19 Jun 2014

Because your story matters more than your stats

It’s Friday. The day we write together for five shared and sacred minutes. The prompt this week is RELEASE. The details for how to participate are over here. And the post today? It’s why I think you need to keep writing no matter how many voices in your head and your life tell you that you’re not a “real” writer because your audience is invisibly small, or because you haven’t written a book or because you aren’t invited to speaking events or because no one reads you outside of your family. Read on below and then just. keep. writing. 

Child,” said the Voice, “I am telling you your story, not hers.
I tell no one any story but his own.”
~C.S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy (The Chronicles of Narnia).

But what if my story isn’t important? What if it’s small and stitched together with load after load of laundry or hours spent trapped in the commute to work or nights spent wiping the hot heads of sick kids.

What if my story is ordinary?

Worse yet, what if I spend the hour salvaged at the end of the day – the one after the dishwasher’s been loaded, after the kitchen counter’s been wiped down, after the last homework assignment’s been finished up and the last Lego thrown back into its tub – what if I spend that sacred hour on writing and no one shows up to read?

What are my words worth without a reader?

What am I worth if my story is uninteresting, unclick-worthy, unbloggable?

“I realized there was this other part of me, and it was a big part of me, that needed something outside myself to tell me who I was. And so [it] became obvious; I was very concerned with getting other people to say I was good or valuable or important because the thing that was supposed to make me feel this way was gone.” – Donald Miller, Searching for God Knows What.

Our DNA is desperate to be recognized. To be heard. To be valued. And while we might write all day in our heads, our fingers hesitate to type it out for fear no one else will recognize what it cost us, what it means to us.

So we hide our stories where no one can ignore them but ourselves.

Here’s the thing, though, your story doesn’t matter because of who reads it.

Your story doesn’t matter because of how many read it.

Your story doesn’t even matter just because you wrote it.

Your story matters because it’s part of another story; one much bigger and older than you. And any words you write will draw breath from that first story. Anything you post, anything you journal, anything you scrapbook or blog or scribble out on the back of a grocery store receipt while stopped at a traffic light – the words will climb up off the page and live.

Those words will take deep gulps of breath and exhale into the lives of anyone who comes into contact with them. And their most important reader will be you.

Because someone else is writing your story alongside you. Someone else cares about the words as much as you do. Someone else has fingers folded gently over yours as you guide pen and thoughts and life across the page.

Someone else is writing through you.

So you can just let it go – the need for someone else to tell you that your story is important. Because you are already stitched into the only story that matters; the story that starts in the dark, loamy dirt of a garden and ends in the hard won, bright, shining streets of a city on a hill.

Whether you tell it in Zulu or Russian, Afrikaans or English. Whether you press publish or only whisper it to yourself as you rock babies to sleep. Whether you write it on your laptop or longhand in your journal. Your story matters because of the Word that breathes through you:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made
without him nothing was made that has been made.
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
~ John 1:1-4.

So, if you’ve only got one hour in the day to write, don’t spend it defeated. Spend it writing.

Because maybe you, more than anyone else, will be surprised by what you read, by the story that the Word is writing in you, through you, for you.

His story. As lived by you.


So, let’s write together now. Five minutes on the prompt release.


Photo by the generous Karen Beth.


{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    Love this reminder that our stories always matter and that we write them as much for ourselves as anyone else. Wrote my post with the sneak peek and then read yours. Similar themes for us, tonight :) Thank you for always finding words to share–I know it’s so hard sometimes! But you are bearing a mighty gift and we are grateful.

  2. 2

    This reminder – yes just this – fills me to the brim with happy! Knowing and reading that my story matters is one more confirmation that God, who is the author, of each of our stories is so honored by our sharing of words – His words. So good! Blessings!

  3. 3

    Lisa Jo, this is brilliant and beautiful. I have never thought of this before: “Your story matters because it’s part of another story”. This is such a humbling, liberating thought. Thank you.

  4. 4

    Thank you, Lisa-Jo. If I read or remember nothing else this week than this, I will have understood more of God’s heart toward me. And I am especially hanging on to this: “Because maybe you, more than anyone else, will be surprised by what you read, by the story that the Word is writing in you, through you, for you. His story. As lived by you.” Bless you, friend.

  5. 5

    Oh Friend- Thank you. A weighty thank you for this post that is lifting the heaviness and releasing the light-heartedness. Just what I needed to hear. You begin to wonder if your blogger friends have your home, or at least your heart, bugged!:) Love that C.S. Lewis quote, more timely than you know after dealing with heavy stuff in another’s story this week. I release, so that others may be free to live their story, while I write mine.

  6. 6

    Lisa! Thank you for this beautiful reminder, I was hearing this exact same whisper this week inside of my mind and your words were a beautiful confirmation to my heart. Exhaling – God is writing this story, and I will be faithful to write it down, for Him.

  7. 7

    This is just what I needed to read, feeling like my story is really overwhelmed by words and plans and just muddy in general. Needed this reminder. Thank you.

  8. 8

    Love this! It’s the lesson I’m working through this week. To just release my writing, this blog, my plans to Him. I even deleted my wordpress app off my phone so I couldn’t check stats – just keep focused on the words, even if I’m the only one they’re meant for.

  9. 9

    This is the first time linking up with you on Five Minute Friday! And I enjoyed the writing session this morning! What a wonderful idea! I found you through Amy at New Nostalgia. I am looking forward to clicking through some others who have linked up. Thank you for hosting!

  10. 10

    I think this might be your best post Ever! You write with deep honesty and truth. I write in journals and notebooks… in privacy, for me… occasionally for family or a friend or two. I have recently begun to wonder if that is enough? What should I be doing with what I write? I can’t Not write. It is how I process life. If God has given me this desire and skill, am I doing his will with it? So yes, I can write the way I have for long, yet keep listening for direction in case he changes his mind. (You even included my favorite scripture verse.)

  11. 11
    Dee Smith says:


    So much to release now. Expectations. Past roles that meant everything. Regrets. Sins. Confessed they are for given. Let them go. Release the lament.
    Release and replace. Explore anticipation, new roles filled with meaning. Rejoice. Songs. Forgiven worship. Release and the live with grace in this time. Be intentional and mindful about it. Release and love with no expectation. Rejoice in loving. Release and listen. What is there in the releasing?

  12. 12

    Yes! Love love love.

  13. 13

    I am literally in tears over here, Lisa Jo. I needed this more than I could possibly write here. Thank you for the reminder. Hoping to link up again real soon.

  14. 14

    I really loved and needed this reminder today. Thank you for being an encourager!

  15. 15

    I needed this so much – it was written for me. I feel like this so often and I wonder why I always feel the need to write so much and sometimes (like today) I just feel like writing for myself to myself. I just feel like saying all the things I want to without anyone judging me. Tomorrow is a big step of faith for me because 3 weeks ago Father God told me to organise a poetry afternoon for God-loving poets to get together and share their hearts. I did it, I went ahead and organised it and now I am counting the hours because I am scared. Yip I am scared because tomorrow will come and I dont know what I am suppose to do or what to expect. I am always the one everyone comes to for answers and help and I have no one to answer my question today. Tomorrow will however come and somehow I do wish someone was guiding their hand over mine. I have spoken and performed poetry so many times, why does this time feel different. I am not sure but needed to say this. I love writing so much and yes this encouragement was needed today. Thank you!

  16. 16

    Lisa-Jo, thank you so much for this today. This. This is why we pour our souls all over our computer keyboards. Because our hearts’ journeys matter in the grand scheme of His Story. Such a breath of fresh air. Thank you.

  17. 17

    Your encouragement is so “right on”, Lisa-Jo. If we stop communicating, stop telling stories on ourselves and others, we’ve lose touch with our roots. And we can lose a sense of who we are in Christ. So many things I’ve written that no one else will see, but God sees and knows and He’s joined me in that conversation. It matters.

  18. 18

    Oh yes. Every time I sit down to write, I am surprised at the story God brings out of me, the revelations of the depths of my heart. I don’t know myself very much at all.

    Thank you for this wonderful post.

  19. 19

    This post was so inspiring and encouraging! I sometimes struggle with writing a post because I feel like I have nothing important to say, or that maybe people are getting tired of hearing what I have to say. Thank you for reminding me that I have a story, and that I have nothing to prove besides who I am in Christ!

  20. 20

    Love this. Release. I’m a newbie but so love this idea.

  21. 21

    Thank you, Father and thank you Lisa-Jo for this healing reminder. EW

  22. 22

    This is awesome. I just wrote my first FMF blog. I feel so free writing this way. I used to write for pleasure. I am gifted and I enjoy it., but now I write because it’s what I should do as part of building my business. Lisa-Jo, through Five Minute Friday you remind me that when God gives us a gift we are supposed to use it to glorify him. Our first priority should never be about making money with it. Thank you for this reminder. Thank you for the opportunity to stop and allow the spirit to speak through our writings. Wonderful Lisa-Jo.

  23. 23

    You have such a way with words LisaJo. The best freedom to write came when I stopped trying to get people to read.

  24. 24

    Thank you for this comforting and humbling reminder that we are a small part of a very big story. May He always be glorified in the words He leads us to write. Beautiful post!

  25. 25

    It’s so easy to get discouraged sometimes. I really needed this reminder today- thank you.

  26. 26
    Carol G. says:

    Late again to the party. :-( wow…what if I could find a way to release the busyness? ready…set…go…
    well…on that note, if i released the busyness I’d have to decide between real busyness and family stuff. (twin daughters 16th today).
    Release- yes..thank you lisa for this. Release…the fears, release the naysaying voices…something I am struggling with even at this moment, pondering a request to leap into something that may be too large for me. But I won’t know…unless I release myself…to let God draw me, further into His nudging, the desires, the ‘calling’ He gave me years ago.
    Release…the guilt from a poor decision that utterly ruined a ‘bestie’ relationship. Release…the need for acceptance of apology, repentance that may not ever come…at least not verbally, face to face. But maybe time can continue to heal…
    Release…those messed up mom moments.
    Release the baggage, the weight that are shackles that trap this eagle who is suppose to be soaring. (and according to a friend, bringing her with me. )
    Ah…just release into the quiet..and be still.
    hah. Release the noise, release the need to ‘do’ and just be still
    so freeing isnt’ it.

  27. 27

    So I am the woman that reads this, loves it, and decides to link up, having never been the “link up type”…only I don’t really read the rules…because I was that kind of student (what? there were directions?? I didn’t know!) I also cook that way (what?? I was supposed to let it marinate OVER NIGHT?? But I need to serve this is an hour!) so anyway…long story short…this is all fabulous…and I went ahead and wrote my FRIDAY release post…on SATURDAY…and it took me AN HOUR, with editing and proofing…and THEN I read the directions. (What? Just five minutes??? Hmmmmm…so THAT is what the five minutes in the title mean!!!) So…now that I understand what this prompt is meant to be…I look forward to joining you next Friday, for just five minutes!!!

  28. 28

    Lovely. Thank you for this reminder. “His story. As lived by you.” We get so caught up in the world and forget we are part of His story. So powerful.

  29. 29

    I just keep thinking about this. Thank you so much for the beautiful words and remembering in my heart.

  30. 30

    Love this post! I’m new to your blog but will definitely be coming back. This post struck home with me – I’ve been neglecting my blog because of feeling like it’s just not worth the time put into writing. But now I’m inspired to get back to it. Thank you for your words. :)

  31. 31

    It’s late, but I did eventually write something about release.

  32. 32

    I love this post! It’s so true, but so easy to forget. Thank you for sharing!!

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