This has been such a hard blog to write. Once we put something out there on paper/blogland it somehow holds us to accountability, but I’ve done the “looking WAY back,” “looking back” and now it’s time to set nostalgia aside for a minute and take a deep breath to look ahead. This is not a goals blog post (maybe next?). This is a heart blog post.
I guess one reason it’s been hard to write what I feel like is coming, is because I had been quite unsure. I was feeling stuck. I was feeling mediocre at best. A series of events this past fall led me to sit back and pause and ruminate on the feelings I had, the person I am becoming, and God’s truth’s vs. my flesh vs. satan’s lies. All good things to take inventory of.
While I won’t go into the details much, I will say, someone I held as a dear friend quite literally turned her back and chose to believe things about my character that were simply untrue. Space to move beyond her own narrative was never given and then it was shockingly taken to a public platform. It was so hard to see such divisiveness and hundred’s of women’s insecurities aroused surrounding ideas of friendship, trust, and homeschooling mom community. I would read (utterly saddened by) what other’s (many Christian women) would write about “me,’ a real person they did not know. And then I remembered those 4 words, and I could finally make sense of why it was happening.
Hurt people, hurt people.
It’s so simple, those 4 words, but so damaging they can be. The thought of someone actively spreading lies and gossip on a public platform was a lot to take in. In fact, there’s a good reason why I’ve waited nearly 2 months since this happened to actually write about any of it “publicly (on my small little blog).” And even as I thought these words into writing, editing, and re-editing it wasn’t to share more of the story, but to ask myself is what (and why) I am sharing, helpful to the body? Is it encouraging? Does it promote unity?
I don’t want to be someone who hurts people, even though I know I do. Often, when we speak from raw emotions and choose not to weigh our words, influence, or relationships we end up doing much harm. I believe in a Jesus who forgives and is so much bigger than this, but I also know firsthand how a haughty tongue and lack of self-control can have irreparable effects on relationships of all kinds. It was a daily act of self-control to not retaliate or try to share my side, which I still won’t because it simply doesn’t matter in the Kingdom.
But here’s what I’ve learned… and here’s what I would say to anyone who has found themselves in a place of being misunderstood…
Keep on loving.
Keep on trusting.
Keep on sharing.
Keep on living.
Keep on seeking joy.
And continue to invite others into your story and your journey. (of course there are times when real boundaries must be set because of physical or psycological harm or threat thereof, but I am not speaking of this type of harm) There is a great freedom in inviting people to stand in the sun with you. I will not run or be shaken. I will continue to do these things with the same joy and recklessness I always have. I have found transparency to be the great game changer and though it may be used against me at times, I will not be untrue to who God has made me to be.
Glennon Doyle refers to the best kind of circle as a horseshoe. There’s no closure. It’s always open, and anyone is always welcome. I will include others. My circle isn’t a circle at all. There’s always room in this horseshoe for one more.
You won’t find me in 2019 cowering, or doubting who God has made me to be. Instead, you’ll find me with my head down, praying more, listening more, opening my heart more, and boldly sharing, encouraging, and loving.
In short Romans 12:15-17 says everything I love and hold dear about community and how I pray to live my life!
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.”
So cheers to 2019!
Here’s to whatever life throws at us, knowing and resting and trusting that God is mighty and he’s got it handled.
What about you? What are you learning and growing into in 2019? How are you showing up for others? I’d love to hear!