Permission to Shine

by Jenny Marrs, Miss August 2015

From the moment Julie’s email appeared in my inbox inviting me into this role of Blogger of the Month for August, I’ve been suffering from a serious bout of writer’s block. 

Writing for other writers is intimidating. 

I’ve struggled to come up with topics that would be beneficial or inspiring or encouraging for you gals. Because I believe time is our most valuable resource, I’ve had one question rolling around in my mind since reading that email: “Why would these bloggers take the time out of their day to read my measly offering of words?”

JMarrs AWB August Post 2

Recently, I sat with one of my dearest friends on this planet and listened as she poured out her insecurities and fears. I wept over the brokenness that held her captive. I literally pushed my chair aside and stood, outraged at the lies she believed about herself. I stopped her and I declared truths that I saw in her. I could not bear to let her walk out of that room believing those hideous lies about herself. Words just came. There was no outline or editing process or drafts. They just welled up in me out of righteous anger for my beloved friend. 

And, as I shared her value and worth, I realized something. I needed to hear the same words. And, I would be willing to bet that there is someone reading this post today that could probably stand to shut down the lies, as well. 

You see, we all have a unique voice. We all have a noteworthy story to tell. Yet, somewhere in all of the noise of this world, our story is often pushed aside. Our voice muffled. 

There are countless blogs and storytellers out there. I don’t know about any of you but I often fear insignificance in this space. I believe we all want our words to matter. We all desire to make a difference within our sphere of influence. 

And, the beautiful, hope-restoring, simple truth is this: we all matter

We each have distinct gifts and there is room enough for us all. When one of us succeeds, we can cheer her on knowing that her success does not take away from our own. We can lift one another up without fearing our own demise. We can be vulnerable and brave. We can hit publish and send our words out into the world. 

My new favorite quote was shared by Rebekah Lyons during her reading at IF: Gathering in February. I think I’m going to write this on my bathroom mirror. I need this reminder daily. 

As we let our own light shine, we give others permission to do the same.” 

My hope is that this AWB community can continue to give one another permission to shine. What an honor it is to be among you ladies. 


  1. Debbie says:

    But you DO shine! All the time. You just don’t realize it. And you write for me each time you write—it’s as if you say just what I needed to hear that day. xoxoxo

    • Jenny Marrs says:

      Thank you, my friend. As do you. I’m grateful for this little community that brought your encouraging, positive words into my life! Can’t wait to hug you in person at AWBU! XO!

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