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Monday, June 12, 2017

Sharing Stories.

Over the weekend, I posted a few stories on Instagram along with this picture, sharing a little bit of backstory about the last decade or so. 

"11 years ago, we loaded up and moved to Florida to start a church. And by we, I mean my parents, my little brother, and me. Depending on who you are, that either sounds exciting or nightmarish. It's been a bit of both, to be honest. The last 11 years have been so good and so bad. I've watched both miracles and heartbreak happen, walked through hellish seasons and the most joyful seasons. I've met amazing people and watched friends I thought would be in my life forever turn into strangers who not-so-quietly whisper hateful things. It has been full of incredible experiences, incredible loneliness, incredible I-can't-believe-I-got-to-be-a-part-of-this moments. I have watched the desire to just love, simply love people for who they are turn into hope for so many.

I've had church with four people and church with hundreds. In our living room, in hotels, in middle school cafeterias. Tomorrow, somewhere around a thousand people will show up to hear my dad speak about hope. They might not know that this started with four terrified family members in a living room, but I will never forget.

I have learned so much-about myself, about church, about people. I'll say this: The most beautiful things start with someone(s) deciding to just go for it. If there's a dream in your heart, chase it. It might look nothing like you expected, but it'll be one heck of a ride. Happy 11 years, Coastline. It has been the privilege of my lifetime."

What was so cool to me was how instantly connected it made me to so many people. I got a lot of messages asking questions about it or just wanting to talk about it more, and it was so much fun to get to share this part of my story. 

Blogging is a lot of things. It's a way to write, a way to make money. But it's also a way to connect, to see other perspectives, to learn and grow. 

Sharing personal things can feel a bit vulnerable. It's easy to stay hidden, especially on the internet, only sharing the funny or the perfect or the on-trend thing. And I love all those things. When I get a selfie in good lighting, you know that's going on Instagram. I've spent entirely too long staging a coffee photo for a blog post. I love those things. But the personal side-your story, the things that have happened to you, the experiences you have...that's the only thing that only you have. 

So just a little Monday reminder to tell your story. However much or little of it that you want to share. Whether you think it sounds important or not at all. Because it's something that's all yours. And nothing connect people like sharing something like that. 

Your story makes you special. It makes you strong. It makes you different. It makes you tough. It makes you compassionate. It makes you all of the things that you are. 

So when you're ready, share some of your story. I, for one, would love to hear it. 
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