Story

Last night I went to a women’s event on leadership in the church. We started with a devotion about the woman who was healed of her continuous bleeding by touching Jesus’ cloak (Mark 5:25-34). In Bible times there was a real taboo about menstruation. Thankfully it’s not to the same extreme today, but it was pointed out to us last night that they are still called sanitary products. Yes, in our society women are allowed to be out and interacting with people all month long, but there remains this undertone that menstruation is unclean. And I suppose the question is, how do we break this taboo? From there our night continued with discussion around women and leadership, something that has historically been seen as taboo, and touched on how we can start to break down the taboos and stereotypes.

But I was thinking this morning about what other things we see as taboo that we should actually do something about. Why is it that we respond differently to someone saying “I have diabetes” versus someone saying “I have cancer” versus someone saying “I have an anxiety disorder”? What is it about mental health that can make us feel like there’s something ‘wrong’ with it, that it needs to be kept as a private matter?

What is someone who has a mental illness meant to do when it’s a big part of their story? Are they just scenes or chapters that need to ignored? How would things change if we saw the value in every single chapter of someone’s story?

If I told you my story
You would hear hope that wouldn’t let go
And if I told you my story
You would hear love that never gave up
And if I told you my story
You would hear life, but it wasn’t mine

If I told you my story
You would hear victory over the enemy
And if I told you my story
You would hear freedom that was won for me
And if I told you my story
You would hear life overcome the grave

~My Story, by Big Daddy Weave

God is in every single part of our own stories. Sometimes we will be aware of it. Sometimes we won’t be aware of it. Sometimes when we look back we will be able to see His presence. Sometimes pages of our story will forever remain a mystery to us why they happened. But God is still in every single part of our own stories. He’s in the good chapters, and He is in the bad chapters that we might rather forget. So why shouldn’t we tell our whole story?

Maybe my story might help someone else. Maybe it might help them see where God is in their own story. Maybe parts of my story that don’t make sense to me might say something to them. What if every part of my story is valuable, because God is in it and God is using it.