Updated: Feb 28, 2020
I believe that God gave each of us a story to be a testimony in order to help someone else. We have not been allowed to go through suffering without a purpose. It is for our own personal growth as well as the growth of others. I was a firm believer that if I live a good life that would be enough to be an example to others but I began to learn the healing power of sharing my story, firsthand. It had nothing to do with a perfect life but a perfecting life shared.
I admit this was not something that came easy to me as I never desired others to empathize with my pain yet I began to notice it helped me heal through some of the most difficult experiences when I shared my story. Initially, while suffering, I began to share with those close to me and their lack of understanding caused me more pain than the current suffering. Amazingly, while teaching Scrapbooking, I began sharing small pieces of my story in my own brand of Rae Of SonShine. It is my method of sharing a painful story and authentically demonstrating with joy, peace, and delight the goodness of Christ in the midst of my pain. This came about gradually as I taught others how to create "All About Me" albums that told their story. I learned that no one could tell my story better than me so I stepped from behind the camera and began to focus the camera on self in a self-loving manner. Doing so, even when I wasn't happy with my body (another story, another day) I found the beauty in me. Teaching this method of scrapbooking and journaling your story was the first step to helping others heal through their story. I too was healing in the process.
After many years of teaching and sharing, it was revealed to me that not everyone is going to understand your journey but there are many that do understand it. Those that understood were the ones that God had strategically placed in my life for me to share and even grow from.
Becoming an author came from sharing my story. I remember a friend saw a book in me before I did, as she continually encouraged me to tell my story of pain to purpose. Prayerfully, I worried who wanted to hear my story. God's response "tell it anyway." I admit I have not published the full story yet but my book As I Encourage You, I Encourage Myself! shares more than I ever imagined sharing.
As a public speaker, I transparently share my story as I have learned that there is someone out there that my story gives them hope. We never know who's listening or needs to hear our story.
I read in PsychologyToday, "Every time you tell your story and someone else who cares bears witness to it, you turn off the body’s stress responses, flipping off toxic stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine and flipping on relaxation responses that release healing hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, nitric oxide, and endorphins." Basically, there’s healing in your story for you, as well as others.
No matter what business you pursue, find a way to incorporate your beautiful story. God gave it to you for a purpose. Testimonies are meant to be spoken!
I encourage you to be obedient to God and wait for Him.
Never forget, As I Encourage You, I Encourage Myself!
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