The Power of Sharing Tiffany Smiley

“When we give the world what we want the most, we heal the broken part inside each of us.” -Eve Ensler

For many years I held my story hostage. I let the frustration, anger, pain and struggle of it all slowly chip away at me until I was left empty.  The panic surged through my limbs, the pounding pressure in my head kept me from thinking clearly, the noise in my ears told me I was alone, the walls were caving in and I was carrying a burden that my body mind and spirit could not handle. It seemed the only option would be finding solace in dying or a complete rebirth. This is the place where I began my journey of finally telling my story. I could not keep the secret any longer. I wanted to be heard, isn’t that what we all want?

As I sat in our first meeting after Scotty’s injury I heard a team of doctors and social workers tell us there was no way we would accomplish our hopes and dreams. I struggled to understand how this could be, in that moment I became the one person in Scotty’s life, beside God, that believed in him against all reason.  I had no other choice. I believed he could go back to school and that he could write a book and tell his story.

Scotty found a way to give the world what he wanted the most, which was a chance to recover and rebuild his life. Along this journey I watched him heal not only himself but also others. Through the power of God, he began to heal his brokenness and the brokenness of so many others.

When I found myself at rock bottom, I knew it was time to begin my journey of sharing. I watched God use Scotty’s story for so much good, and I knew God wanted me to step out and share how He has worked in my life. Once I stepped out in faith, God continued to give me strength to move forward, and I have seen more healing than I ever thought possible. I want to encourage you, whoever you are, to step out and tell your story. No matter what has happened or where you’ve found yourself, you have a something in your past that can help someone else. We not only do ourselves a disservice, but also those around us when we fail to own our rocky pasts.  Jesus needed help carrying his cross when it became too heavy, and he gives us each other to help change the world. Join me in sharing your journey. Don’t lock it in, God wants to use YOU to make a difference.  Isn’t that amazing?

I think this applies to so many areas in today’s world, but especially when it comes to our veterans and their families. I now have a vision of an America that listens to the stories of our Veterans and their families with utmost honor and respect.

America’s heroes have our best stories; ones that will enrich our nation, make us stronger and help us realize the sacrifices that have been made. I know this because I have seen firsthand the power that hearing someone else’s story can have.

Scotty and my story is not typical, but simply by making it known, it has brought awareness to issues that affect so many people. For this I am thankful and I pray that more and more people will come forward and release their stories to the world!

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