Over one year ago, when Darrell and I started Prodigal Magazine, we did it because we wanted to hear your stories.
We had already heard so many of them — in the body of an e-mail, on a Skype call, at a conference in Chicago, in our car, or over a wobbly table at a coffee shop — and we couldn’t help but be moved by the way stories shed light and gave life and knit people together into a community, even when those people had never met.
Since then our journey with Prodigal has had it’s share of twists and turns (like any good story) and there have been moments we wondered if we might have lost our way, but no matter what else happened, we never got tired of hearing your stories.
It is your stories that made our job worth doing, that made it worth showing up everyday.
Why sharing stories matters.
There is something innately human about sharing of our stories.
One of the things I find so compelling about sharing stories is how it benefits both the teller, and the hearer. Recently I was working on a project where I shared a story from the first months of marriage to Darrell. Suddenly, I saw the situation in a new way. I remember sitting at my computer, wide-eyed, a little bit shocked at how I could have missed something so obvious this whole time.
I love how the simple act of sharing my story can help me find meaning in my story.
It can lead me to healing, grace and even forgiveness.
I can’t tell you how often I read or hear a story from someone else, and am moved in a similar way. Someone shares about a divorce, or a loss, or a heartbreak or a conflict between friends and suddenly I’m inspired to see my life, and the lives of others, differently.
This is the power of sharing our stories.
What if I’m scared to share my story?
The truth is, I’m pretty sure all of us are scared to share the stories worth sharing.
It’s easy to share a funny story about something that happened to us at a dinner party, but when we share what that story meant to us, what we learned from it, what it taught us or told us about ourselves or how it stirred something deep inside of us — that is scary.
We’re afraid people will judge us, they’ll reject us, they’ll start rumors about us, or they’ll say mean things to us. And you know what? Maybe they will.
But this is the risk we take for connection. There is no such thing as love without vulnerability. There is no such thing as community without transparency.
And no one else in the whole world has your story. If you don’t share your story with us, who will?
Will You Share Your Story With Us?
This is why we’re excited to announce a new turn in our story. We are re-opening submissions at Prodigal. It’s been almost a year since we had to close submissions due to lack of resources, and ever since then we’ve longed for this day. Needless to say, we’re a little excited!
We would be so honored if you would share your story with us.
Don’t worry. You’ll still continue to hear from your favorite Prodigal writers. Our featured team isn’t going anywhere. But there will also be stories from people just like you, people all over the world who come to the site and are inspired by something that is shared.
People who think to themselves: I have a story to share, too!
Is that you? Submit your story! We can’t promise we will publish every one, but we can promise we will read every one.
Thank you friends. Your story matters to us.
[Photo: Garrett Gill, Creative Commons]