendship. they mean so very much.

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