I'm reading a friend's book called Beyond the Scars. It isn't my typical book but after reading a blurb she posted on Facebook, I knew I had to buy it.
I've known Elaine for many years. Oh, we've never met in person, almost, but our lives seem to criss-cross and so we remain email/Facebook/Blogger friends. One time she offered to call me when I was having a pretty low day. I turned her down. I was too afraid to share how I felt with a pastor's wife. I was afraid she'd tell me what someone else told me--I lacked faith to get through my battle.
Today I read Chapter 11. Making an Apology to Suffering. She writes about how she wanted to help someone who was suffering but the woman kept her at arm's length. (Kind of how I did to her.) But when she went through her own season of pain, she understood her friend better. She also said she thought she knew God before her cancer. She was wrong there too.
So was I. I figured I was a good Christian--attended church, tithed, helped others. You know the list. But when my time to suffer arrived, I fell apart. I remember the moment I finally got mad at God. It wasn't a pretty day.
So why am I writing this particular post? Because Elaine's words made me understand my life in a new way. Because she took the time in her darkest days to pour on paper what she learned about her suffering and God's love through it.
We don't always want to share the hard facts. The ugly secrets kept behind closed doors. The deep emotions that might chase others away. It's too risky.
But is there value?
I applaud writers who write from their guts. I applaud writers who aren't afraid to reveal their humanity and vulnerability so someone else can benefit.
Today I challenge you as a writer, or as a friend or neighbor, not to be afraid to share your truth, your trials, your something like Elaine did.
You just might change a life.