The day it all stopped, part 2

A couple days ago, I was sad about the loss of my scrapbooking hobby. Today, I had another thought.

I stopped scrapbooking because I started telling my own story.

In the scrapbooks, I told my children's stories. I told our family story. Everything was pretty and organized. I highlighted all the precious memories.

Scrapbooking was the first thing I did after leaving the cult of my childhood. Scrapbooking was a way for me to build a new family identity--one that was our very own, separate from the church.

Scrapbooking was my doorway to writing. The first blogs I read were scrapbooking blogs. I followed Ali Edwards religiously. I read scrapbooking magazines. I was fascinated by the idea of creating a beautiful story with words and pictures.

Although I didn't know it at the time, I was suffering from PTSD. Leaving the cult really rocked my world. But scrapbooking was my therapy. It soothed me. It made me happy. I loved creating beauty with my hands. I especially loved the storytelling. And my children loved seeing the books I created for them.

Yes, I stopped scrapbooking but I didn't stop storytelling. I started a blog thinking it would just be about my kids and scrapbooking. Instead, it became my story. I found my voice. I found my courage.

The more I wrote, the less fearful I felt. The more I opened up, the more others opened to me. I fell in love with blogging. I fell in love with this community. I found Rachel Held Evans and Sarah Bessey and Jennifer Fulwiler and Ann Voskamp. I found Sarah Mae and Sarah Markley. I found Kristen Howerton and Suzanne Broughton.

I found myself.

Slowly, I began to realize that writing was my true calling. Writing--especially with emotional honesty--was the gift I'd been given. I secretly dreamed of writing a book.

I stopped scrapbooking because I started following my dream.

I still plan on preserving our family memories but I want to find an easier way. Maybe a pretty box for each child? Maybe I can fill it with simple photo albums and mementos?

I'll find a way. I know I will.