Story is one of the fundamental ways we as humans connect with and relate to one another. Across time, countries, and people groups, it’s the one language we collectively speak. It is also one of the main ways we as humans connect with ourselves to better make sense of our own lives and struggles.

The power of story is one that is so often underestimated, not just in the way it can speak to others, but in the way it can speak to those of us brave enough to put pen to paper and bleed our heart on the page. There’s a reason the ‘tortured artist’ has become a trope. Life makes artists out of all of us. Though our specifics pains and forms of expressing them may be different, the essence of human struggle and the need to express it is the same. Whether in paint, written words, dance, music, or any other means, we all have stories inside us that need to be told.

Through the power of story, twenty-six little letters, a series of brushstrokes, movements, or notes combined with purpose, can alter the life of a single person and create ripples of change that go on for generations. It can alter the future and make history, so why are we so afraid of sharing the stories that have been placed on our hearts?

I think it is because we so often underestimate ourselves and the true power our stories hold, especially as women. We’ve grown accustomed to locking them inside our rib cage and holding them captive for fear of what others might think if we allow them a glimpse of the unedited story of us. But the real magic happens when we tell our stories as they are, not as we wish they were.

For me, writing has become the outlet through which I share and try to make sense of the pain points in my own life’s journey. Whether through novels or blog posts, contributing works or poetry, I find that the words and emotions inside of me make more sense on a page. So, I write for me and so the stories of women in the past are honored and remembered. I write for others so that the stories inside me might cause a ripple of change in someone’s life. And more than anything, I write so the girl wondering if she can really make a difference finds the courage to believe she can.

Because our stories are worth telling.

– Emily VanderBent
Junior Girl

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