Everyone has a story.
You know what I’m talking about. That moment.
The one that took you from who you were to who you are now.
When we face something that rocks everything that we are it can be hard to form the words to express what our hearts yearn to share.
Maybe it was a bad breakup that left your heart aching and confused. Or infertility. Or a medical challenge that was so scary, overwhelming and all you could do was barely climb through.
There are disappointments, and deaths, and dreams crushed that force us to walk a different trail then we mapped for ourselves.
But what if each of us are not really all that different from each other after all.
What if through our stories, we find what our heart longs for — connection.
An Opportunity to Face Vulnerability.
I was at a small and intimate conference sitting among a group of new friends when a question was raised. “If you could go back to any moment of your life knowing what you know now and be able to change something, would you go?”
I pondered and thought back to those stories. These ones just aching to be told. A few from the group replied no, they wouldn’t be who they are without that difficult but beautiful path.
What would your answer be?
My answer, came quietly after a long moment of hesitation. “I would.”
Now the group wanted to know, where would I go. My precise reply caught them off guard, “To January 1, 2015.”
Those answers were easy for me. Inside my heart there was no questioning and no seconding guessing. If I could change something from my past even knowing that the ripple would change everything about my today and the years between it would still be worth giving up everything.
My newly found, but genuine friends pushed, “Well now we have to know more details.” They wanted the why behind such a specific and intentional reply.
But could I be vulnerable enough to share. My story that has gone untold. The one that unravels me. That still hurts my soul.
I hesitated for a moment. And with what felt like a whisper I started my story…
Sharing My Heart’s Story.
“I would go to January 1, 2015 because it’s the first day of a brand-new year. An opportunity for new possibilities.”
It’s also before a tragedy. And after some big moments, too.
My fifth and last son would be almost two months old. No more pregnancy and labor to go through–yes! To a time that looked just like this…
By this point we were starting to feel comfortable and okay with the recent Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis for our 6-year-old son. We had overcome the learning process and the underlying fear that accompanied his new challenge.
It also gave me time. Time to just soak in every second, every moment, and remember everything about this time in my life. A time that was crushed, stomped on, and thrown in the trash just a few weeks later.
The day when everything changed.
When I was ripped from everything that I was and my path of relative comfort and ease. And tossed onto a road of hot coals and sharp spikes. That would rip me apart with every step I took.
I continued, even softer now, “It was before I had a son who died.”
The tears flowed freely then. There was no holding back the ache from a story that my heart needed to share.
The Healing of Sharing.
The story started to spill from my lips, I couldn’t seem to stop the healing words from being spoken.
There was an accident. It happened so fast. He was 2. The state wanted someone to blame, they pushed to find fault.
I was the one that found him. The shock, and fear, and sadness, and regret and blame, and grief… it all engulfed me.
My mind wandered as I relived the questions. All those painful questions and thoughts: It wasn’t real. He would be fine. He couldn’t possibly be gone. How could this have happened. Why him. Why me. Why us. Why now. Why this way. Why. Why. WHY.
I am not a mom of 4 boys. I have 5 sons. 5 perfect and amazing and rowdy boys. But it’s just easier to not have to explain. I have 4 boys. 4. With a forever gap marking his spot. 11, 9, 7, 3. Next year it will be 12, 10, 8, 4. My pattern shattered.
I had built up a wall, it was a story too hard to share, except with those I most intimately knew cared about me. They won’t understand, I reasoned. They’ll just cast a stone and turn their backs on me. But as the wall crumbled and my story unfolded, the result was more beautiful than I could have expected.
The Stories They Share.
Their stories are different. They are unique, and hard, but beautiful and raw.
Facing difficult marriages, divorce, their own losses, hardships from childhood, struggles with self doubt, loneliness, bankruptcy. So many stories. So many trials.
When the stories are finished, the calm begins. Our hearts are the same. We are knit together. Bonded like we otherwise never would have been.
There is healing there. In that moment, in that place. Where your vulnerability opens you up to discover that we are each unique, but really the same.
Our hearts sing the same song. Of longing, of wanting, of hurt, and ultimately of growth.
And we discover, the beauty of what is now can only be seen through the lens of all the hurt that was then.
I still have pieces of this stories to share, but my heart isn’t ready to share more publicly yet. When the time is right, the words will come.
I leave this here in your hands, with the hope that this piece can nurture your soil and help you find healing right alongside me.
I encourage you to be raw and share, it opens up room in your heart for something new: Hope. Healing. Love.