I told you a story once.

I told you a story once. Probably, many a story. I wear my heart on my sleeve, tattooed into that skin that stretches across my arms. Most days I wear it proudly. Most days I don’t hide the tears, or the brokenness, or the hopeless dreams I tell you of. 

I do my best at telling the truth, and I do my best at opening my heart wide and letting you visit. I think honesty and authenticity are rare and yet the some of the most beautiful things in this world. As much as I search for that in my own heart, I search for it in yours, too. I love realness and cups of coffee curled between us that grow cold because our stories are flowing, mixing, mingling, creating something beautiful that reminds me of the messiness of grace.

I don’t ever want to lose that. I always want to be as real as I can be, as honest as I can muster, and as open as a broken but redeemed heart can be.

Yet somewhere over those cups of coffee, and conversations that cut deep into wounds that just won’t quite heal, I somehow forgot that words are precious. Stories are precious. Hearts are even more so.

And I’ve whispered words upon words, shared dreams upon dreams, let tears run freely down my cheeks without recognizing that stories are not always meant to be shared. They are not always meant to be told to strangers, to be sent up into the airwaves, or whispered into the ears of sweet friends. Sometimes your hopes and dreams are meant for you alone. Sometimes things are engraved on your heart for only you to see. Sometimes moments happen for you to share over one, maybe two cups of coffee. Not three, not four.

Sometimes being honest and being authentic means knowing the value of your story. Maybe it always does. And in that knowledge comes knowing that there are those who will honour you story, and those that won’t – and wisdom lets you discern who those are. You do not need to be all things to all people. You do not need to be an open book, a written love story, a broken heart to each person that you know. All you need to be is you. A heart that loves big and loves deep, that knows the preciousness of one’s story is more valuable than gold.

Especially when it’s her own.