Tell Your Story

I am always amazed at the number of women I meet who confide that they are experiencing infertility or have gone through miscarriages and have never told a soul.

Or even if they did, they have kept it brief, for the fear of offending others or making them uncomfortable or for fear of appearing to dwell in self-pity. They are unsure of what is the right and the wrong way to share.

Do we keep silent for those around us, who just don’t know how to hear and cope? Do we push through and tell the story because in telling ours, we will free someone else to tell theirs? Do we tell, because in our telling, we ourselves will also find healing from the festering wounds of silent grieving?

“Don’t let your grief be wasted!”  Tell your story.

This is my resounding cry as a woman who has gone through some of the most painful life can bring.

To be sure, there are some who do not want to hear. They do feel that the babies we’ve lost should be left unmentioned, that there is no need to “dwell” on it. Theirs is a lack of understanding. For every one of those, there are probably three others who need to hear our story so they can find the freedom to begin speaking theirs.

Tell it so others will know they are not alone.  Tell so that others may know healing exists.

Telling our story also releases the flood-gates in our own hearts and souls regarding our loss or barrenness. There is a freedom with each telling, each recounting. I’m not sure how or why it happens, but it lessens the burden weighing us down and we begin to catch a glimmer of healing, each time we pour it out.

In the beginning it may be for our own benefit we tell our story. With time, however, we will discover that in one of the tellings, we touched someone else. And then, it hits us—healing has occurred. “I am moving beyond my inner circle of barely managed grief to reaching out to someone else. I’m going to be ok. I will never be the same but I’m going to make it. I’m going to get through this.”

How do we tell our story:

Some will tell it verbally.

That is your way. You talk. And you talk some more. And then, you talk even more. You talk until there are no words left to speak. You say it 100 different ways, until finally you feel it’s out and no longer weighing you down.

Others of us, we write.

We don’t know how to form the words with our mouth so we form them with our fingers. We write. And write. And then, we write some more. Details as we recall hit the screen or paper as quickly as we bring them to mind. Tears flow as we write. Our fingers fly until there is nothing left to write. Often, as we speak and as we write, we find new insights and new understandings to our circumstances. That is the thing about us women. We work things out, even as we talk or write.

This is another crucial reason to begin telling our stories. There may be parts still hidden that we can only have brought to understanding, as we begin to speak. That moment, when even as the words flow, we have a flash of insight that heals the ache a little bit more and gives a further understanding of God and His role in our hurting hearts.

Matthew 10:27 says, “What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.”

In our darkness He speaks to us. For a time, those are words only for the healing our own hearts need, and we hold them close, pondering them. But there comes a time when there is an additional purpose to those words. Others need to hear them spoken, from someone coming out the other side of the grief.

Psalm 118:17 – “I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD.”

While the circumstances of our story may not be caused by the Lord, His purposes and His healing are shared, as we tell our stories.

In the middle of the worst, we think we will die. We wonder if we remember how to breathe. In fact, we are sure the grief will cause our heart to cease beating. Thoughts that life is not worth living flood our mind. It’s too much effort.

But He is there working, ministering, loving–and these are the things we must recount when telling our story.

We don’t just tell the grief. We tell of the healing.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 –  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

What do you tell:

We do have to be considerate of our audience. Some may need to hear we’ve been through infertility or infant loss, but the more intimate details would set them on edge and in so doing, turn their ears off and their hearts away.

Others may need the details, because the details will validate their own struggles and give them something to relate to. Our details give them freedom to share when before now, they were alone in their situation.

Only tell those who are open to hearing it.

For those that don’t want to hear, don’t push it. Sometimes we have a tendency of, “well, this is my reality and this person needs to be faced with it.” But we will only succeed in ostracizing if we insist they listen.

What do you share:

Background: 

Who are you? What led you to the time when your grief occurred? What made you who you are and the person you were when you responded to your grief? What dreams led up to that point, and what dreams did you lose as a result? Who are the individuals also affected by the loss?

Share the main story:

What happened? How did it unfold? What were the emotions? What did you go through physically during and in the days afterwards? How were your family members affected, and how did they grieve differently than you? What did it do to you spiritually?

Share current struggles:

Where are you in the grief journey? What’s next for you and your loved ones? How do you want God to use this? What emotions still consume you? What will healing look like when it comes? What will the new normal be like for you?

Share the redemption that’s emerging, if you are that point:

How is God using this? How has He revealed Himself? What growth has occurred? What deeper spiritual insights have you had into who God is? Describe the new layers of surrender to Him.

Have you told your story yet?

Perhaps there has not been a freedom to do so. Perfect Joy is here to give you freedom to tell it.

You can tell it in the comments below for the world to read and become aware, or you can start by privately sharing in our forum, under the board set up for this very topic, “Telling Your Story.”  (The board is set up so as to take both long written stories as well as a video as posted to YouTube. Use the format best suited to your personality.)

This is your place. Tell us your story.

Original material by Melissa J Carswell, MA, BCCC, ©2012.  Edited by Holly M Besser. May not be used or re-printed without permission.  bsbp001p08-15-12

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