Monday, September 28, 2015

Her Story

She walked in the other night, a breath of fresh air. Five-foot-nothing with a couple inches added on with her stylish heels. Cute outfit, gorgeous hair, twinkling eyes, and an infectious smile.

I was intimidated.

It had been a long day at the new job and I was still finding my way, wading through paperwork, trying to make friends, and hoping I was where I was supposed to be, literally and philosophically! Despite my excitement about the new job, there was still fear and hesitation...and a nagging doubt that I would be able to handle it all-- these pregnant women in crisis when in some ways, I was still a woman in crisis after losing my own pregnancy.

She smiled at me and introduced herself, this beautiful woman who comes in to volunteer at the crisis pregnancy center a few evenings a month after her day job. She was perfect in my eyes--poised, friendly, and gorgeous.

So I assumed her life must be perfect, too. 

Why do we do it? Why do we compare, contrast, measure, and evaluate ourselves against other women? Why do we draw conclusions from what we see before we even speak? 

But even though I was intimidated-- and let's be real, a little jealous-- I still wanted to get to know her. I wanted to hear her story. I was inspired and curious that she would volunteer her evenings at this place despite working a full time job and have a baby at home.

I think God wanted me to hear her story, too.

Because as she opened the cover of her book and laid it all out there for me, I knew it wasn't a chance encounter. Her chapters of infertility, of then conceiving twins, of her son dying in her womb and her daughter dying in the neonatal ICU. Her subsequent chapter of the adoption of her daughter. That somehow she knew she was still called to work here. That God gives grace. That some days it's hard to see the clients conceiving child after child-- often unwanted. But there's grace. And there's redemption. And there's healing. 

You can do this. You are meant to be here. Despite your story. Or maybe because of your story. 

That's what I heard that night. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

All because I asked her story. And because she wasn't afraid to share it.

Open up your heart to others, sweet friends. Don't be afraid to let them read the tough chapters of your story. It might be just what someone needs to hear.


  1. Wow, this is powerful! It is so good to always try and have that perspective, to remember that each person has an intricate and complicated life story. It's a good way to let go of jealousy (since others who seem "perfect" have their own struggles) as well as to grow in understanding and love as a community of people. Thank you for sharing these reflections!

  2. Just beautiful! We do all have a story! Thinking and praying for you Laura!

  3. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Your post made me think of something I do. Whenever I feel vulnerable I tend to be very conscious of what I wear and plan my outfit more carefully before I go into whatever situation I'm worried about. The outfit usually tends to be more dressed up than I normally wear. In some ways, a perfect outfit becomes like a bit of armor.

    Obviously, I don't know this woman, but I wonder if sometimes other people do the same thing. Maybe when we are vulnerable, we take the most care in projecting strength.


  5. What a beautiful point! I love these moments where we realize the people we think have it all together really don't. We all have something, don't we? What a beautiful encounter! Keeping you in my prayers.

  6. Wow, how powerful! What a great reminder not to "judge a book by its cover." Most of us probably aren't what we appear to be!
    Though I have never met this woman, I am inspired by her the fact that she is serving out of areas of pain that she could be bitter about. I need to do this, too.

    1. Agree, she totally inspired me to get out of myself and my little bubbles of either joy or suffering so that I can enter in to that of others!