One of the things I learned over the past year and a half or so is that my story is not my own. I have always been careful with whom I have shared my story, struggle and past. I maintained a mindset that the person needed to deserve to hear my story by showing their ability to be trustworthy and mature. I always viewed my struggle as something that I dealt with and that by opening up to others, I would be the one impacted… not visa versa. The reality is my story is not my own to protect, but it belongs to God, to be used for His glory.
Giving up the rights to my own story was essentially giving up my safety net. It meant that I would have to be vulnerable with people I might not be able to trust. With the way that communication is these days, all it would take is one person to make a statement on facebook and my reputation would be immediately ruined. However, I had to take that risk. It meant that I would have to trust God to work in the lives of those who hear my story.
Something you should know about me is that I never lie. Ever since I was a kid, it was one thing that my parents drilled into us and I have always maintained that standard. While I may never lie, I am extremely good at manipulating conversation or avoiding answering questions. Particularly when people ask me questions that could lead to them accidentally finding out about my struggle, I have learned to weasel my way out very smoothly. This has come from years of experience. Unfortunately, the people that I share my story with aren’t so good at keeping secrets. I have only been outed once and thankfully it didn’t go viral on the internet. Nonetheless, learning to give my whole story to God has been a difficult journey and I am being especially challenged right now to trust God by sharing my story. I don’t want to… but I know I have to.
The question I have been pondering is what are my responsibilities in regards to sharing my story with others? What does it mean to have discernment in regards to whom I open up to? Some of my friends are not mature enough to know how to deal with a gay friend. Do I still tell them even though the likelihood of our friendship ending is high?