How To Talk About the Hard Parts of Your Story
We all have difficult chapters in our becoming stories—whether we’ve walked through a difficult breakup; battled addiction; survived abuse; struggled with depression; received the doctor’s report we never dreamed we’d ever hear; lost a loved one… the list goes on. We all walk through painful moments in our stories… the question is, can we ever really talk about them? Can we ever share the hard parts of our stories, and if we do, what good would sharing them do?
I remember having a pretty difficult conversation with my family, my tribe, sharing a hard season in my story with them. Was looking into the eyes of those I love and trust the most and sharing something painful with them easy? Not by any means. It was one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever navigated. But it was also one of the most healing conversations I’ve ever experienced.
You see, in sharing the hard parts of my story, I found freedom. I experienced healing. I started to fight to choose to be her again. I found myself. When we carry the heavy, hard stuff alone, we drown in it. God never designed us to travel this journey solo; He designed us to do life together… even in the hardest-moments-of-your-life chapters…
Here’s what I also know to be true: who you share the hard parts of your story with matters greatly. When you share your story, you’re entrusting the gift of who you are with someone else. Some chapters are meant for only a trusted few; others are meant to scream from the rooftops to the entire world. Armed with wisdom, discernment, and God’s direction, you can pinpoint what chapters are best for your own healing and protection to be shared with a trusted few, and which chapters are for all to see, learn from, and celebrate.
So, how did I navigate having that tough yet freeing conversation with my tribe?
First, I allowed myself to feel the toughness of that chapter. I felt the pain, the emotion, the grief. I cried. I prayed. And after I dried my tears, I picked up my pen and journaled. I wrote my thoughts until I couldn’t write anymore. In allowing myself to feel the emotions of that chapter and then spill my thoughts on paper, I gave myself an incredible gift—the gift of being. I allowed myself to process, cry, and step back to see what happened in that season.
Then, I picked up the phone and invited my family into my chapter. And you know what? They listened. They prayed with me. They loved me. The hard stuff didn’t make them run full force in the opposite direction. They stayed. And they helped me continue to process and heal… they reminded me of who I am and who I’m becoming… and that I have the power to choose to be her.
Talking about the hard parts of your story is… hard. It’s not easy. But warrior friend, when you do share the hard parts of your story with those you trust, you’ll discover sweet freedom and the beautiful opportunity to take a step forward into the next chapter.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit. Psalm 147:3-5
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19
Author: Emily B. Cummins
Emily Cummins is a University of Florida & College of Central Florida grad who is passionate about partnering with people to become who they were made to be. Emily is the Online Campus Pastor at Church of Hope in Ocala, Florida. She’s passionate about storytelling, good cups of coffee, and jamming to country music. And most importantly, she’s passionately pursuing becoming the woman God made her to be.