Since I was young, I have strongly disliked public restrooms (especially on road trips). I’m no diva….I just prefer clean bathrooms (and I have a very strong gag reflex). So, on such family trips, we had a routine. I would have my sister go in first, assess the bathroom situation, then let me know if it was safe to enter. (Weird confession, I know…but I promise I’m going somewhere with this).
There was a comfort in knowing, whatever I was about to walk through, someone else had already been there and survived .
I grew up during a time and in a culture where no one talked about what they were going through . All struggles were hush hush. Even if you made it through and were now on the other side….it was still a secret.
But I believe that God desires something different from us. The Psalmist tells us “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” Another translation states, “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.”
God wants us to tell our story (both the good and even some of the bad leading up to the good). This doesn’t mean we should air our dirty laundry for all the world to see. That would be pointless. But I do think we should be open to sharing our story with someone who needs to hear it.
A friend of mine who has been struggling (and is still struggling) with a particularly painful situation recently told me, ‘When I share my story with someone, nine out of ten times, the floodgates open and that person will begin to open up about their struggles too.”
Pastor Craig Groeschel says it this way, “We might impress people with our strengths, but we connect with people through our weaknesses.”
So as God prompts you, share your story. Brag. Not on yourself but on the goodness and faithfulness of our God who has delivered you through some tough times. It may help someone feel less alone or give someone the courage to continue their journey.
So whether it be a dirty public bathroom warning (like my sister was kind enough to give me) or simply sharing your own life experience, if it will help someone, share your story.