out in the open

146/366 - Friday afternoon.  Caleb in a stolen sunhat (mine).

None of us has to tell our story out loud.  I just know that when we do, we offer something to the world:  the knowledge that tragedy and hardship come to all kinds of people, not just the ones who deserve it; the encouragement that we are stronger than we knew; the hope that this sadness can be redeemed into something life-giving for others; the fellowship of suffering.  

When we say our stories out loud, we look shame in the face and dare it to try that again.  Shame works in darkness, a wormtongue who whispers and withers us, but when we say our stories out loud, we bring them into the open and shame cannot live there. 

Thank you dear friends, for the grace you show; for allowing me to bring my story out of the shadows and say dark words in the open air.  Your friendship gives courage.

And thank you, those of you who tell me your own dark stories.  Your bravery makes me braver.  Your wisdom makes me wiser.  You are a gift.

much love.