I recently went to a woman’s night – you know the kind – where aching (probably calloused) feet relax in a bubbling foot spa, eyelashes are tinted, sore backs are massaged, giggling is heard and copious amounts of chocolate and desserts are consumed. It was a tired mother’s haven.
When the initial catch up was over, spot prizes were given out. Questions were asked in order to match up the recipient with each gift. There was the gift ‘for the woman who cannot live without lists’, ‘the woman who is always rushing’, and so on.
Finally, when the pile of prettily-wrapped parcels had dwindled, there was a pause. “This gift is for a woman who encourages others by sharing her story, her struggles.”
Everyone was silent until my friend Helen cast a sly smile. She began pointing at me and giggling. I accepted the gift, wondering what I would receive as I peeled back the packaging.
The little decorated block of wood really made me grin. The meaning for me went far beyond what had been intended. My story matters.
As writers we sometimes wonder why we do what we do. Are we insane, agonising over a single word choice, staying up all hours to edit one section, pouring out our pain for the sake of unknown others, staring at the page wondering how to impart what an imaginary person is feeling?
I think not. This particular night I was reminded by this sweet ‘coincidental’ gift, that my story matters. The label may have a different meaning to others, but as a fiction writer I look at that little block of wood and remember that what I am doing, matters. Somewhere, sometime, someone is going to be impacted by my story.
What if you are not a writer? The message is the same. Jesus used stories (parables) to impart meaning and hope to the world. Every one of us has a story, a testimony to share. You just never know what impact your story will have, who will be forever changed because you took the risk of sharing a part of yourself.
Do you need reminding? Let me tell you today – your story does matter.
I’d love to hear some of your stories – those little ‘coincidences’ that reminded you that your story matters, that your writing matters.