Every life has a story. Everything you have been through, your past, the pain, the present, the joys, and the struggles, are each a chapter in the story that you are writing. They tell a tale of where you’ve been and why you are who you are today. The chapters are not always well-written, they’re not always glamorous, but each one makes for your personal and beautiful manuscript.
The pages may hold accounts of brokenness, pain, and hurt, but every word that we live out has the power to change another life. My story had stayed buried for years before I dared to open the cover for anyone. Because, if I’m honest, my pages were a tattered and torn narrative. In fact, I had found myself in the middle of a plot twist. Ironically, we live in a society where binge-watching has become a phenomenon. We are so entertained and enthralled with the idea of suspense and the cliffhangers that leave us on edge. So, we gorge ourselves with hours of watching, waiting, and discovering what the tale holds for us, how the plot unfolds. But in reality, we often sit on the edge of our story, waiting, wondering, with few answers of what’s to come. All I could do was turn each page, one at a time, waiting to see what came next.
The pages of my sweet story quickly began to fill up with chapters of abuse, betrayal, single parenthood, financial devastation, and loneliness. If I could have held the book of my life in my hands, I would have shoved it as far back on the library shelf as I could. It would be safe there. It could stay where it belonged…hidden and unread.
Because of nothing short of grace, healing and restoration became part of my storyline, filling the plot with more hope than I could imagine. The months and years that followed were full of one consistent theme in my life: “Tell your story so the world can heal.” When I finally began to heal and was given the opportunity to share, I got to witness the amazing miracle of healing in women all around me. We so often wear our shame and our past, letting it be a part of who we are. I was determined to change that.
Being a visual person, I thrived off of scribbled notecards with quotes taped onto my bathroom mirror, car dashboard, anywhere that I would see them. They became my tangible encouragement, and it made me braver, day by day. Eventually, two key phrases began to shape how I wanted to live out the rest of my story: “strength & dignity” and “my story.” Never wanting to forget the deep promises in those words, I had them permanently inked on both wrists to remind me when I would begin to forget. My identity was no longer a story of shame, but of healing and hope.
Whenever I share about my experiences, I joke that the problem with even beautifully scripted ink reminders is that eventually I would run out of skin. So I began seeking and thinking and searching. There had to be another way that I could help others wear their story of strength and redemption, just like I had so desperately wanted to. It wasn’t long before one word came to mind:
My intentions were small. I hoped to create just one simple necklace with the same inscription on my arm to gift to the women I would speak to. One necklace, one quote. I wanted them to begin wearing their story, not their shame, and turn it into a testimony that the world t see. But every opportunity to do so turned into a dead end. And although I had started my blog, What Was Broken, which has blessed me with the immense way to write and connect with other women, this idea kept burning inside of me: “Wear your story so the world can heal.”
Sometimes a closed door is not your “no;” it’s your “not right now.” And I’m so thankful for the no’s and closed doors during my search. Without them, I would not have had the chance to find and partner with JBloom. One late winter afternoon, it was a single Instagram photo that led me to JBloom. Their message was everything in my heart: “Wear your story.” It’s not often that you find a company whose purpose is greater than business, rather to encourage, reach out, and change lives. And from that, the What Was Broken Collection was born.
It has become more than I ever imagined. You see, the What Was Broken Collection, feat. JBloom, is so much more than jewelry. It’s the creating of stories. I get to shed tears of joy every single week when a customer thanks me for helping them to create a visual reminder of how strong and loved they are. I get to package up pieces that I helped a customer create to commemorate a loved one, a struggle they have just overcome, or even the love they have for their families. I’ve had customers create pieces to celebrate their remission, remember their angel babies, stand up in bravery in the middle of their depression, or gift to their best friend after her cancer diagnosis. I’ve swelled with joy as I’ve mailed out countless Mama Bear necklaces to remind other moms of how fiercely we love and protect our children and cried as I’ve designed bracelets with semi-colons for others whose story could have ended, but didn’t.
No, this is not just jewelry. These are our stories. What could have been our tales of shame, struggle, and pain are now being worn as testimonies to others. My hope is that the What Was Broken Collection does exactly what it promises as others create, design, and put together the pieces of their story to wear boldly and proudly…
Wear your story. Show the world.
To read more about SarahBeth’s life, don’t miss Why I Share My Story of Healing After Domestic Abuse.
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