“You can’t help but tell your story.” H says that all the time, and I have grown to agree with the sentiment. No matter who you are, your story is going to show through. You’ve seen it in others, I’m sure. Sometimes, you can tell a person’s story, even when they’re sure they’ve hidden it from you. The things that matter to us and that shape us and that live deep inside of us — our passions — are always there. Often, their DNA shows up like a halo of light, even though we might be trying to block it from getting through. Still, it shines.
When I started blogging, I was quite confident I would never write about faith. I didn’t want to put my foot in my mouth and offend someone. I wanted to keep my story about God and me under wraps, and not force it on anyone else. I didn’t want anyone to think I was being presumptuous, by writing about faith, especially when I knew there would be people reading who didn’t even know me. I didn’t want to offend, but I also didn’t want to be pigeon-holed.
I didn’t want to be lumped in with people who may live out their faith in ways I find hard to accept or that don’t reflect my relationship with God. So, I thought the best way out of all of that would simply be to just not talk about it at all.
But, more than anything, my faith in God is bedrock for me. It’s my primary identity in this world. No matter what I write about, my faith in God is always in there somewhere, because it’s always in me. Even when I’m not writing specifically about faith.
So, ever so slowly, faith started showing up on my blog. I don’t remember the first post that said something about faith — it wasn’t a big, bold statement, or a manifesto or anything — and I remember being terrified to publish it. But, publish it, I did, and lightning didn’t strike. There wasn’t even a hiccup. And do you know why I think that was? I think it was because, you can’t help but tell your story. So, even though I wasn’t writing about faith, I think, maybe, my faith came through a little bit and, when I finally wrote about it — out in the open — no one was surprised. In fact, the people reading probably yawned and said something like, “I wonder if I turned off the iron?”
Your story is in there. It shows up in you, and it shines through you. It may not be faith. It doesn’t have to be. But, it’s something. Of course, there is so much to consider when we talk about sharing our story. Your story intersects with someone else’s story and there are boundaries to consider, there is respect to be paid, and honor to be lifted up in all things. We can only tell our parts of the story, right? We don’t get to tell a story someone else is living and writing and growing — not without their permission.
But, we can tell ours. As we find our way, and as the light shines on our pathway. We can gently push the boundaries and find out where it gives, and we can hold back, too, to keep ourselves safe. We can let the light shine.
This week, I’m introducing you to Cultures and Cuisines. It’s not even live, yet, and it’s already beautiful!
Some questions for you: What is your bedrock? How do you identify yourself? Do you think you’re writing your story when you blog? Does it matter? Do you think there’s a difference between story and niche? How so?