I’ve always been fascinated with words. I like the way they string together to create movies in our brains. I like learning new vocabulary, finding out how the word translates into another language or where we borrowed it from originally. I like how words can evoke deep emotion and stir us to action. And I like how words fit, sometimes sloppily and disjointedly, within the structures of ever-changing grammar rules. But I never had a story inside.
As an English teacher by trade, I’ve spent years training up students to bend their words to fit the thoughts in their brains. I’ve taught simple sentence structures and complex conjugations. I’ve helped young writers chisel at their marble words, pulling forth their masterpieces of poetry, essays, and blogs. But I never had a story inside.
I’ve journaled since I was six. I have an embarrassing collection of messy notebooks chronicling the angst of childhood. I have old Xanga and Livejournal sites that speak to the torture of figuring out how to adult. I have whittled my feelings to the perfect 140-character Tweet or Facebook status. But I never had a story inside.
Except it turns out, I did.
And so do you.
Now that I’ve written a novel, I suppose it’s fair to say I’m a storyteller. The truth is, we are all storytellers. Our lives tell a story. With each new experience, each new relationship, each new obstacle, we are moving forward into the depths of our story. Sometimes, like in literature, our conflicts journey us neatly up the rising action into the climax and wrap up neatly in the perfect denouement. But usually our stories are a series of peaks and valleys with each new obstacle we face.
I believe storytelling is innate for us as humans. Whether we publish a fictional piece (that is more than likely created from pieces of our story or the stories of those around us) or never write a sentence, we are meant to tell a story. We are wired for happy endings. We are driven to see the prince and princess ride off into the sunset. We are yearning for redemption to win.
My love of words taught me how much power exists in a written or spoken word. But I believe there is more power in story. There’s more power in letting our lives speak to someone else, whispering the words we all long to hear: “Me, too.”
Let the story of your life be what someone else needs to read today. Let the lessons you’ve learned steer someone else toward redemption.
Release the story you have inside of you.
About the Author
Megan Hall is the wife of Ronnie and mom to Jorie and Kaelyn. Her family resides in the greater St. Louis area, which means she knows all the free places to play, is a die-hard Cardinals fan, and has survived numerous trips up the Gateway Arch. After a decade of teaching middle and high school English, Megan is taking time to homeschool her oldest daughter, write books, and launch two ministries with her best friend.
She is the founder of Dauntless Grace Ministries (dauntlessgrace.org), an online ministry for women, and co-founder of Shine Movement (shinemovement.org), a ministry geared toward young girls.
Megan is passionate about reading (especially young adult fiction), s’mores-flavored treats, racial reconciliation, naps, Friday Night Lights, Christian education, Instagram filters, and helping women and girls find freedom and healing in the promises of Jesus. The road she walked wasn’t always easy, and she’s grateful to good friends, caring mentors, and a Savior who never left her side.