The hardest thing about being transparent with others is how many will have the inability to just accept & support who you are, & who you’re becoming. Be very careful how you handle your delicate seasons & who you trust to be listening ears on the way from the ditch to the mountain top.
What I’ve learned is this: even those who appear to be the most prayer devoted & supportive or those who are lifelong friends or even family, can have lips & tongues that flap about you faster than a jet flying at mach speeds.
When you decide to retreat to a place of rest & quiet so God can work on you, you can prepare for the backlash. Rest assured in the fact that saying no, turning down things, & initiating self care prepares you for what God has in store. He can’t use the exhausted & beaten low. He doesn’t need the closest to you to try & diagnose you, He needs you to shut off opinions & receive His truth.
I experienced a lot of disappointment in 2016, personally & collectively alongside my family. We got beat down & attacked at almost every corner & it was always at the hand or mouths of others. I didn’t advertise that list here or anywhere else, & much I never even discussed in my personal spaces. And I won’t. Ever. If I did many of you wouldn’t even believe what I could tell you or what we have experienced.
I arrived in December exhausted, emotional, fed up & spent. I was misunderstood a lot this year & gossiped about even more. When people don’t know your secret places they’d rather judge your public places, than extend the grace & mercy to familiarize themselves with your battles.
I don’t owe anyone an explanation of what I do with my time each week. Just because those from the outside see me as a stay at home privileged woman, doesn’t mean I am not busting my tail. You don’t have a lens to see into my schedule or my family’s. You don’t juggle what we do. It’s demanding. Some weeks it’s a lot. In the community, for others, globally, etc. & because you aren’t aware of it doesn’t mean I owe ANYONE an explanation or list of why I am worn thin, because some think I sit & eat bon bons all day long.
My reality is mine & until you live it, I’m tired of being judged for it. If I wear my hair in a bun, or dress down, wear no makeup, turn down events, step back from the Internet, cry occasionally, ask for prayer, admit being overwhelmed- whatever the case may be, it means I am just as much human as every eye ball reading this. But, the problem is in our societies, communities, churches, & families, is that everyone wants to be understood, heard, forgiven, supported, encouraged, acknowledged, & loved, yet are the 1st ones to never give back what they expect to receive. They talk a big game about their advocacy & heart for others, when in reality that’s all they do: talk.
Some people love to call me crazy, or loud, or that I crave attention. Some think I need therapy or need to be medicated. Some laugh at my devotion to writing or bible teaching, that it won’t go anywhere & I promote myself & brag too much on my kids. That I’m not a true Christian because I’m outside their box of how they assume a Christ follower lives. They point fingers at my mothering of a child who’s more special in her needs- needs that demand 24hrs of everything I’ve had in me for over 6yrs. And tons more things I don’t want even want to list because it sickens me what some of you out there have said/done to me personally & my family. Whether in email, audibly or said to people who’ve shared your words back to us, because your unkindness bothered them too.
I’ve wanted to scream, “If you only knew! You have no idea! You don’t understand! You don’t know us! I trusted you! We trusted you! So what if my hair isn’t pretty & I’m wearing work out clothes? Do you know what we’ve done for children, World Vision, pregnancy crisis centers, homeless, foster kids, & hundreds of other things I’ve forgotten because I don’t keep lists? What I’ve done for the Kingdom? My family? Our battles overcome & still fighting?” I have honest to God wanted to call every person on the carpet because this behavior is absolutely wrong & it heaps more yokes to oppression than what an individual may already be quietly living out. It’s sinful & divisive & those most guilty of doing it, don’t even know they’re the root of the problem.
In the end, it doesn’t matter. None of it. But, during the journey its excruciating.
I took this month off from many things & I’ll be forever grateful I did. Retreating to a quiet, secret spot is the only place you can peacefully hear from God. I am starting to focus on a new plan & purpose for 2017. I tell you these things honestly, in the event you’ve found yourself in a constant spin cycle with the negative opinions & actions of others too. I’d like to encourage you to let God train you how not to care.
Many things are important in life, many people are, but many more are not. You can forgive, you can be civil, you can be kind, extend grace, & be the better person, but you are NEVER expected to trust people or use your valued personal time entertaining a den of vipers who are ready to strike when you are wounded or strike to inflict wounding when you’re 7 steps from your blessing.
Few people care, the rest are just curious. And the cliché quote states: When someone shows you who they truly are inside, believe them.
2017 is going to be a different personality for me. I am learning how “not” to care, but unlike my old self learning how not to care without having anger & hurt attached to it. If you’re in the same boat you’ll learn that also. When you care about the wrong opinions they’ll destroy your self talk & self esteem. Even the most godly by appearance carry much wickedness & will be tricked into doing satan’s bidding, just by the flick of the tongue or the pressing of a button on an electronic device. It takes a split second for someone to lose their self control & that choice has the potential to bring long term damage to a relationship that otherwise could’ve been a gift to their lives.
Learn how to uncare, so you can pour that energy into the care that breeds positivity. Hurting will people always hurt people. Jealous people are the angriest. Weak people want you to fail & ungodly people smirk & leap inside when you do. Learn how to pray for their healing, but learn how to manage your time & thoughts in not entertaining their darkness.
You have my permission to wear your hair dirty, to trade your tight pretty clothes for comfy ones, to go without makeup, to step back from things that rob you of time with your family, to pursue your passions, to chase your dreams, to cry when you want, to redo your entire life if you wish, to stop being quiet & start speaking out about injustice, to confront those who hurt you & tell them they aren’t allowed to do so, & to live your life in the fullness of the worth that God has assigned for you through the sacrifices of Jesus Christ!
Either way they’ll still call you crazy, still misunderstand & laugh, they’ll still whisper & critique you, & still act concerned when that “worry” is merely curiosity that will be used to gossip about you when you turn your head. So you go do you 150% anyway. They’ll eventually get tired of trying to run in your lane & hopefully stay in their own or they’ll find another one to push themselves into.
Your life will NEVER be about you & them, only you & Him. Don’t waste your time, God’s time, keeping doors wedged open that He wants bolted shut. Ask Him to show you the things & people in your life who are depositing the most darkness into you, then flip on the switch.
Just like photographers, many of us have a dark room full of negatives & the only way they’re ever exposed is through light. That light will either develop or destroy. I pray that the correct light of Christ will develop or destroy your negatives also & provide you with a clear focus on what matters & strength to put one foot in front of the other & accept your appointment & anointing.
God Bless you today & as you soldier on into this new year ahead! Many didn’t live to see another year, but many will. Let’s use the gift of life to stand us up straight & strong & push out what keeps us bent low!
You can start over whenever you want. I hope your day for discernment & change starts right now! I understand your journey & I share mine only to let you know that there’s at least one person out there who believes in your purpose & potential & has you capped under her prayers. Life is hard, but when a few of us realize who we belong to & who we don’t, we’ll unify to be the agents of change vs. being the recipient of division.
Proverbs 26:1-4 (MSG) Fools Recycle Silliness
We no more give honors to fools
than pray for snow in summer or rain during harvest.
You have as little to fear from an undeserved curse
as from the dart of a wren or the swoop of a swallow.
A whip for the racehorse, a tiller for the sailboat—
and a stick for the back of fools!
Don’t respond to the stupidity of a fool;
you’ll only look foolish yourself.