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What’s Your Story?

We all have a story to tell. Have you thought about yours? It might motivate someone. It might inspire others to do great things. Don't hold back... tell your story!

“I noticed a disheveled looking man across the street, standing with his bicycle. He was holding something in his hands, and he was yelling nonsensical stuff at nothing in particular. I did what I always do when confronted with situations like this… I kept on walking past, avoiding eye contact.

Just as I passed him, it happened. I heard POP – POP POP – POP.

My heart started racing. I turned around, and he continued to yell stuff as he pointed a gun in my direction. A few more pops.

I felt sick, and then I realized it was a cap gun.”

That is just one of my stories….

I’ve been thinking about stories lately. This isn’t because I’ve been working on a book for NaNoWriMo, but it’s because I’ve become acutely aware of the stories that are woven into the very fabric of our lives.

A couple weeks ago I attended the fifth and final FIERCE Awards. The FIERCE Awards recognize Albertans who are nominated for one of these categories:

Fearless, Inspirational, Empower, Resilient, Champion, (who Elevates others).

Throughout the event, I was overwhelmed by the stories I heard… stories of everyday people, who have come up against extraordinary circumstances and unimaginable obstacles. However, they have turned their challenges into inspiration and used their circumstances to breathe change into the world. These are the stories of people who live in my community, who make an impact locally, nationally, and globally. These people are my neighbours. They have a remarkable story to tell and they are telling it.

The thing is, we all have a story to tell. Even though that story may be buried in our past, we make the decision whether we will change, adapt, and learn from it. However, do we leave that story buried or do we take that story and share it? Our stories can make a difference in someone’s life. Our stories can shake worlds and elicit change.

Our stories can make a difference in someone's life. Stories can shake worlds and elicit change. Click To Tweet

Someone feeling helpless can gain hope. Someone struggling can feel understood. Someone broken can be healed. When we share our stories something beautiful happens… those stories can change lives.

We all have a story to tell. Have you thought about yours? It might motivate someone. It might inspire others to do great things. Don't hold back... tell your story!

The story I told you involved a homeless man who most likely either struggled with addiction or had a mental illness. For the longest time, I couldn’t go downtown, and I couldn’t meet up with a homeless individual without great anxiety. However, a couple years later, my heart hurts for the homeless in our community, and now I do what I can to help. Whether it’s collecting winter clothing, donating a box of handwarmers to a homeless shelter, or donating money to charities in our city.

Not too long ago I shared my story about how the food bank helped me in a time of need. I’ve taken that story in my life and made it a mission to help others who are struggling with hunger.

We all have a story. I find it especially curious that as I read my Bible I am struck by the stories there. The blind who see, the paralyzed who walk, and the dead who live again. These are the stories that are woven into my faith and without them, I would be lost.

There are all sorts of stories in our lives. It’s up to us whether we use those stories to impact others or if we bury it, scribbling “The End” on something that has so much potential.

What is your story, my friend? What is the story that YOU need to tell?

What is your story? What is the story YOU need to tell? Click To Tweet


Did you like this post? I invite you to pin it!

We all have a story to tell. Have you thought about yours? It might motivate someone. It might inspire others to do great things. Don't hold back... tell your story!

*Excerpt at the beginning of this post was originally published HERE on The Deliberate Mom on October 17, 2012. *

Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Bly
Author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool, creator of The Deliberate Mom, Deliberate Homeschooling and regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Jennifer writes about parenting, her faith, and life with her husband and two girls. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care.

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47 thoughts on “What’s Your Story?

  • Amanda @ Growing Up Madison

    I so agree with you on this. We all have a story and each of our story can change someone’s life. There is someone out there just waiting to hear your story so they can relate and work on themselves as well. When we think that we’ve had it bad or no-one has had it as bad as we did, there’s always someone out there who has. Stories can change the world but sometimes they are also hard to share. :)

  • Ceil

    Hi Jennifer! As you know, I love personal stories. For me, they are the most impactful and meaningful. You are so right that they can change someone’s life. You may never know it, but it just might. Why not make that leap to share? What will you lose?

    You are a daring person Jennifer. Never lose that spirit!
    Blessings my friend,

  • Jessica Dimas

    Love this. Sometimes it’s easy to think that no one would want to hear our stories, or that they’re too boring or too embarrassing or too unforgivable, but sharing them really does help anyone who reads them, even if it doesn’t relate to them, because we always gain by hearing and learning what someone else went through.

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

      We have so many stories and you’re right, often we dismiss them.

      I just read your day in the life post and just that alone is a story of you trying to re-establish a routine with your children. You sharing that can inspire someone else to approach their day in a different way or re-evaluate their routine.

      We don’t need something huge or dramatic for our stories to have value because everything in our lives is important… everything.

      Thanks for visiting my friend!

  • Jaime Buckley

    This is my favorite article. Hands down.

    You know I’m all about stories Jennifer…it’s what I do, but can I state it for the record, on YOUR blog, that Wanted Hero is a culmination of my life stories rolled into a fantasy series.

    Oh, I’ve never fought dragons or done magic…but my life has been terrifying and magical. So the tests and trials and challenges that I have faced, form the smallest when I was a child to what I’m experiencing now, are all included in Chronicles of a Hero, Hobin Luckyfeller’s Fieldguides and even my NaNoWriMo project, Underlings…and there will be more.

    What I would add, with al my heart and soul, to this lovely article is: YOU MUST TELL YOUR STORY!!

    Why? Because the most remarkable thing i have ever perosnally witnessed in telling a story has been a powerful two-sided coin:

    #1) YOU PROVIDE COURAGE AND PERMISSION in your stories, which helps others to tell theirs. You open a door, so other people can rise to a greater potential. I am watching YOU do this, right now Jennifer, in hearing your fears or hesitations of writing a book and yet you match and exceed those boundaries.

    #2) YOU PROVIDE HEALING in your stories. More than anything else I have watched my fantasy novels trigger something in others, allowing walls to fall and healing to take place. It’s not something that always happens, nor does it happen frequently (that I know of)…it’s simply the most astounding and dramatic effect, and readers email me about them.


    Heck…this has me so inspired, I’m wondering if you would be interested in a gift to you and your readers, Jennifer? I’d love to provide a coupon for a free copy of Demoni Vankil to your readers. It’s a book more for older teens, but I give it to parents…as it’s a mystery/fantasy/love story. Those who are married appreciate it the most.

    I’d like to show you the story i have in my heart for my wife. For my kids.

    …through my world.

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

      Story writing and story sharing can be such a healing experience.

      I love that you’ve shared this perspective of story telling Jaime. I’m encountering it right now… working through challenges, thoughts, and fears.

      Your comments provide an added depth to my blog.

      Thank you for taking the time to share.

      • Jaime Buckley

        Funny thing is Jennifer, I can’t share anything unless there’s depth established to build off of, so…right back at you little sister. Love your blog. =)

        I try to keep my nose clear of some of your posts, only because my personality might shock or scare some of your more tender-hearted visitors/patrons…and I couldn’t bear the thought of offending.

        …even though I’d blame it on Chuck and run.

        (I was nevvvvver here….)

        • Jaime Buckley


          I left you a NaNoWriMo message to hopefully help you deal with your brick wall. I carry a heavy pick in my back pocket to get through those trying times….

          Check it out =)

          30K words. I’m so impressed!
          Keeeep going.

          Remember, I believe in you, even if no one else does.
          (BwAHAHAHA! That sounded so comical–you have SUCH the fan club!!)

  • Ana Lynn

    You are so right, we all have a story that needs to be heard. There is someone out there who just might get inspired by it, or gain hope when they feel all hope is gone. Sometimes, we get caught up in the trap of thinking our story doesn’t deserve to be shared, that it’s nothing special, but I’d like to think that each story, no matter how big, small, or insignificant it may seem has a chance of giving comfort to someone.

  • Tamara

    It’s beautiful that you were able to grow from your experience, and to give.
    I have many stories. I’ve been fleshing them out lately and wondering how to share certain ones.. or all the ones!

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

      Our stories have such an incredible impact and I can think of at least have a dozen stories that you’ve shared that have taken my breath away.

      Plus our stories don’t even have to be dramatic, sensational, or miraculous to inspire others. Our stores can help without there being neon signs attached to them.

      Thanks for your thoughtful words Tamara.

  • Mandie Sanders

    Oh my gosh, I would have been so scared if that had happened to me!

    But thank you for this post. Often times I start thinking that telling MY stories on my blog is selfish. I should be researching and coming up with ways to help people, not talking about myself.

    But truthfully, when we share our own stories, it can the best way to help someone else. Especially if it helps them to feel connected and less alone. :)

    Oh, and AWESOME job on the book! You’re sailing past all of us, although I did have a bit of a surge the other night.

    Speaking of stories, have you been totally surprised by your novel yet? My characters seem to have minds of their own. I’m writing a completely different story than the one I first intended to. Basically, I’m just writing the story I want to read, but I’m having fun!

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

      I think sharing our stories isn’t selfish at all… they’re a gift! You have a story to tell and you’re the best expert at sharing it.

      Thanks for the encouragement on the novel. It’s been a crazy journey so far! My characters have surprised me and elements of the story have stunned me as well. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the process; I am too, as long as I don’t think about what happens when it’s done… the thought of that just stresses me out!

    • Jaime Buckley

      But that’s the KEY to complete your projects, Mandie!

      Write what you’d love to read.

      If your personal passion isn’t in it–if you don’t cry and use up a box of tissues when writing, your readers won’t feel it.

      Not….like I ever, you know…cry when I write….

  • Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    And this is why we blog, right? Because God has given us a desire to share our stories with others so that He might be glorified and that others might be blessed when we open up our hearts to them. I love the stories in Scripture because while they are the heroes of the faith (most of the time), they were human just like us. Humans with weaknesses that God used for His purposes simply because they trusted in Him. May we keep trusting Him by sharing our stories. Thank you for the reminder that even the little things can have great impact, Jennifer!

  • Debbie

    Hi Jennifer, if I had had an experience like you had (with the pop gun) I would probably never have left the house again!

    I have never really thought about the story I may have to tell the world. My life is pretty unremarkable, but I am fortunate that I have my health, I have my family and I have enough of everything (food on the table, a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in).

    Recently BBC Radio One held their annual Teen Awards, which I listened to on the radio. It’s all about acknowledging and highlighting inspirational teenagers; teenagers that fight, back and rise above adversity. It was very humbling to listen to. Gave me goose bumps. Made me smile. And bought a tear to my eye, all at the same time.

    Each and every one of those teenagers had a story to tell and I was honoured to be able to hear them.

  • Kelli B

    Oh my goodness, Jennifer, this is such a great post! I’ve heard sermons lately on telling your story and I so so agree. God really uses them in others lives, no matter how big or small. Thank you for sharing yours with us! I still remember the first day I read yours.

    And sorry I’ve been MIA! Life, moving, new job = me not being a good blogger :-p

    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

      God calls us to tell stories; whether it be our stories or the scriptures he’s shared with us.

      I understand about being MIA – I’ve felt like I’ve been a “bad” blogging friend lately. Between NaNoWriMo, homeschooling stuff, and just life alone… it’s hard to stay on task when it comes to blogging.

  • Topaz

    Oh, my goodness. I would have been able to feel my heart pounding. What a scary moment and very real fear. It is such a blessing how you have turned it around and done beautiful things.

    Our stories can be powerful to heal. I think I forget that sometimes. Thank you for reminding me of that. I shared one of my stories on my blog…about the car accident…before I actually had any readers. Does that count? Ha ha.

  • Kristen

    I’m so in awe of all of you writing this month. I joined as well but this is not a good time for me to start writing. Good luck and continued success…cant wait to hear about peter piper picking a pepper…or whatever your characters names are!!!

  • Lysa

    If someone had shot a pop gun at me I probably would have died from a heart attack. I suffer from severe anxiety and I guarantee you it would have taken an entire psychiatric team to ever leave the house again after something like that!

    I have a story to tell but have been so afraid to put it into words despite everyone around me encouraging me to do so. I think it will be the final step I truly need to heal but yet I am afraid of the outcome almost fourteen years later. However, this post made me realize how it just might help someone else in my situation…I will pray on it and we’ll see if it is meant to be. Now that I think of it I have a few stories I should share…

    I hope your novel writng is coming along easily and that you are making a lot of progress!


    • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

      I did have an entire psychiatric team assisting me. It was an unbelievable trial… but one that I have grown from.

      Our stories really can help other people. You’ll know when it’s the right time to share your stories.

      Thanks for your kind and thoughtful comment.

  • Mrs. AOK

    I could not agree more, we all have stories to share. Sometimes, sharing those stories can be medicine for our souls, and sometimes they can be healing to others. I think, lately, I’ve been sharing more of me on my blog. I have tons of stories to share, some already written, suspended by my own worries….
    I love that you are giving back :)

  • Katie | The Surly Housewife

    This reminds me of an Oprah segment from many years ago. She gave an audience member a produced piece on their life. Most people would say “Can’t I just have a makeover?” thinking they didn’t have anything to share. But like you said, we all have a story! It’s worth sharing. Sometimes it is painful and hard to share, but other times it is filled with joy and has a wonderful impact on our life. Wonderful post. Well done my friend :)

  • Rebecca

    That run-in was so scary and it’s incredible how far you’ve come. I would’ve been traumatized for a long time if that happened to me. I definitely feel that sharing our stories can inspire others because we are all different fabrics from the same cloth. It’s tough to share, I know for me, it’s really tough. But I also know it has the power to heal ourselves and so many others. You have a beautiful soul Jennifer!

  • Alison B

    Sharing stories can be such a powerful thing. At times when I judge strangers too quickly I often wonder to myself what their story is, who they go home to, who loves them, we are all the same really.

  • Rach D

    What a beautiful & inspiring post. It’s so funny I should read this today…God has been challenging me to speak up & speak out on certain aspects of my life. Sharing my story to inspire others :)
    Thanks so much for sharing this post with us at Inspired By Me Mondays. I hope you come back to link up again this week! Rachael @ Diamonds in the Rough

  • Katie Westenberg

    I love this, Jennifer. I fully believe in the power of our stories to breakdown barriers, to lay foundations, to bring Truth and shine light. It takes courage to spill those authentic and vulnerable parts of ourselves but it’s the humanity in those parts that connect like nothing else. It’s so very real and simple and yet hard at the same time. Thank you for the encouragement. I’ll keep sharing my story right along with you!