You’ve managed to convince yourself that your light won’t be nearly bright enough to illuminate a room, let alone bring joy to someone else, or get you through the next week and a half of stress-filled board room meetings and your daughter’s teenage crisis.

You spend hours on end, trying to decide if you should have a meltdown over your finances or your inability to get a promotion at a job you’ve poured blood, sweat and tears into these past 15 years.

Hearing “am I the problem,” on replay, you’re conflicted. Not because you’re incapable of recognizing your worth, but because you know your worth, often feel joy, and love to laugh… but can’t seem to escape the looming darkness of anxiety, stress and need to think about the future (1 Peter 5:7, Matthew 6:34)

But they need me. You tell yourself. Only to quickly contradict that thought with a more toxic one, they don’t need me, my light and my joy is too dim, I’ll just depress them and ruin their happiness.

But if their happiness is real (and stable), how can you ruin it?

Soon, you share your story, your testimony. You’ll share the stories of childhood trauma, poverty and feeling like a misfit amongst “friends.”

Soon, you open up to someone who sees past your artfully drawn on smile and the depth of dark brown eyes.

You insecurely and pitifully share your stories, your hopes and your dreams. — just knowing you’ll be met with judgement and prove yourself right, prove everyone right…

That you’re without light. That you’re not who everyone thought you were.

You’re convinced that sharing your story will finally show people what a fraud you really are. You aren’t this happy person, but you’re deeply hurt and bruised by the marks of recurring disappointment.

And they’ll smile, with tears in their eyes, and continue to call you the light and they’ll beg you to keep sharing your story.



This piece is dedicated to my mom & my husband who have rich stories and big hearts.