A friend posted a meme on Facebook this morning that said: “Your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.”
In Stephen King’s excellent book On Writing, he asks the question, “What story are you afraid to tell?” That story, King asserts, is the one you need to write.
Often, the scariest thing to talk about – or to write about – is that place at which we have been hurt the most deeply. And yet, it is when we are transparent about the things that frighten or hurt us that we connect most effectively with others.
An important component of good writing is empathy: as a writer, I want my readers feel like “She understands! She knows how I feel. She’s ‘been there,’ too!” Transparency about my struggles, fears, hurts, aspirations, joys…transparency about life enables me to make that connection.
Sure, honesty is scary business. If I tell you how totally zombie I went after the birth of my twins, or how crazy depressed I got when I learned my lover had been unfaithful, or how I danced down the aisle at Walmart, all screaming-Hallelujah! happy, when I heard the good news that a dear friend’s cancer was in remission, well, you just might think I’m a nut job.
You’d be right. I am a nut job.
But here is what I have learned over 50-something years of living: We are ALL nut jobs. And every single one of us needs to be assured that “I am not alone.”
What scares you? The thought that someone might think you’re ridiculous?
Be brave. Tell the truth.
Telling the truth enables you to be a blessing to others and to be blessed in return.