The Truth About Your Story - Even the Ugly Parts
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The Truth About Your Story – Even the Ugly Parts

How do you feel about your story?

Too simple? Too scary? Too much?

I’ll let you in on something here: I’ve spent most of my life walking in fear of sharing my story.

People won’t understand. I’ll be judged. People will run.

These lies rested within my soul for as long as I can remember.


The Truth About Your Story - Even the Ugly Parts

And yet the truth is this: our stories have power.

They have the power to enslave us, to entangle us in fear and shame.

But they also have the power to bring freedom to our hearts and others, to be used for the glory of God.

Where is your story today? Is it out there, for all to see? Shared with just a few? Or hidden deep within you?

The first time I attended a Young Life Work Crew (a month-long service commitment at Young Life Camp), I was instructed to write out my testimony.

To me, this meant sharing only the comfortable, the pretty, the easy parts. No one would want to hear the rest, right?


As Work Crew began, I stood beside some amazing people, serving every day for a month.

There was something different as I stood beside my new friends stacking dishes day in and day out.

And no - it was not just their acceptance of my frizzed-out, steamed-up hair or my sopping wet shoes. But it was their desire and perseverance to hear my real story.

To them, the prettied up version was not enough.

And so after days of prodding, my walls came down. And truth flowed in.

You see, when we hide our stories, they remain in darkness, allowing Satan free reign.

But when my story was exposed to the light, I began to find freedom in things I never thought possible.

[bctt tweet="When my story was exposed to the light, I began to find freedom in things I never thought possible." username="NicoleAKauffman"]

This month changed me. Forever. I learned that my story is not my own, but when surrendered to God it is one of the most powerful things we have to offer.

When we share our stories, amazing things happen.

1. We open the door to authentic friendships

When we share the deepest parts of our hearts, we allow others to love us for who we truly are. We allow others the opportunity to encourage, support and stand beside us in our deepest struggles. And we offer them the same.

By hiding our stories, we put walls, intentional or not, between our own hearts and our friends. We can’t truly love another in their deepest struggles until we have broken down the walls around our own hearts.

Don’t walk in the fear of sharing your story. When you do, you forsake the opportunity for true friendship.

2. We allow God the opportunity to work through us and in us

Sharing our story is one of the most powerful things we have to offer. When we share what it means to truly accept Christ and follow Him in the middle of struggle and pain, we are opening the door to God’s glory.

Those around us cannot see God’s grace in a perfectly manicured life.

[bctt tweet="Those around us cannot see God’s grace in a perfectly manicured life." username="NicoleAKauffman"]

But when we allow the brokenness we’ve experienced and the grace and salvation we’ve discovered to rest out in the open, we invite those around us to an honest look at the truth.

3. We bring light into even the darkest parts of our past

Don’t hide the parts of your life that most need God’s transformation.

I did this for so long and for so long I felt trapped, unloved, powerless.

Looking back, I see how Satan used my own story as a prison.

And as much as I hate to admit it, he often still does.

I still become afraid to share. I want to hide and to show only the prettiest and most healed parts of my story.

But everytime I fall into this lie, I become entrapped. I feel isolated and alone. Satan loves to work in the darkness I’m using to cover my past.

But everything exposed by the light becomes visible--and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. -Ephesians 5:13

I love this truth. It reminds me that when I shine the piercing light of Christ onto the broken parts of my story, the very brokenness and hurt of my past can become a light.

God can work in the darkest parts of you and use them for His glory.


God can work in the darkest parts of you and use them for His glory.

I have found so much strength in this truth.

No matter what I have been through and what I am going through, when surrendered to God, He can use it for His glory.

Isn’t that the reason we are here?

Our stories have the power to accomplish our purpose. To bring glory to God.

Don’t hide and don’t fear sharing your story. Because when you share, you are carrying out the will of God.

When you offer up your story to be used by God, you invite others into His life-giving and saving presence.



  1. Nicole, this is amazing. God does not waste anything in our lives .. the good, the bad and the ugly … they all are part of accomplishing his purpose in us.

  2. I love how God can use our stories, even the ugly parts. I was scared of sharing my story for a long time and I still don’t find it easy in certain contexts but there is so much freedom when we are able to share and it is amazing when we can see God use it to encourage others.

    1. I totally agree, Lesley, it can be hard even still! And sometimes we have to discern and be wise about how and when to open our hearts 🙂 Great points!

  3. Such a wonderful topic! For most of my saved life, I hid behind my new identity, so full of shame – fear of the rejection from others. God has taken my broken pieces held in His hands and made a masterpiece for His glory since I released it to be used for Him. Our stories are stories of His redemption. Let’s display them!!

  4. My testimony is pretty simple, but I’ve learned that sharing the struggles that I go through and the tough stuff is exactly what God asks me to do. It’s not easy being raw and open because it opens me up to people wanting to “fix” me, but I know it’s what God has called me to do. I love how you’ve shown us in this post, what God can do through being truthful about our stories!

    1. Yes, I think we all sometimes struggle with thinking our stories are too simple and no one would be interested, but Satan is using that lie to keep us from spreading God’s love and glory! Thanks for sharing, Rosanna!

  5. I do struggle with sharing my story, or just opening myself up to being known and having deep friendships. Thanks so much for your encouragement! Is there a place I can read your story on your blog? ❤

  6. Great Post! I have openly shared parts of my story, and have kept other parts to myself. Last week on Facebook after commenting on a post, I was asked to share my story. At first, I was hesitant because I have never openly shared that “ugly” part of my past, but I prayed and felt like I needed to share. it was well received even by unbelievers, and prayerfully it pointed them to Christ! Blessings, Misty

    1. I’m so glad that you’ve been open to God’s leading in sharing your story! Thanks for sharing that, Misty!

  7. Feeling like we need to hide the “bad parts” is definitely a tool Satan uses to keep up from building community and glorifying God. It is so hard to put yourself out there and be vulnerable, but it is almost always worth it.

  8. This post was EXACTLY what I needed. Thank you so much for sharing this, and for being so forthcoming. I actually had tears in my eyes as I realized how much God needs me to share my own story, and how I only like the “good” parts because so much seems too bad to tell. Thank you so much for sharing this, I truly needed it.

    1. I’m so glad you found encouragement here, Jillian. It can be so hard to share the not so good parts of our story, but there is so much freedom when we do! Thanks for being honest 🙂

  9. Yes! God wants to use our whole story — just as He wants to use our whole lives — for His great (and unseen) purposes. Thanks for this challenge to trust Him with the details and the outcome of that act of faith.

  10. I have had this going on in my head for some time since I was in a room with other bloggers and one said, “there is value to sharing your story”. I don’t even have a crazy story, but I have been thinking more and more about the value of really sharing and being vulnerable. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    1. Vulnerability can be used by God for so much glory! So glad you’re open to His working, Mary!

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