She is right. I do. I explained what I write is never going to violate someone's privacy. And even if it did, the person whom the story is about, would probably be so far removed from my life already, and never fully identified in the text. Plus, the stories I write are often from my perspective, not someone else's story to tell.
This seemed to put her heart at ease. She went on to say that if I ever wrote about her, she would be concerned about how I portrayed her. She has shared some pretty devastating and heart wrenching family details that she would would never want to share with just anyone.
I replied, " You of all people would never need to be worried about how I or anyone else would ever portray you. You are an amazing friend, mom, wife, and ministry leader. You are kind and gentle and encouraging. You are helpful, faithful and innovative. You are a natural leader, an advocate teammate and inspirational to those who have yet to begin their journey. You my friend, are a woman to look up to, a woman most would aspire to be. If I wrote about you, all of the amazing things I see in you would pour onto the page. So much so, that every reader would desire to know someone just like you."
She sat in a pool of untouched tears listening to truth." I have never seen myself as you describe. On a good day, I am...a mess! I am lonely, struggle with jealously, envy other people, desire true community and can't seem to speak a kind word to my husband. I don't think I was meant to be a mom and I just want to quit my job. How is it that what you see and how I feel are so vastly different? "
"They aren't. I see your amazing strengths. You are focused on how you feel. I see how many times you have tried and tried again. You only see the how many times you have been knocked down. I see determination where you see continued failure. Hasn't anyone ever told you these amazing truths? Do you not know this is who you are? Stop judging yourself, stop thinking that you are not able to overcome your past. Start listening to others. Those I love you's from your husband, he means it. Those hugs from your children, they adore you. The words from a friend? I mean them. Let my words become your truth. "
My friend will still have dark days. She may still worry about conversations such as the one we had and if I will write about it. I will. And I will always write truth. Because without it, I am lost.