This month marks my one year anniversary since I started working full time at the newspaper and it has been a whirlwind of learning, growing and trying to figure out exactly where I fit in the world of journalism.
It’s not where I imagined myself but I’m beginning to understand that it’s exactly where I belong. Although it’s sort of that way where you reach out your hands, squint and look a little sideways, “Oh I see it now.”
I’ve been writing this column for over six years now in the Hannibal Courier-Post, although the column actually started out as a monthly feature in Hannibal Magazine.
I’m still kidding because I remember a comment on my first column that said something like “What kind of wackadoodle wrote that?”
And it’s funny because I’ve often asked myself the same question.
The truth is that I often run my columns thinking “Who am I? Why would people want to read everything I write?
Well, that’s a good question because I’m no different than any of you reading this. I mean, we may not share the same tastes in food or politics, but we do share the fact that we are totally and completely human.
Unless you don’t check the “I’m not a robot” box when logging into places on the internet, and then I don’t really know what to tell you.
Over the years I have written this column, I have published two books, one which contains the first four years of Courier-Post columns.
I then went from a stay-at-home mom to a working mom with the Hannibal Public School District as a library worker and then a secretary. But my heart never strayed from a love of writing, especially storytelling.
Where would we be without stories? Our stories are really everything.
In most articles, I tell someone else’s story. It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to talk to people about their lives and then write about them and I consider that a precious privilege.
Sometimes they are stories of those who enter the business world and try their luck. I was able to meet people who are starting out and learn that their dreams and hard work are coming to fruition.
Sometimes it’s stories about what came out of a loss or a tragic event, and how their tough story impacted those around them.
From Eryka to Kairos Hope bringing healing to others who have been sexually abused to the men of Harvest House helping people with addictions build new lives. What a privilege to hear what God is doing through the difficulties they faced.
Other times my stories are a recap of some really amazing events that I got to go and write about.
But don’t be surprised if you ever go to an event and see me sitting outside in my dusty old Equinox for at least 10 minutes before working up the courage to walk through the door. Even after I arrive, I’ll probably be the most troublesome person in the room. However, I always find so much joy in telling the story later.
But in this column, I can tell you my story.
I try to be as honest as possible without throwing dirty laundry into the mix. Some things should and should remain private.
I learned early in my life that others are encouraged if I’m willing to talk about my marriage, parenthood, and more. Plus, who doesn’t love hearing about the time I accidentally donated my husband’s entire winter wardrobe to Goodwill?
Where I really connect with people is the stories about my faith.
I am so grateful to the people who approach me with words of encouragement about this column, and many of them in particular that I keep God there. I really want this space to glorify the One who gave me the opportunity to share my testimony with others.
I can’t write my story without God because I would leave out the most important part.
This is because the story of the Duncan family wandering through everyday life is actually written and purposely planned by God. It is His story. Although we are not gracious people at all, our days are filled with his grace. That’s what gets us through.
So thank you for reading this, and to those of you who reached out to me, I can’t thank you enough. God is using you as such a sweet part of my story.