Many of us have heard the popular line "pay it forward" expressing the concept of repaying a good deed to someone else other than the source.
This phrase gets tossed around in today’s society like it is a brand-new notion. Interestingly, this concept is quite old and may have been first coined in 1916 by Lily Hardy Hammond in her book, Garden of Delight. Hammond writes, “You don't pay love back; you pay it forward."
The concept is worthy, and there is little doubt the world would be a better place if we all implemented this principle; however, life doesn't always give us "good things."
So, what do you do when life throws you those infamous sour lemons? How do you pay that forward?
I’m NOT advocating that you pass along the bad, but I believe you can pay it forward by sharing those sour lemons and demonstrating how you can make the proverbial lemonade!
By sharing your story!
The one that takes courage and truth; the gritty story that requires removing the blanket of shame and revealing yourself- naked and exposed.
It is in these stories of vulnerability that you are most relatable to others and can make a thunderous impact of positivity!
I love this quote: "It's important that we share our experiences with other people. Your story will heal you, and your story will heal somebody else. When you tell your story, you free yourself and give other people permission to acknowledge their own story." -Iyanla Vanzant
It is the sharing of your story that you can shed your past. The grip of mistake, sin, hurt, and brokenness releases and you are free to transfer the power of change to another. You have the chance to build camaraderie and trust with another hurting soul that is walking a similar journey.
Do not doubt the power of your unique story and the influence it can have to comfort and change another person’s perspective and path. You can disrupt the chain of negative history that loves to repeat itself and allow that person to write a different story. Maybe spare them unnecessary pain and suffering.
All possible when you are brave enough to share your experiences.
2 Corinthians 1:4 tells us:
“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (NLT)
At any point in time, if you have faced troubles and were given a basket full of sour lemons and survived, been made stronger, learned the valuable lesson of not repeating mistakes, mastered the ability to rise above your circumstances; see yourself as a conqueror and not a victim….. then you have a story that demands sharing!
God comforts us in our painful experiences, so that we may pay it forward and bring comfort to others facing the same troubles. You can help the hurting see that they are not alone, that they are not so damaged that they can’t be redeemed. You can be the one voice of experience that gives them hope! You can be that mentor and provide them with the tools necessary to excel and walk a different path of hope.
Someone in this life- needs to hear YOUR story.
Someone in this life has been given your same lemons. If God has placed that person in your path or on your heart, He wants to use YOU to help them make lemonade.
Be bold, be brave & pay it forward. One lemon at a time.
Father, thank you that you are the great comforter. That there is nothing in all of creation that can separate us from your love. In our troubles, you are there, and you bring comfort, clarity, and peace. Helps us, Lord, to recognize the hurting in others and to see those that are struggling with shame, loneliness, despair or just uncertain what path to take. Many don't know where to turn and suffer in silence. Help us, Lord, to be bold- to break the silence and have the courage to share our story with authenticity- bringing glory to your name and comfort to the hurting.
On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul.~ Psalm 138:3