Because you HAVE to know you are NOT the only one.

Our Stories Overlap More Than We Know | meredithbernard.com | Living in the Light

She said she had felt for the longest time like she was the only one. One after one the others started nodding…including me.

Why is it we always feel like we are alone in all the yuck of life? Like we are the only ones who ever had problems with marriage or kids or family?

Because we are SO not alone. We never have been and we never will be.

Tears flowed. Confessions came. Hearts laid bare as souls were allowed to believe for the first time that maybe someone else could actually understand. Someone else was or had walked the same path and shared the same hurt…and they were telling about it.

I left those four walls that night wondering how many more sisters have walls needing to be torn down?
How many more women are living with the guilt, shame or hurt and think they are the only ones?
How many other sisters are living in the past because they have no one to hold their hand and lead them into the future…free of the past?

Sweet, sweet sister…come in close and listen to my heart. Listen to me right now. You. are. not. alone. 

I don’t know your story. And I don’t have to. My story may be similar and it may be completely different. But someone, somewhere (closer than you think) shares a part of your story…and you’d never know it because you’ve never felt free enough to share it and neither has she.

So, what’s the answer? I don’t know. Exactly.

Here’s what I do know…
We need to start talking to each other.
We need to start trusting each other.
We NEED each other. Period.

Life’s too short (or too long, as my cattle man would argue) to go through it stuck in the past.
Life’s too short to stay mired in the pain of our own sin…or someone else’s.
Life’s too long to live confined in the walls of guilt and shame that hold us captive and never allows others in.

I also know Someone who knows everything that’s been done to you and by you…and loves you anyway.

Jesus is truly the best friend any of us can have. Maybe that sounds trite, but truth can be trite, I suppose.
Jesus is the best person we can share our deepest hurts and highest hopes with.
Jesus is the best sister-match-maker we will ever meet. He is the only one I want putting people in my life to share life with…and He has and He will. Ask Him and then come back and let me tell you, “I told you so.”

No, sister, you aren’t alone in your sufferings. And your sufferings aren’t for naught, yet can produce the one thing we all desperately need…HOPE.

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…”

Romans 5:3-4 ESV

It’s #Woman2Woman Wednesday again, born of my desire to talk about “woman stuff “ in a way that builds the sisterhood up and always points us towards Christ. Always and in ALL grace.

If you have a blog and would like to join the link-up, we would love to have your beautiful self! If you do, please link back to this site (use the button if you wish) and also please comment on the person linked up before you. We are all about sharing love and grace here.

If you don’t have a blog, we would still love to have your comments here and at any other links you have the time and grace to visit. You can also spread the love with hashtag #woman2woman on twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And if you love an image…would you pin it? Pretty please? Much love ladies! xoxo, Meredith

[inlinkz_linkup id=449482 mode=1]

  • Meredith, I struggle between being vulnerable and acting like I have it all together – which I don’t. This keeps me from linking arm and arm with another woman and saying, “Me too!” When I’m willing to be transparent it frees another woman from her prison of thinking she’s all alone. Thanks for your post!ReplyCancel

  • Kasey Hanson

    So powerful and true! I want to connect more with the people Jesus places in my life. Thank you for always being so encouraging and not letting us settle for less than God’s best.ReplyCancel

  • Precepts & Life Preservers

    First time reading your words, I’m visiting from #LiveFreeThursday… but I agree with the other comments, this is the cry going up from women of God everywhere, that we matter, and we shouldn’t be afraid to tell each other our stories and get into the messy things of life with each other. Fresh hunger for true relationship is propelling women to connect in amazing ways. It’s exciting to see.
    What a fantastic post, I look forward to following it each week. Taking your words with me into my morning…ReplyCancel

    • Your words of encouragement are SO blessing me this morning! <3 I love how you say fresh hunger for relationship is propelling women to connect...I feel that, too, and it's a beautiful thing. So glad you found me through Suzie's linkup and I look forward to visiting your site. Blessings on your day and week. xoxoReplyCancel

  • We do need each other, Meredith. I’m so glad you are in a circle of women sharing how to live free. What a blessing!ReplyCancel

  • […] of Grace, Time-warp Wife, Teaching What Is Good, God’s Growing Garden, Diamonds in the Rough, Meredith Bernard, Pig & Dac, Joy Dare, Winsome Wednesday, So Much At Home, Raising Homemakers, A Wise Woman […]ReplyCancel

  • We are all so much more alike than we are different. It’s funny how we feel like no one could possibly understand what we have gone through or accept us if they knew the real us–warts and all. It’s hard to open up to others when we’re afraid how they will take it…misunderstand? Walk away?

    But like you said, Meredith, we need each other. And we need to trust each other enough to share our hearts. Thank you for this message. Praying God’s blessings on you!ReplyCancel

    • Yes, we are so much alike aren’t we Sabra? And it’s not always easy to open up, but it’s usually worth it. Even it it hurts a little at first…;) Love you!ReplyCancel

  • […] up with these wonderful blogs… Coffee for Your Heart at http://www.HolleyGerth.com. Woman2Woman at http://www.MeredithBernard.com Click on the link to read more encouragement from other bloggers. […]ReplyCancel

  • Oh Meredith,

    You’ve just whispered my heart’s cry for women! We are our sister’s keeper. We are stronger together than we will ever be apart. In life we face-off our enemies, but we link arm-in-arm with our comrades! Oh if we as sisters would stand and link arm and arm to walk with each other! Oh I so love this post! A must share!ReplyCancel

    • I’m so excited that we are on the same page, Beth! And so glad to have found one another. We definitely need each other and need to keep telling each other the same. Blessings to you and thank you for sharing! xoxoReplyCancel

  • So thankful for this reminder today. Transparency is such a gift, not only to the giver, but to the receiver as well. When we’re transparent, we become real and others are able to see they most certainly aren’t alone. When we hide whatever we’re going through, it does no good to anyone! As always, it’s a pleasure to journey alongside of you, Meredith! God bless you, sweet sister!ReplyCancel

    • Thank you for your encouragement always, Julie. Sometimes I wonder if I’m too transparent, but then it comes up and out and maybe it’s too late. 😉 But I do think we are all much more alike than we think sometimes and when we can be in agreement with it, we can learn and grow together. Love you!ReplyCancel

  • […] up to Meredith Bernard today: BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO KNOW YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY […]ReplyCancel

  • I absolutely love this post. We are not alone. Yet Satan loves to tell us that. But we do not have to be isolated.
    I take comfort in knowing the other women struggle with the same things that I do.

    Also thank you to Kirsten for an amazing post about counting blessings on the rough days.ReplyCancel

    • I’m so glad you stopped by today, Sarah Beth! I <3 Kirsten, too. ;) And yes, it is SO good to know we are not alone in this mess of womanhood. Blessings!ReplyCancel

  • I love your heart. I’ve been struggling with this concept for awhile – how I can feel so excluded and ignored sometimes, but that railing against it isn’t exactly helpful, either. Tearing the excluders down doesn’t build me up. It’s not helping anyone. My wish for all women is that we can embrace and support one another without judging things that Christ Himself wouldn’t judge. You said it more beautifully than I ever could 🙂ReplyCancel

    • I wish the same Kirsten, that we could all just embrace one another and not judge…and I’ve been guilty of it. It’s much easier to sit in the corner and judge others for judging me, but you are right, that is never helpful or right. We are in this together and I’m so glad we found our way to one another. You are my best “builder-upper.” Thank you for that. {{muah}}ReplyCancel

  • This is the very reason why I finally started talking. I used to sit in small group and never talk because I didn’t think that anyone would understand what I was going through or that I would be judged. I am so glad I moved past that! It feels so good just to get it all out there, even if people do look at me sometimes like I’m a little nuts. ;-)There is so much truth here, Meredith. So grateful for this community. xoxoReplyCancel

    • Yes, Abby, even if we come across as a little nuts! (Which I know I do, but I don’t see you that way. 😉 I’m also so grateful for this community that has spilled over into real life. 🙂 XO, mbReplyCancel

  • […] up Today with Meredith Bernard and Holley Gerth.  Click on their links to find another gathering of […]ReplyCancel

  • Often when I’ve spoken to women’s groups, or mentored women one to one, I share my own weaknesses, failings, challenges. And ALWAYS people say, “I thought I was the only one. I realize I’m not.” That’s one of the enemy’s oldest lies!

    Yes, let’s reach out and encourage one another with our stories of redemption! What Jesus has done for us.ReplyCancel

    • You are so right, Betsy, it is one of the enemy’s oldest lies and I hate him more everyday for it. So thankful it is not TRUTH and glad to be on the way to sharing with others. Thank you for your words of wisdom and sharing, too! Blessings today.ReplyCancel

  • This is such an encouraging post. Pride keeps us stuffed up and insistent on carrying our own burdens. And we believe that we’re all alone. I love this: “Life’s too long to live confined in the walls of guilt and shame that hold us captive and never allows others in.” AMEN, sister! Thanks for sharing your beautiful heart and words once again.ReplyCancel

    • Yes, Karen, pride is my “weakest link.” Thank you for your continued encouragement and for sharing your heart through your words…which are always uplifting and true. Bless you sister!ReplyCancel

  • That is absolutely right, we need each other. It is a hard thing to let the walls down enough to let out the things we keep locked inside, afraid to speak of. I am so glad for the sweet friends He has surrounded me with both in real life and online who make it easier to let those walls down! Well said friend!ReplyCancel

    • I am so glad for the friends God has given me, too, Mollie. It’s one of the biggest miracles in my life, how He has supplied people at just the right time in just the right way to lead me to Him. There was a time I truly believed I was alone and would be that way FOREVER. Truly. Looking back it’s always a heart hug when I see how He has provided so much in the way of friendships and keeps doing it through this online world, as well. Such an undeserved blessing for me. Thank you for being here!ReplyCancel

  • What a blessing to find your blog through a tweet! Not only is your site beautiful, but your heart for the Lord and others is contagious. Thanks for hosting this link-up and I am a new follower! Many blessings from http://faithalongtheway.com!ReplyCancel

    • Oh, how exciting. You actually found me through a tweet! 😛 I didn’t think anyone saw them but my friends. 😀 So glad to have a fellow sister on the journey and look forward to getting to know you. Love the name of your site. 😉 Blessings!ReplyCancel

  • Such a beautiful post, Meredith. I too, wish women would reach out to each other & help each other. It takes real women, with real hearts for Jesus to be mature enough to love each other exactly in the place the othrr is in. The comparing & competing has to be laid aside, for real sisterhood to happen. Like you said- we NEED each other.ReplyCancel

    • Thank you, Kaylene. You are right, it does take real women to love real, doesn’t it? And it’s not always easy to be real (not for me, anyway.) We DO need each other, though, and I’m glad to be on the way to seeing this become reality in my own life and hopefully in more lives of women in the sphere God gives me. Love having you here!ReplyCancel

  • […] This post was shared with Holley Gerth, Joy Dare, What You Wish Wednesday, A Little R & R Essential Fridays, Blessing Counters, Mom’s Morning Coffee, SITS Sharefest, Mommy Moments Motivation Monday She Lives Free Titus 2 Tuesday Meredith Bernard […]ReplyCancel