Your Testimony Could Keep Someone From Prison

Everyone has a story. That’s what I was told when I got into blogging and was trying to “find my voice”. I’ll never forget being at a workshop where they were talking about the power of your story, and they said, “Your testimony could save someone’s life”. I thought that was a really exaggerated comment. Nor did I think at the time that I had any testimony worth sharing let alone, spark the possiblity of saving someone’s life.

The speaker later went on to say that we all have someone who is out there waiting for us to take that first step; waiting on us to share our story of going from pain to purpose. They added, it would be selfish of us not to share our story because our testimony could keep someone from prison. No, not literally of course. But it could be the very thing that feels like prison to someone who is silently suffering. Your story is the key that can unlock someone else’s prison. Share your testimony!

I remember when my sister and I first got together this time last year to sit down and finish writing our first book. The thought of it was exciting…until it came down to actually writing it. It forced me to be authentic and to tell my story in a way that I had never done before. It forced me to confront and to share pieces of me that I didn’t want to share with the whole world. And then a voice kept repeating to me, “It’s not about you”. In order for me to share my struggle with postpartum depression and being raped by my high school boyfriend (that’s a whole other story for a different day), I had to understand that someone out there was waiting on me. Someone else out there needed to hear my story so that they could be set free. And guess what? Someone is waiting on yours too.

Shortly after our book was published, I received a message from someone close to me that said, “Wow, I don’t feel so alone and for the first time, I feel like it was not my fault.” The waterworks started flowing because I then heard, “This is why I needed you to share that story” (which I was fighting initially). So who is waiting on you?

share your testimony

After starting a conversation in a Blogger Group on FB, we realized that we wanted to come together to do something where people can share their stories reguarly (and not just during awareness month). If you’ve suffered from a mental illness (primarily depression), then we encourage you to share your story. Share your testimony because it may just be the thing that sets someone else free. Our hope is that one day, more and more people will speak openly about their struggles without fear of being ridiculed or chastized. If you’re struggling now, please know that you matter. You are loved. You are needed.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
1-800-273-TALK – (1-800-273-8255)
www.SuicidePreventionLifeline.org

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    LaShawn
    December 17, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    For too long mental illness has been a stigma in the black community. Hopefully, more people will start sharing their stories to build more awareness and help people get HELP!
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    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      December 17, 2014 at 11:56 PM

      Thanks for sharing LaShawn! I completely agree and definitely, that is my hope as well.

  • Reply
    Jaye@Curvatude
    December 17, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Great post and so true. We never know how someone might view our stories as a lifeline. Mental illness has played a huge role in my family and I appreciate your efforts tremendously.
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    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      December 21, 2014 at 3:57 PM

      Thanks so much for sharing Jaye. I truly believe that more light needs to be shined on mental illness so we can encourage more people to get the help that they need.

  • Reply
    Stacie
    December 17, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    This is so true. You never know what someone is going through. I have been blessed many times by someone else’s testimony and it’s shed light on my own situation.
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    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      December 21, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      Me too Stacie! It’s in being blessed by other peoples’ testimonies that I realized I needed to one day tell my own story so I can be a blessing to someone else. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Kerissa
    December 17, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    I keep seeing this message m! All I can do is surrender myself to the ketboard and the God given words that He will breathe through me. I’ve shared bits and pieces of myself but I don’t know that I’ve told the whole story. Once we share, we regain our power and strength. That struggle no longer has a negative hold on us that prevents us from living our best life as well as being a light to others. Good read!

    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      December 21, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      Hi Kerissa, I love what you said: “once we share, we regain our power and strength”. I think if more people believe this, more people would share their stories, and more people will be healed through hearing other peoples’ stories. And I’m a strong believer that everyone has someone waiting on them to share their personal story. You will know when the time is right to share yours 🙂

  • Reply
    Adanna
    December 17, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    Thanks so much for sharing this and taking the initiative to create a space where people in mental turmoil can find some hope. I’m a strong believer in therapy to heal and get through rough spots despite the way people sometime stigmatize those who turn to therapists for help. I know first hand that speaking to the wrong people can sometimes make a bad situation worst. “Get over it” “Snap out” are what friends and family who don’t understand may say thinking that they are helping. I will share this on twitter. Thanks
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    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      December 21, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      Hi Adanna, thanks so much for sharing those very important words. I definitely agree that talking to the wrong person/people can make things worse. We as people, need to stop thinking that people are weak or anything else for needing to seek therapy – that’s what it’s there for. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Vashti (Veepeejay)
    December 18, 2014 at 12:08 AM

    Truer words have never been spoken. God bless you Christine. I used to be so scared to *open up*. I grew up in a “keep your business to yourself” culture and in some ways that’s still in me. Since I started blogging, I’m realizing more and more the need to share. We are more alike than different
    Vashti (Veepeejay) would like you to check out…Gifts That Give Back: Heart of Haiti at MacysMy Profile

    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      December 21, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      Trust me Vashti, I completely understand the cultural piece (which is why my sister and I shared that in our book). We are definitely more alike that we are different. Thank you so much and blessings to you as well as you continue on your own journey of sharing and opening up more 🙂

  • Reply
    Janeane Davis
    December 18, 2014 at 12:52 AM

    Our words have power. There is a resason the saying, "The pen is mightier than the sword," is taught to children in school. We must tell our stories because our words have power to change lives and make the world a better place.

    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      December 21, 2014 at 3:45 PM

      I completely agree Janeane, words are so very powerful. That’s why I never understood the saying “Sticks and stone can break my bones but words will never hurt me”. Words have the power to build or tear down, to empower or to disempower and I choose to empower as much as I possibly can. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    MJ
    December 18, 2014 at 4:00 AM

    This is beautiful Christine. I have yet to share my story about suffering from depression stemming from childhood and sexual assault. Well there it is < my first public statement on my truth.

    Thank you for sharing this initiative. I'm not ready to share my full story but I embrace the idea and will definitely support. I may find the courage through this discussion.
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    • Reply
      Christine St.Vil
      December 21, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      Wow MJ, definitely know that you are not alone. You will know when the time is right for you to share your story. But just sharing this here, I’m sure you will bless someone. Often times, when we go through something as traumatic as that, we tend to think that we’re alone. Thank you for sharing and know I’m here if you ever need an ear.

  • Reply
    Christine St.Vil
    December 21, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    I completely agree Janeane, words are so very powerful. That’s why I never understood the saying “Sticks and stone can break my bones but words will never hurt me”. Words have the power to build or tear down, to empower or to disempower and I choose to empower as much as I possibly can. Thanks for sharing.

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