I have always enjoyed writing. I used to journal about everything boring and everything about my dreams. Dreams of being a basketball player, living in the city, and who knows what else. I also had a devotional Bible that at the end of each reading, asked a question. So, I journaled about that too. I had notebooks everywhere, it seemed – notebooks filled with my dreams and love for God.
Little did I know that those journals were only the beginning of what God would be calling me to later on in life. Those were just the seeds. They were just a small depiction of how God would use my love for writing to tell my own story one day.
I just never thought my story was worth telling. Even after my open heart surgery, I did a chapel at my high school about my story, but I didn’t think that God could use me in a Kingdom-way. How faithless that thinking really was.
When I became a mom, to the most beautiful now 4-year-old, I found myself wondering if there was more to life than wiping up spit-up and sleeping only a few hours a night. Then I started to embrace the fact that I was living IN the dream that I had always dreamed – to be a mom. My dream was right there in front of me and yet I failed to recognize and embrace it. Even though I LOVE motherhood – like love it so much that my daughter says to me, “Mommy, you ALWAYS kiss my face. STOP. KISSING. ME.” Poor kid should never get dry skin on her cheeks because I’m constantly slobbering all over them.
But even though I LOVE motherhood, I know that there is more to my story too. And more than my heart issues. I was once NOT a mother, so who was I before I became one? I didn’t always know I had heart issues. So who I was before my medical diagnosis? When I am 80, who am I going to be? There is more to my story.
And there is more to yours too.
And I believe it all starts with SHARING OUR HEARTS. The possibilities of how God can use you, are completely endless, when you share what is deep down in that heart of yours. Now I get it. It’s not easy. It’s not easy to open up about the depths of what you keep inside your tender and chiseled heart. Some of it is really painful. Ugly. And messy. But some of it is incredibly beautiful. Life-changing. And powerful.
If I have learned ANYTHING through all of my heart issues, my past, and the life situations God has brought me through, it’s that God can use what seems like a negative part of my story or a setback, and use it to influence someone else’s life, for the better. Just think about that.
God uses the trials and difficulties we have gone through, to encourage someone else in a positive and life-altering way.
And often, in a way that draws THEM, closer to God.
When I became a mom, I realized the beautiful community of moms that exists in this world. Okay. Let me take a moment to air out my thoughts: I know often times if feels like a constant competition to raise that “perfect” child, but let me tell you, that child doesn’t exist. I dare you to search that on the internet. Doesn’t exist. So let’s just stop striving towards something that doesn’t exist.
Okay. Whew. Got that out. Anyways, back to community. As moms, we also have the privilege of being women of God who are called to live out our purposes not only as moms, but as daughters of the King. We were FIRST born as daughters of the King. What does that mean? That means that each of us has a story that God is going to use to build His Kingdom. Yes, HE WANT TO USE YOU. But we can’t be used in a powerful way if we aren’t willing to BE used. And in order to be used, we need to open up about who we are. What God has allowed in our lives. What makes us tick. What we are passionate about. What God has put on our hearts. You see, those little inklings that God has put on your heart? They are for a reason. They are so that you can embrace your story. Yes, YOUR story.
Those little inklings and loves I had as a child to write? Who knew!
So not only does God use our very own stories to influence others for the good, but in sharing our own stories, we will most likely find someone else who shares the same struggle.
I remember when Mazy was born, I shared about her struggle with acid reflux, sleeping, and constipation. I received such incredible wisdom from fellow moms who weren’t acting like they had it all together and had all the answers, but had walked a similar road and felt compelled to share with me what worked for them. I’m telling you, it was LIFE CHANGING. No book could’ve given me the comfort and knowledge I received from my fellow mamas. So thanks to you all! We no longer struggle with acid reflux, sleeping, and constipation like we once did! God used you, my friends!
Since writing my book, A Heartbeat of Grace, I have heard countless stories of how God has allowed certain circumstances in other’s lives. Some miraculous and some just utterly heart-breaking. But each time I hear someone’s story, my heart takes a leap. Someone is choosing to share their story. Of course it doesn’t have to be me, but I know at that moment, they decided to embrace the God in their life – the purpose He has given them. And all I want to do is encourage others to embrace their stories.
I know there is more to my story – more than motherhood and more than my heart failure. I know God is using me to help others see God in their stories. To see God in the mundane in life. To see that HE is worth following. Even when life gets difficult. I don’t say that arrogantly and nor do I do it perfectly (by ALL means), but I say that humbly, knowing this life is not about me. It’s about the story HE ALONE is writing for my life.
My friend, there is more to your story. What is that “more” in YOUR story? What avenue or passion has God placed in your life to share His story, through you? I would love to hear from you:
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