Introducing the Secret Story Series
It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom.
Galatians 5:13-14 (MSG)
I’m the editor of a blog that prides itself on helping women share their stories. I truly believe that sharing your story is not only one of the most brave things you can do to help heal others from similar wounds, but it is healing for yourself.
I’ve experienced it myself. I started as a guest writer here.
So why did I slowly stop feeling confident enough to share?
I listened to people around me in real-life (despite literally making a video 4 years ago about how listening to God over people is the way to go). I took in the criticism deeply. I thought I was whining and complaining too much in my writing, because my life is “great” in comparison to so many others.
And, as a Christian, other Christians would tell me I wasn’t being Christian enough, that I was using the Word of God wrong, send me emails with a scripture and a question mark and say, “what about this, Maggie? Huh?”
I knew those people were just being incorrect holier-than-thou jerks, but I couldn’t help feeling like I failed God.
So I wouldn’t write. Or sometimes I would, but I couldn’t hit publish.
Because again, a little voice would creep in and say, “What if someone says something hurtful? What if they don’t understand? What if publishing this only makes me feel worse?”
In 2016, I wrote about the fear of vulnerability. It was almost like I was a lightning rod for negative energy after I wrote it. I couldn’t stay true to my words. I still cannot write about 2016. It was a painful year.
I slowly stopped sharing as much, to protect myself and my family.
But I wondered, how can I be an encourager if I am just sitting back, clapping everyone else on, and not also sharing? I can’t. I can’t. It feels wrong after a while.
I am afraid I won’t be inspiring enough. I am afraid that I’ve got it all wrong – that everyone else’s point of view is more right, and my story doesn’t matter.
I think the whole problem is this: I don’t want to be misunderstood. And isn’t that what we all truly want? To be understood? Accepted?
And if I’ve done my job as an effective writer, I shouldn’t be misunderstood. Everyone should get it.
But, they don’t. That’s just the truth I’ve slowly had to accept. I’m not writing a technical paper medical paper here. I’m writing devotionals. My journey. I’m writing about my family.
And people will have their own projections and judgements…like I am not guilty of the same thing as a reader?
So how do I deal with this reality?
I have to remember that the people I’m potentially helping are more important than anyone who doesn’t understand.
While working through this stuff, I thought…maybe I’m not alone in my fear.
My #1 priority here is that everyone feels safe.
If you’re given the gift of writing, if you feel called to share, to bravely spill your guts on the page (because it is an act of bravery, to ignore the inner voice, to ignore the voice of critics, to be truly vulnerable) you no longer have to be afraid of anything. If you’re not ready to post a bio or picture with your story, as part of the 2018 10th anniversary of Devotional Diva, I’m opening up anonymous submissions.
This series will be called the Secret Stories Series.
All of the submission processes will the same except for the bio and photo and I will state in the editor’s note that the submission is a part of the series. See the Become a Diva page for more information.
I hope that this new series will be a blessing to anyone feeling timid like me.