“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.”
These words were penned by Sue Monk Kidd in her book (and then film), The Secret Life of Bees. And oh, how I have found this to be true.
I tell stories that often feel to me like they are on death’s door – so often untold (even more frequently mis-told) if not completely forgotten. And I can’t bear that!
I need their stories to remember and resurrect my own.
- As I struggled through the excruciating years of infertility, the kindness of women who had known the same came alongside me in solidarity and strength. Remembering and telling the stories of Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Hannah (and so many more) reminded me of who I was and why I was here no matter the grief, the ache, the anguish.
- In the days-weeks-months-years leading up to my divorce and certainly through it, the steady companionship of a marginalized, pregnant slave was all that held me together. Remembering and telling Hagar’s story reminded me of who I was and why I was here no matter the misunderstanding, the confusion, even the shame.
- As a mother, while worrying and wondering about the stories through which my daughters have already lived and are yet to face, the cryptic tale of a woman who knew fear far more visceral than my own danced before me in glory and radiance. Remembering and telling the story of The Woman of Revelation 12 reminded me of who I was and why I was here: to rise up on my daughters’ behalf, to fight for them, to sustain their story.
- Often, at the start of a new day, I consider all that waits for me in the hours ahead and I look to these same women and so many more. I ask one to walk with me – offering perspective, hope, wisdom, courage, and strength. She never disappoints. Remembering and telling her story, over and over to myself, reminds me of who I am and why I’m here – no matter what comes.
- Just three weeks ago I sat on a stage at a church in Nebraska – graciously invited to tell the stories I love. Friday night. Saturday morning. Sunday. I recounted the lives of Eve, the Wives of Angels, the Midwives, Elizabeth, Mary, Hagar (yes, again), the Woman at the Well, the Woman of Revelation 12 (mmmhmm, again), and the Extravagant Woman. And I wept – so aware of the ways that the remembering and telling of their stories is the only thing that has enabled my own; the very thing that has offered me life and life and life.
I must tell stories so that they can live; so that I can!
I’m guessing I’m not the only one. If this provokes even the slightest hunger in you – to remember and hear such stories – there is nothing I would love more than to tell you one, many, an infinity of them.
Here’s a place to start. One ancient, sacred story – chosen especially for you – the Sacred She who will come alongside you with wisdom, beauty, and strength; who will help you remember who you are and why you are here. I promise. SacredReadings