June 17, 2015

Your Story Isn’t a Mistake

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I was reading this morning about how sometimes we are afraid to tell our own stories because of exactly that.. they are ours. And we think who would want to hear that? But it was put on my heart that somebody out there needed to hear this part of mine, so here goes. Some of you will probably know that I grew up in a dirt floor trailer in West Virginia, full of bugs and snakes and a caved in ceiling and the smell of mildew everywhere….and some of you won’t. Some of you will probably know that later and before becoming a photographer, I went to Yale for law school….and some of you won’t. But what very few people will know is that I didn’t actually send in my application to Yale because I thought “what is the point and what a waste of $70 for the application fee.” A friend actually sent it in for me and paid the fee without me knowing.

When I got in, that first semester I became friends with the admissions counselor and basically asked her “what were you guys thinking, taking me?? I’m pretty sure you made a mistake there.” Her answer was really short: your personal statement…nobody else had a story like yours.” Here’s the thing… I had written about that dirt floor trailer. My point is this. Sometimes the muddy & broken places God puts us don’t make any sense at all. And the longer we stay there, the more we feel like maybe He’s forgotten about us. That our story is a mistake. But if we could just see the end game and how it all turns out, we would see that we are getting to the places that we are going and becoming the people we are supposed to be, not despite of where we came from….but BECAUSE of it. That the very thing that you think is breaking you to pieces right now will actually open the door to something you wouldn’t even dare big enough to dream for.

Your story isn’t a mistake. And nobody else in the world has one like yours.

  1. jackie Phillips

    so beautifully stated! I once heard that “God takes the ashes of our lives and creates a beautiful tapestry.” An artist doesn’t show the work till it’s finished.

  2. Sarah Bradshaw

    PRAISE THE LORD, our story isn’t a mistake!!! The most comforting truth to me in Scripture is that God is sovereign— every thing we receive comes from the hand of a kind and wise Heavenly Father, who desires nothing more than to make us happy in Him. I have clung to these truths on countless occasions when the present felt more like God’s displeasure than work done for my good. In the end, hindsight shows God’s hand weaving everything together in perfect harmony, and my only response is gratitude.

  3. Amanda Jackson

    Ahhh Mary! I’m pretty sure I’ve cried for every “Get Fired Up” post you’ve written! So glad that you’re using your gift and telling your story! Can’t wait to read that book you’re writing! :)

  4. Katie

    This is amazing! I have really been hard on myself lately for past failures and the fact that I don’t have a fancy art degree like my husband and many of the photographers I follow, I majored in public health because I love people. Thanks for sharing! This is such a blessing.

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