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.