Even though God has redeemed my story, and healed and restored my life…there are times I long for a different story to tell.
These past several weeks I have had the honor of being interviewed on various secular and Christian radio, podcasts, blogs and even a TV talk show to share my story, and talk about my book – Journey to Heal. Shows like In the Market with Janet Parshall, The Debbie Chavez Show, FaithTalk LIVE with Rick Probst, A Time for Hope, and The HUB New Mexico.
Some interviews were live and some were taped. Some were an hour long and others were short.
They’ve all been GREAT opportunities to share about my book, and shed light on the darkness of child sexual abuse. I’m so thankful for each one so far, and looking forward to those ahead.
But…I have to be honest with you. As often as I’ve shared my story, and as happy as I am to have these wonderful opportunities to share it in order to help others, it doesn’t get any easier to hear the words coming out of my mouth…
Words like, “I was sexually abused by a stepfather for several years of my childhood.”
Who wants to say words like that about themselves? No one.
Perhaps you have a similar story, or maybe your story involves other painful situations that you’ve endured…and are healing from. Maybe you’ve wondered to yourself, “What was the purpose for all this pain?…Why did I have to suffer?”
I get it. I’ve asked these questions myself at times. Even though God has redeemed my story, and healed and restored my life, there are times I long for a different story to tell. Perhaps, something less embarrassing….less painful.
But, then I realize once again that my story matters.
The truth is, friend, your story matters.
Our stories matter more than we think.
Perhaps you haven’t experienced any significant hardships yet in life. Your childhood was relatively normal. You had great parents, wonderful siblings, and your memories are full of fond moments and good times.
Maybe you are reading this blog post and thinking, “I don’t have a story worth telling…my life has been pretty blessed!”
Can I just say…that is a story worth telling! We, who have experienced the worst need to hear your story. We need to know there are good people, loving parents, and healthy relationships. We need stories of hope like that.
For those of us who have experienced pain and hardship, we can’t change the events or circumstances in our past. We can’t change what we’ve done, or what others have done to us. There is no going back and rewriting our history – good or bad.
What we CAN do is give our stories and brokenness to Jesus. We can ask him to heal our hearts and use our pain for a greater purpose.
I love the account in Genesis 50:20 of what Joseph said to his brothers who had kidnapped him, threw him in a deep well, contemplated killing him, and ended up selling him into slavery to the Egyptians…
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
If you aren’t familiar with Josephs’ story, I encourage you to take some time this week and read the entire account in Genesis 37-50….grab your Bible, a cup coffee, and settle in for an incredible journey of faith and endurance through the worst kinds of trials. Joseph’s story is a beautiful example of how God works all things together for good. How someone can go from wholeness to brokenness, but then with God’s help – to wholeness once again.
Like any good story, it will inspire you to hope.
That is what our stories do, whether they are filled with joy and peace or brokenness and suffering. If we trust God with them, our stories can inspire others to hope.
Today I am meditating on Romans 8:28…thanking God again for his work in my life, and giving me a story of hope that I can share…
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
To listen to one of Crystal’s radio interviews click on the link below: