Last night I came across a woman’s story. She was sharing about some struggles she’s currently facing and what she’s doing to find joy, even in the midst of walking through hardships. And for whatever reason, her words were like rain after a long drought I didn’t even know had settled on my heart. I found myself nodding in agreement, affirming my own sometimes insecure thoughts, and immediately I felt a kinship with a woman I’ve met only in passing.

But stories, good stories that matter, aren’t just ones we read online or in books. Some of the best stories are the ones told in coffee shops and around breakfast tables, outside under trees or while sharing desserts after midnight. They’re told late at night driving home in the dark accompanied by tears or early in the morning over tea, when the earth is just beginning to stir.

They’re whispered through sadness and bellowed through laughter. They encourage and give wisdom, offer support and love.

And more than anything? Stories let us know that we are not alone.

They remind us that we are all humans who make mistakes, who have fears and doubts and dreams. And our own stories, once told, let others know it’s okay to be themselves.

Our stories are a gift. God-given. God-breathed. In a way, they are sacred.

They remind us of the greater story we are all apart of, one that’s been woven together since the beginning of time and continues on through us and our children, long after we’re gone.

And I wonder: How many of us are sharing our stories with others? Often I hear people say they just don’t think they have a story worth telling, to which I reply—that’s simply not true.

We all have a story to share. And it may just be the one that matters most to those who hear it.

Your eyes saw my unformed body;

all the days ordained for me were written in your book

before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16

Who could you encourage today by sharing a piece of your story?