78 Reasons To Write Your Story

Photo: {ErinKphoto}, Creative Commons

78 Reasons To Write Your Story

I have been blessed to host 78 guest bloggers since April, 2010, and I hope to keep adding to the list. Why? Because I believe it’s important to share your story.

In fact, I believe God calls us to write. Twice in Scripture it says,

Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does (1 Chronicles 16:24 & Psalm 96:3).

I hope each and every quote will push you over the edge to where you finally have NO MORE EXCUSES but to write. Whether you write in the privacy of your own journal, an online blog, social media, eBook or book–you need to be writing now!

Going in order from April to December here are my favorite quotes from each guest blogger who shared his or her story.

Click on their name to be taken to their personal site and click on the (Link) to be directed to their guest blog on my site.

1. Vinnie Kinsella – “Unless you are able to buy a house and afford to live in it by yourself, you might as well wear a sign on you that says, ‘Not suitable for marriage.’” (Link)

2. Brittany Erbaugh – “Christ conquered. In our surrender to him we are able to conquer whether you’re single or married. Now that I’m married it’s trusting God more than my husband. Or if my husband and I want to have kids its trusting God to provide more when we have kids.” (Link)

3. Ashley Bloomfield – “He pulled out a gun and put it to my head and pushed me to the floor. I wanted to know where God was and why was He letting this happen to me?” (Link)

4. Rayni Peavy – “But, I have found that when I trust God and lean on Him, who is the only One truly in control, there is no room for anxiety. ” (Link)

5. Jenn Green – “I’m still pro life, and now that doesn’t mean that Satan didn’t tempt me when I first found out I was pregnant. That was the first way he tempted me—just to end it. None of my friends told me about abortion. I didn’t need them to.” (Link)

6. & 7. Bruce & Heather Moore – “Our story was in need of a rewrite, but not because it was a bad story. Quite the opposite. We were in a good story, but God wanted something more for us.” (Link)

8. & 9. Lisa & Kyle Bonenberger – “I think a person’s story and a couple’s story can make a difference in someone’s life. Sharing about the love of God through our story is a lost art.” (Link)

10. Shannon Roy– “Sometimes, I become wrapped up in securing my own future and controlling my own BIG plan. I worry that if I don’t make something of myself, than it may never happen, that if I don’t schedule myself silly that I may miss something. ” (Link)

11. Ashleigh Slater – “Motherhood has changed me in ways for which I wouldn’t have volunteered, but that have bettered me. And I’m finding that this story–and not the Hollywood one I was writing for myself – is just what I needed.” (Link)

12. Ed Cyzewski – “I have to live by faith, stumbling along with the uncertainty of my occupation, working to find new clients, pitching book proposals, and writing article pitches to magazine editors. Some months are great. Others feed my anxiety.” (Link)

13. Samantha Krieger – “Allowing the Lord to interrupt our lives on a daily basis might mean making a career change, ending a dating relationship, reconciling a broken friendship, sharing the gospel when it’s inconvenient, helping someone different than us, being a listening ear to a stranger, or speaking encouragement into the life of another.” (Link)

14. Lisa Whittle – “In the process of recognizing our holes and making the choice to become whole in every area of lack, I believe we will discover our whole story.” (Link)

15. Carla Boggs – “A victim remains silent. And every moment of silence that darkness gains strength…and a little more of me is lost. What I have learned in the last nearly five years is we must look our wound in the eye, call it what it is, stand up and shout out loud THIS IS MY STORY and then—this is the awesome part—turn to God and tell Him you need Him in ALL of your story.” (Link)

16. Clara Bastidas – “Inside I still feel like that 13 year old who never got picked as a dancing partner. God has been restoring a lot of things in me, and I know His works are greater than what I see in this earthly perspective. But my lack of faith in the fact that He will provide a (the right) husband for me makes me feel so confused. ” (Link)

17. Julianna Morlet – “Friendship isn’t passive and convenient, it is proactive and sought out because it is necessary! We were never meant to be independent and self-sufficient. You need them to get through this life and they need you.” (Link)

18. Andrea Marbach – “I don’t understand why God gives my friends their Prince Charming while nothing happens in my life. Other get married at 19 and don’t have plans for kids for like 8 years, while I could have a family soon.” (Link)

19. Sarah P – “I’m thirty-two. No one has ever asked me out, expressed interest in me. I’ve never held hands, let alone kissed.” (Link)

20. Daniel Darling – “Discipleship between friends should involve candor and honesty, but with large helpings of grace. In fact, I guarantee that your closest Christians friends will disappoint you. They will sin against you. They will act in ways that will shock and surprise you. But these moments are not moments to withdraw, but moments to engage your friendship more deeply.” (Link)

21. Rebekah Snyder – “I’m still becoming approachable. I think the reason I was a loner for so long is because, all my life, people have walked in and out of my story. ” (Link)

22. Arleen Spenceley – “It’s true. I am a 26-year-old virgin by choice.” (Link)

23. Lore Ferguson – “What I want to know before I marry you, more than anything else, is will you take a risk?” (Link)

24. Arlene Pellicane – “Be encouraged that the Lord is walking with you and writing a love story out of your life.” (Link)

25. Jennifer Kephart – “Sometimes, when we’re planning to get married, we fail to see past the hunky dory feelings and fail to plan past the wedding.” (Link)

26. Emily McFarlan Miller – “While Joel and I may not have talked much about marriage before he proposed, God and I had. And while I may not have known Joel’s exact plans for our relationship, I felt reasonably sure I knew what God’s plans for the relationship were. I felt He was calling me to marriage.” (Link)

27. Mike “Mikey” Esparza – “I thought Christian’s were nerds, goody two shoes and snobs. I just had no idea but I knew I wasn’t any of those things. I was tattooed and rough around the edges. I had no idea God planned to use all of that. As I started reading the bible, I started to become more excited. I was growing rapidly and repenting from a lot of sin. As a result, God was speaking to me and I was on fire. It was like riding a rollercoaster for a speed junkie.” (Link)

28. Wendy van Eyck– “I didn’t want this to be my survival story. My husband didn’t want it to be his. If we’d had a choice, we wouldn’t have chosen cancer to be part of our story. I desperately want my husband to survive cancer so that our story can continue, so that survival will only be one chapter not the whole tale.” (Link)

29. Sarah Francis Martin – “But seriously–the biggest lesson I learned from my 20′s: God doesn’t waste anything.” (Link)

30. Kimberly Davidson Campbell – “I thought if I could be involved enough, cool enough, and popular enough, pretty enough, stylish enough, smart enough, relevant enough–someone would give me my dream ministry position on staff at a church.” (Link)

31. Morgan MacGavin – “My heart absolutely aches when I look back at that girl, knowing how empty she felt inside, and for how long. Drinking and cutting were only temporary fixes. I found myself justifying sleeping with one man while dating another simply because neither one made me feel whole; but together, bits and pieces of me felt filled in.” (Link)

32. Allison Vesterfelt– “If you’re a 20-something, flailing around like I was, let me throw you a life jacket. It’s okay to fail. Failure is the only way we learn what works and doesn’t work, it’s the only way we grow up, become more mature. Without failure, we’re doomed to be the same person we’ve always been, with the same flaws and shortcomings–forever.” (Link)

33. Tracy Steel – “While I was busy chasing my dreams, God chased me. At the height of my perceived awesomeness, God intervened. Teaching God’s Word and serving those around me is more fulfilling than all the money and the corporate success I once longed for.” (Link)

34. Addie Zierman – “When I think of my late 20s, I think about the long hard work of healing.” (Link)

35. Monique Pearson – “Hundreds of my friends have been married, and that’s no exaggeration. So if they could find someone, why couldn’t I? More people got engaged and married. It was so overwhelming at times I almost walked away from God.” (Link)

37. Brenna Banes – “These last six years of my twenties have been a massive roller coaster. I used to joke that I lived a “boring Christian life” and at times I would give anything to have that back. It is through our trials we realize our strength and understand God’s meaning of true grace.” (Link)

38. Lindsay Blackburn – “I survived my 20s. In fact, I survived my 20s–dateless.” (Link)

39. Marie Osborne– “At the end of my 20s, I’ve started over and over and over. I’m still in the midst of building a new life, again. But now I know where happiness dwells. Everywhere my Lord is, which is… everywhere. And if I want a good attitude about my circumstances, I need to ask Him to continue to grow self-control in me, so I can choose the right attitude and leave the wrong one in my 20’s.” (Link)

40. Kristin Tennant – “I didn’t see that redemption play out in my life until my 30s, but it’s because I survived the regret of my 20s, trusting God’s love and goodness along the way, that I was open to God’s redemption when the time came.” (Link)

41. Marc Fisher – “When life seems empty and hope dead, and nothing is able to fill the void or still the pain, we have to look to the vision of the Lord sitting on the empty throne,high and lifted up, and yet very near the aching and void heart.” (Link)

42. Laura– “I began to feel as though the worst was over, as though I really had survived, as though it all wasn’t a horrible nightmare. I began to write, to share parts of my story with others. Life seemed a bit easier. I began to figure out who I really was now.” (Link)

43. Anonymous – “I did all that I could to hide the hurt of what happened to me. I walked through life as if in a dream or a daze, and put a permanent smile on my face so no one could see the truth, the shame. My father abused me as a teenager.” (Link)

44. Caris Adel – “I’m still not free to do whatever I want, and that chafes at me. But if I was honest with myself, I think if I had that complete freedom, I’d be lazy with it. Because without the lonely struggles of a decade, I wouldn’t be the analytical thinker and writer I am now.” (Link)

45. Tyler Braun– “I have a hard time moving forward in my life without a full sense of where God is leading. It’s not that He isn’t speaking or moving within my life, it’s just that I have a hard time listening and discerning well. We’re often taught to wait on the Lord’s guidance when making decisions, but what about the times when we’re not sure what His guidance is? What then?” (Link)

46. Catherine Kabinga – “Growing up, I was always the girl who sat at the back of the class too afraid to answer the questions for fear of what others would think of me. I was the one who always accompanied friends out for several dinners only for the next guy to flirt with them. It would be a lie if I didn’t say that I occasionally entertained thoughts of ‘what’s wrong with me?’” (Link)

47. Debra Weiss – “My life looks nothing like I thought it would in my 20s.” (Link)

48. Nicole Unice – “I was more of a ladder climber than a baby holder. I was more office, less kitchen. And because of that, young womanhood and young motherhood became a lesson in survival, a series of days and weeks and months where I fought a deep sense that I should be grateful to have “arrived,” and not feeling grateful at all.” (Link)

49. Ashley Ramps – “Not only that I thought that by now, by 29 I would be married, have a house, maybe talking about a family.. like I see so many of my friends doing…” (Link)

50. Tish – “As a young girl, I dreamed of the day that my very own Prince Charming would sweep me off my feet. I never once imagined that at age 29, I would still be single and dealing with the consequences of Herpes.” (Link)

51. James Prescott – “The worst suffering I had ever been through in my life had, perversely, been liberating.” (Link)

52. Alison Lublink – “30 [years old] isn’t some magic number by where you have everything the world tells that you should have.” (Link)

53. Lindsay Morelli– “Whether we feel our daily lives are written well or that we are constantly living in a gag reel, remember who is always before you. Today’s episode could be your favorite. If not, there is always tomorrow!” (Link)

54. Chine Mbubaegbu – “I’m standing at the altar, vowing to love my body, my constant friend and faithful partner. In sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, in joy as well as in sorrow. Forsaking all other body shapes, I promise to love my body unconditionally – through the weight gain and the weight loss, through the good hair days and the hat days, the wrinkles and the laughter lines. I promise to cherish and protect my body. And I promise to love it. Not in a shout-it-from-the-rooftops kind of way. Not in a Tom-Cruise-jumping-up-and-down-on-Oprah’s-sofa way. But I will love it all the same. Quietly, confidently, deeply, fully.” (Link)

55. Angela McNeil – “My weight pushed me to the point of plastic surgery. I thought liposuction was the only way I was going to get rid of this problem. God is the truth AND it is only God that can speak to me about my struggles with plastic surgery through an Abortion message.”(Link)

56. Leeann – “How could I be fearfully and wonderfully made when there was clearly so much wrong with my body?” (Link)

57. Sarah Miller– “I didn’t go halfway across the world to change the world–I went halfway across the world to be changed. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. Emotionally. I was changed, I was healed, I was set free. I never realized how many limitations I put on myself by hating my body and keeping that negative spirit inside of me.” (Link)

58. Lindsay Kathleen – “My scars are my battle wounds that I get to rejoice in because it means God is not through with me–and has a plan for me.” (Link)

59. Meredith Rachel Munro– “As a mental health therapist and fellow human being, I’m a person that highly values honesty. If I’m being honest–I have to say that I’m still struggling with these recent changes to my body as I embrace the next beautiful season of life. I’m still learning what it means to say,“I love my body”–and have to mean it, even if it looks different than how it used to when I was 18 or 21 or 26.I don’t have it all figured out.” (Link)

60. Kayla Johnson– “Out of the hundreds of women I’ve met there is not one who has perfect skin, hair, nails and has an hourglass shape with perfect proportions. Each woman is unique and beautiful. That’s when it finally clicked. I may not have a perfectly thin waist with zero body fat or cellulite, or be incredibly flexible, or have perfect skin. What I do have is beautiful hazel eyes, super soft hair and long toned legs–which I LOVE!” (Link)

61. Emily Wierenga – “I’m not sure why but I began to think sickly was pretty and I tried to become as emaciated as possible.” (Link)

62. Alice Sullivan– “Though I am still not where I want to be, I now at least know that health is a work in progress and I can control how I treat this gift of a healthy and able body that I’ve been given. Better yet, I stopped being embarrassed about my stretch marks.” (Link)

63. Songine’ Clarke– “I felt like my face didn’t fit the status quo. The fact that the Lord did not care about if I looked like Beyonce’, but how my heart was, meant a lot to me.” (Link)

64. Amber Dobecka – “I once was a: cheerleader, softball player, National Honor Society, top 5 percent of class, homecoming princess, voted most spirited, and the prom queen runner-up. My body became another event at which I had to excel.” (Link)

65. Melissa Thomas – “I hope prayerfully one day an amazing man will notice me not because of an awesome joke I make, the trendy clothes I wear–but because He truly sees my beauty being lived out in Jesus. ” (Link)

66. Sundi Jo– “I used food to build walls around my heart. For each wall that was built, the harder my heart became. I hated my very existence. I believed the lies that I wasn’t good enough. I was unlovable. If my father had abandoned me, everyone else would too.” (Link)

67. Aurora Vilchis– “You’ve been there, a bunch of gals get together and suddenly it becomes one big hate feast; one hates her thighs, another her ears, something too big, not tight enough, too small. I thought that I had to join in because I’m a girl.” (Link)

68. Jaimie Bowman – “Recently, a still, small voice whispered to me that I am beautiful–and it wasn’t my husband’s voice this time. It was from somewhere deep inside of me. I think I needed to hear it from other women–women who have battle scars like me. I’m also encouraged to tell other women that they are beautiful too, because no matter how beautiful I think they are, chances are that they don’t feel that way about themselves.” (Link)

69. Emily Maynard– “My unwillingness to see myself in photos, see myself portrayed as less than perfect, less than the all-together girl I wanted to show the world, was tied directly to shame. Shame kept me blind to my beauty.” (Link)

70. Marcia Ramsland – “Start telling yourself daily truths that will change your neuron pathways and move you toward a healthier perspective, such as: “I am easily satisfied.” “I enjoy being healthy and lean more than indulging in unhealthy foods.” These messages repeated daily can actually change over time the way you respond to temptation.” (Link)

71. Julie Caulder– “I don’t want to guard my heart. I want my heart to be exposed and open. I want to know what it means to experience happiness and joy with another person with God at the center. I want to know what it means to intimately submit my life to someone else and know that God designed me to do life with that man. Yet, the feeling I will end up alone looms as I face the reality of who I am and who I’m not.” (Link)

72. Casey Tygrett – “To date in the name of Jesus is to fully and radically embrace that with or without a significant other, you are already fully alive.” (Link)

73. Hannah Stovall – “I’m twenty-three years old with no boyfriends, dates, or breakups under my belt; and on my worst days, I feel like I’ve been rudely and spitefully deprived of a secret.” (Link)

74. Tracy Le – “A lot of my friends who are single find dating to be dreadful. And by “dreadful” I mean really dreadful. For some reason, I seem to be the lone wolf who welcomes such a potentially awkward social set up. Then again I strangely love job interviews so I suppose it comes to no surprise; there is a commonality between the two with it’s exchanging of questions and answers about oneself that I just really enjoy.” (Link)

75. Brenda Rogers – “My desire for marriage never changed. Yes, you read that correctly. Even after completely surrendering my future to God, truthfully and wholeheartedly, I still desired marriage. I asked Him to take the desire from me, but He didn’t, even though He could have, nor did He tell me (or not tell me) that I was called to a life of singleness. But as I found delight in Him, He did change the desires of my heart.” (Link)

76. Krista Back – “In every relationship I have ever had, I have always learned things that later I would never give back. So then, ultimately, walking away from dating or being afraid to date purely out of fear adds nothing to my life, and in fact might mean that I am choosing to walk away from an amazing man that God may just have planned as my future husband.” (Link)

77. Alexandrea J. Wilson– “The truth is, everybody’s not doing it. If you choose to surround yourself with the soundtrack that tells you that everyone is–when temptation comes, you may find yourself falling into it and wondering how it happened.” (Link)

78. Jenny LaBahn – “What if this holiday season, rather than complaining about being alone, single, lonely, etc. we chose to remember the reason for the season?” (Link)

Photo: Brandon Schaefer, Creative Commons