Tell a Good Story

Recently, I was gifted with a surprise night to savor an evening at the theater indulging in the musical Hamilton. The musical had come to my attention during the summer of 2020 while much of the world was still on lockdown. Social media was hyping the Broadway musical, and eventually my curiosity was piqued. Hamilton’s unique combination of singing, rapping, and dancing through a biological account of the characters and scenes surrounding the American Revolution captured my heart in ways I had not expected to experience.

After watching the musical from the comfort of home, hope grew that I would be able to watch it live in the theater. Not knowing when that day would come, I began playing the original Broadway cast recording continually. There are 46 musical numbers in this production, and the first act is certainly more familiar to me. Admittedly, I always start at the beginning of act one and rarely make it all the way through the second act.

While relishing the second act in the live production, lines sung by Eliza Hamilton rendered me breathless momentarily as she sang, “I’m erasing myself from the narrative. Let future historians wonder how Eliza reacted when you broke her heart – The world has no right to my heart – They don’t get to know what I said.” They don’t get to know what I said. Tears flowed as I was enthralled by every word, watching her burn handwritten letters.

What tender, raw emotion. I wonder what that may have looked like to erase herself from the narrative. Did she get silent? Did she hide her true feelings, her true self? Were there safe people, safe spaces? Who was there to hear and to hold her story? Who did she feel had the right to her heart, if anyone?

How did the people surrounding her respond? Did they meet with one another and ask each other to pray for her? Did they question if she had gone off the deep end? Did they run away, afraid of what they might find out? Did they talk about her or to her when questions arose?

Eliza didn’t stay silent forever. She put herself back into the narrative. She told her story. We tell her story.

Who tells your story? If not you, who?

Is someone telling a different one about you? Most likely, yes.

Tragedy comes for each of us, inevitably, in one way or another. How we handle those moments says more about who we are and what we believe about ourselves than our words may ever tell. We may retreat inward for a time as we sift through the rubble and figure out where we land. My hope, however, is that we have the courage to say what we need to say, the audacity to name what is hard, and the desire to fight relentlessly for our hearts. 

This is your story. It gets to be good.

Bethany Cabell, a lover of simplicity, is often inspired to write by her everyday relationships. A highly distracted procrastinator mixed with a tender-hearted feeler, she can be a little bit unpredictable on any given day. Bethany calls Texas home where she navigates the messy and beautiful path of parenting two boys with unique challenges. She loves to enjoy life in authentic spaces alongside those she holds dear.