9.8.2016

What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

I felt so fragile sitting in the parking lot, too sad to stop crying. And although I had a list of things that really couldn’t be put off another day, I was now entirely too tired to run errands or do much of anything. So there I sat.

Alone.

Moments earlier, a friend had called to tell me something she’d seen posted about me online.

It was harsh and hurtful.

I tried to give myself a little pep talk, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Who on God’s green earth came up with that ridiculous saying? It’s not true. I cried a little more.

I pulled up the Facebook page my friend referenced, and there it was for all the world to see: Opinions about me flying through the Internet, intent on ripping me apart. As soon as I read the unkind words, daggers hit their mark deep inside my heart.

It was only a handful of people, but they debated me as if I were a product sitting on a shelf, void of a soul. A soul that feels and breathes and cares so very deeply about everything.

Instantly, I wanted it all to stop.

I looked up and saw people walking into the store and felt so very envious of them. They seemed peaceful, happy or at least neutral. I suddenly wished for a less risky life.

Why do I display my heart to all the world, typed in pixelated letters?

Words like, “calling” and “disciple” suddenly felt like burdens, not blessings.

I looked back at my phone and reread the hurtful remarks posted online. What’s a girl to do when she’s feeling desperate to fix something that can’t be immediately fixed?

Should I defend myself?

But I don’t want to sound defensive.

Should I pray for others to defend me?

But I don’t want to pull others into this.

Should I just stay quiet?

But then what if my silence just feeds their case?

Every response felt like the wrong response.

What do you do … when you don’t know what to do?

Maybe you’ve sat in a parking lot crying, too. The circumstances might have been different, but the hurt is the same … that sliced-open feeling of being judged, misunderstood and wrongly exposed for the purpose of a good debate.

I wish I had the perfect answer. I don’t. These kinds of situations are messy, complicated and unable to fit in formulaic boxes.

However, I have an imperfect solution that will get us pointed in the right direction: Do the next small thing, the right way, right away.

In other words, find some small right thing to do that negates the negativity. Do that right thing, right away, to prove to yourself what’s being said isn’t ALL true.

There might be some small tangles of truth in the hurtful thing being said. We can pray about that and do something later when the hurt isn’t so fresh.

But first things first. We have to stop the bleeding from the deepest wound.

Do the next small thing, the right way, right away.

The small thing I decided to do was see their comments coming from a place of hurt, not hate. Hurt people hurt people. Something caused hurt to stir up in their hearts. Maybe I even inadvertently added to it without meaning to. Regardless, having compassion for them eased my pain.

I called my friend who’d told me about the hurtful comments and said, “I don’t know what to do except be a picture of love in this situation. If I respond out of hurt, things will only get worse.”

1 John 4:7-8 reminds us of the importance of showing love to each other, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

So, I must let love guide me.

Love can empower me to feel hurt without becoming a person consumed by that hurt …

I can feel offended, but I don’t have to be offended.

I can feel insecure, but I don’t have to act insecure.

I can feel angry, but I don’t have to respond in anger.

That’s the choice love makes.

And please understand I’m not all Pollyanna about this and able to walk it out perfectly. I have to give myself permission to be honest about my feelings. But I don’t have to compound the hurt by reacting out of those feelings. And I don’t want today’s reaction to become tomorrow’s regret.

I never did make it into the store that day. And there are still days I feel so very fragile and vulnerable. Maybe you do too?

Let’s allow God’s love to take us by the hand and empower us in each and every situation where we don’t know what to do.

We can feel afraid, but we don’t have to be afraid to do the next right thing, right away.

Learn how to embrace God-honoring ways to process your hurt in my new book, Uninvited. Get your copy here.

Not sure if Uninvited is for you? Click here to take a free assessment and find out if the heartbreak of your past is affecting you today more than you realize.

Comments

  1. says

    You are such a genuine person. This is your calling. The way you think, it amazes me. I always wait a few days to discuss an issue I have with someone. It helps me see all sides. I’m not sure I would have seen the side you came up with. It was the “perfect” side. You are so led by Christ, it is unbelievable. I love your newsletters. I am honored to get to read your insights. Unbelievable!

  2. Vondell says

    Thank you for sharing this. I really enjoy reading what you post and agree that hurt people lash out in hurtful words. Please don’t stop being transparent! None of us are perfect, and that is why we need the Lord!!

  3. Tammie says

    I think I had read this before, but today, just the title drew me in. I love what you say about doing the next thing the right way, right away. Yesterday, I let something weigh me down and should have taken an action on it then. A decision was made without my consent in the job I lead. (It’s actually in our church where I serve as children’s leader.) it’s a small thing but it is bothersome to me. Kind of “but we’ve always done it that way” kind of thing. I was bemoaning the decision and the way I felt overlooked….until I read your article. So, I did the next thing in the right way…right away. I have reached out to the person in charge of the decision and asked her to call me. Perhaps I can break the cycle of “but we’ve always done it this way”. Perhaps it is too late to do anything about what has been put into a written report. Perhaps it won’t make any difference at all…because what’s done is done and to try to in-do it at this point will make other people feel bad…..but for my own peace of mind, it will help.
    Thanks for your timely obedience in writing this article. Thanks for writing, period! I am blessed by how and what you write. You speak my language!

  4. Sondra says

    Oh sweet Lisa! Your words are a blessing to me more often than I can even count! Reading this today was like reliving my cry in the parking lot yesterday! I’m still wiped out emotionally from the hurt that ripped thru my heart. So I can definitely relate! Only in my case it was something hurtful from my own son and my husband. I didn’t let my son see how hurt I was, he’s only 13. But a lot of what I was experiencing was a result of marriage issues. So my melt down happened with my husband afterwards in the parking lot. I can’t tell you HOW MUCH your book Uninvited is helping me and even this blog from you today!

    If it helps any at all, KNOW that your hurt and transparency to share it, helped me to know how to proceed better from where I sit today. If you had not had to experience pain yourself, you wouldn’t have been able to help me or thousands of others!

    Keep following God, He’ll provide for you and I know I’m not alone in thanking you for sharing your gift with us thru your writings! There will always be a critic, but keep taking the road of love!

    Thank you Lisa!!!❤❤❤

  5. Elizabeth says

    Lysa,
    Thank you for being you. There is no one else like you. And for others reading this comment, there is no one like you, too. I believe God gives everyone gifts and talents. I also believe if someone has a disability it is for God to get the glory. I’m thinking about the man born blind that Jesus healed. The question put to Jesus (probably to trap Him) was who sinned–the man or his parents. Jesus said it was for God to be glorified. And then He healed Him. That really irritated the “powers that be” at the time.
    So with these thoughts, I guess we pray for those who persecute us or say negative things because they need Jesus as we all do. When we don’t know what to do we should pray for wisdom. And forgive. Thank you for your writing–don’t quit. Your writing blessed me today.

  6. Ely says

    I going to start reading one of your books and Im truly excited . I have had a rough LONG season that just seems to not go away. Reading just a little of your blog now helps me understand im not alone and that we need to stand firm when that’s all we can do, There a lot of hurt people in the world and sometimes its our own fault because we allow them to hurt us . I m learning to trust him in the trials even if I feel like Im just so lost and hopeless but I know that in Christ there is always hope . Thank you for your heart and your honest feelings. ELY

    • says

      Ely, You are certainly not alone! We are all broken and in great need of healing from our Heavenly Father. He loves you so much. He loves you just as you are, right where you are. He will not leave you in your hurt place….He will use the brokenness in your life to bring wholeness through His life. Ask God, the One that created you, for a glimpse of who you are meant to be and begin to pray for His guidance to take each small step on the journey to that place. Small steps! Don’t let the enemy sell you a lie that you aren’t worth it….You are!! Praying for you, Ely!

  7. SandyT/kc says

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us-me sister! Praying with-for u….SO looking forward to you coming to KC/ Raytown next year. May Jesus continue to hold you close…be your Very Present Help in this, your time of need.❤️🙏

  8. Jeni says

    Just finished Uninvited-what a blessing-you spoke to my heart. Truth invites critics so you must be doing something right!

  9. says

    This is such a familiar feeling. I love how uniquely God has crafted each of His children in temperament, personality and appearance, but at our core we the same. None of us are immune to heartache from rejection because we are designed expressly to be woven into the fabric of Him and His body….Like fabric, we fray, but we all fray for different reasons. The only way to stay complete is to be completely woven into Him….Heartache only heals when we fully accept His love, just as we are. Thanks for being vulnerable!

  10. says

    You have articulated your experience, with all its complicated feelings, so well. I have yet to deal with internet negativity, and I can only imagine how hurtful it is to deal with. If I every do, I will remember your great advice!

  11. Cindy says

    I am sorry someone hurt you. Sitting behind a screen seems to be all the “thing” out there to strike someone with harsh words- not openly, seems so sad really. Pray. This is my thinking… For both are victims…..I really wish I knew then what I know now…. My fears of being hurt ( again) have stunted me in my walk of life. I being nearly 60+ years should not care what others think , but I do. I attend church regularly-come to a Bible class but rarely reach out, rarely speak-up. Don’t get me wrong I for sure am not wanting pity, just saying that in a honest way my hurts from early in life are still with me. I try to always treat others as I want to be treated, I live life with joy. I as well am not an enthusiast of social media— no FB for me or the like. Just relaying that I agree with you to act right away helps when hurt. Btw I really enjoy your radio spots too!

  12. Sherilyn says

    Thank you Lysa for listening to God and sharing with us about your true feelings. It’s so comforting and strengthening to know I am not the only one to have these feelings. I am reading Uninvited and for the first time I don’t feel so alone. God is speaking to me through you. Thank you!

  13. Lisa Barnett says

    I sincerely hope (and will pray) that you overcome your hurt…but, I have to tell you something selfish. My sister forwarded this to me. I read it. I too am crying. Not FOR you but because of what you wrote. I’m going thru an extremely tough time right now, my entire world has been upended. I’m crying because today I prayed for God to show me some sign…just a teeney weenie sign that I’m not “the only one”. So, thank You, my Father and thank you,Ma’am for letting me know that everything will eventually be alright. I already knew that things will turn out as He chooses, but you reminded me through an email from my sis and through your words. May God bless you and bring you peace…as He has done for me today.

  14. says

    Thank you Lysa for posting this. I appreciate ALL God is doing through you and Proverbs 31 Ministries! I listen to the podcasts everyday and have gained huge wisdom through the last year since May. I share with everyone what you and Renee Swope talk about and continue to dig into God’s word thanks to your podcasts daily! Each podcast is engraved on my heart and will stay until Christ returns or He calls me Home!
    Take care Lysa and Christ Jesus bless you, Proverbs 31 Ministries Renee Swope and your family, friends and her family and friends I pray in His name alone!

    Blessings,
    Tatiana Grubb

    P.S. @imjcsbrid3 Twitter if you want to follow! More than welcome!

  15. Mary says

    I am very sad that I can’t get any answer regarding the DVD. I ordered book and got the study guide also, and it is here. However, when I wanted to start it says to listen to video….don’t have, can’t order??? Please help!!! Get text this morning saying you finished week one??? I thought it was starting STARTING….on September 15th??? I wrote and asked how to get DVD….no answer…..HELP so I can do bible study?

  16. says

    Loved this! Your writing inspires and touches me Lysa.
    I enjoy bringing people together, starting up bible and group studies and writing a small blog about faith. Even in these little ways, I come across rejection, and to read that you experience these feelings, it really made a difference to me today. We’re not alone, whether our ministries are small are big. You are a real person. Thanks for this encouragement and your transparency. I need to read this book 😉

  17. Marisol Jackson says

    Lysa, as I read your story, I can sympathize with your hurt. We write and we hope everyone feels and sees what we try to bring to them with that genuine energy. But it is God who plants seeds. Here are the seeds God used YOU to plant unknown to you. This story I am replying to is another example of how God used your circumstance to teach us how to go through trials and hurts just like it. Your wrestling out loud with options but always choosing grace or even making mistakes is what taught me 15 years ago when I first started listening to Proverbs 31 ministries on Dr. DOBSON spots on the radio. (I had 5 kids full custody, a divorce from a 10 year marriage and 2 of his cancer battles, 20 acre farm, work, attending college fulltime…and somewhere in there I must have been crazy) You taught me grace to accept my weaknesses and failures as a young mom. You taught me how to go on when life wasnt meeting my expectation. You instilled me a reality of being just honest with people and how that God worked through that better to help others also overcome than people phoney. It was also your words that inspired me to write. I wrote privately, then it made emails…stories of our lives, miracle after miracle of God. Kept them in private emails to friends, doctors, teachers, lawyers…and I also expected reactions but knew only God could use my stories to reach those he wanted. And always in there is a critic. But I didnt write for them. I wrote because God inspired me to share that story…for His use. Sis, God greatly uses you…I am sure you are more popular than Pharoh himself! I am reading Univited now…and I thank God you wrote it. Your personal story God is using to help heal my daughters who have been also left by their dad and their hurt to understand what kind of Dad God really is. I had been praying for something to reach them just days before I got it.
    Sometimes, I wish I had 1 hour with you to hear how to do some many things. But even as you do not know me, through your ministry, your media, your books…I feel like I have always known you. A friend in the midst of crisis always leaving pearls of wisdom to guide my soul even when your words of truth stung and hurt because God was using them to deliver and heal me of my ways.
    You are a blessing and I thank God for you! Maybe one day you can teach me how to be published and overcoming the fear of the next step. BTW…I dont know who your friends were being published…But I have 3 of your books and we know You. 😉

  18. Kristin says

    I was typing up something for my blog and needed to know the correct spelling of your name, so I switched over to Google and started to type your name in the search field. I found your name and something caught my eye on the results page, “Don’t follow Lysa!……” What?!?! Who would say that?!?! So, I reluctantly clicked on this website to see what this lady had to say about you. I was reading and I couldn’t believe what this lady was saying. First, how could one “Christian woman” say this about another Christian woman? And then I was thinking, my bible doesn’t say the same thing and even what she was arguing was being deflected in the next verse, if she would have kept reading. Do you want to know how I could say that this woman was wrong about her thoughts of you? Because of you! I meet you at a conference where you signed my book and you just shined: Shined for Jesus, shined of happiness and shined of just being a good friend. I felt like I had known you forever and it was only about 30 seconds that our paths crossed. So what that lady was saying about you personally was a complete lie and I could argue that with her. You know how I could back my facts up with the bible? Proverbs 31 ministries. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon P31, but I have been blessed ever since. All the bible studies and my most fav!! (ignore the grammar  ) the First5 app. I have matured so much as a Christian, wife, mother and citizen with the resources P31 has provided. I would still be continuing the pattern of falling on and off my path, eventually falling off the cliff. Thankfully, P31 has kept me from falling off the cliff.
    I have learned that jealously feeds the devil’s agenda. We believe the lies that jealously stir up and then it’s a downward spiral from there. My work feeds on drama. We could be the perfect story line for a soap opera. One day I was part of that “sliced-open feeling of being judged, misunderstood and wrongly exposed for the purpose of a good debate.” I was devastated. I am like the “little sister” of the department. Now, I am not an angel, but the lies were all misunderstood. Twisted. So what was the right thing that I did to prove it wasn’t “all true”? I continued to play my role as little sister and never let on that I knew I was the story of the week. I think everyone was confused that they couldn’t get any dirt out of me, rouse me up and spill my drama. I kept my head up, prayed hard and stayed on my knees. That was when I realized that God really does walk with me every day and I can go through anything with his strength.

  19. Sydney says

    Lysa, thank you for sharing this with us. My mom has always told me two of the things you mentioned above. “Hurt people, hurt people,” and to keep moving. It is so true that hurt people hurt others. I have been in the position where I was hurting and wanted someone to understand so badly what I felt, that I ended up hurting people I loved. I think everyone has been in that position at least a time to two in their life. I love the advice you gave; to keep moving, to do something the right way, right away. I believe that Satan’s first tactic to bringing us down is getting us to stop moving. If he can get us to stop long enough he can convince us to redirect our paths away from God. When things get tough or people say horrible things about us, it is our job to keep doing what God has called us to do to keep moving towards the goal or calling God has placed in our hearts.

  20. says

    Thank you so much for posting this! For the past nine months I have been torn apart on Facebook and had horrible things said about me that had no truth to them. Like you, I have been at a loss in how to deal with it. I have prayed Psalm 70 so many times and felt such despair that it’s affected my business, which is based on my social media presence. I am grateful for your transparency and giving me something to print out and tuck in my notebook where I faith journal. I was just reading Uninvited today and wanted to check your speaking schedule when I came across this post. Thank you so much and keep on shining your light girl!

  21. Paula Cummins says

    Lysa, thank you for being open. As always, so timely. It is challenging for me to be vulnerable because of past hurts, judgements, and criticism. Although, God is calling me to be vulnerable. Those old fears have been weighing on me of late and causing me to back up. I needed to read this, this morning. I’m going to move forward, knowing that criticism will come but trusting He will give me the answer when it does. Thank you for being vulnerable! Thank you for sharing and encouraging others to keep pressing forward. May He continue to richly bless you!

  22. Teresa says

    Lysa,

    I love reading your stories. It’s true that hurt people, hurt people. I struggle with rejection and feeling left out. I recently had an incident when I got a phone call from a family remember who was upset with me and she lashed out at me, which caught me by surprise. She was so upset that she start talking about things that someone else told her about me and it had nothing to do with what she was upset about in the first place, so she tried to hurt me as much as she could. She was hurt, so she wanted to hurt me. I love the book Uninvited and the OBS is so awesome I’m really enjoying it. I just received my “Live Loved” Tee shirt on Saturday and I just ordered the other one today 🙂

  23. Dana S says

    I love to read your insights and hope you don’t mind a man poaching wisdom from your Blog (just kidding as I know you don’t) . I can still relate from a male perspective as pain is a universal commodity. It knows no boundaries as to gender, age or origin. One of the lessons I had to learn as a christian was embracing Christ did not exempt me from pain. I spent many years as an agnostic if not outright atheist and I somehow did not expect the torment to follow me into this knew life.

    What I actually learned was that pain is part of what God uses to mold us into Kingdom workers and defines so much of who we are in Christ. Did he not say something in the order of, “if they persecuted me, how much more will they persecute you” ( too lazy to look up exact quote). If you are bold in your Love for Christ expect to be challenged (Think Paul) and use the pain to grow from. You are so right in responding with loving the next thing. Sure a time may come that you have to defend your view, but Peter admonished us to always be prepared to explain the reason why we believe (paraphrase). The Holy Spirit came to me in a devotional I wrote once when I was dealing with tragedy and hurt. He prompted me to title it with this simple Phrase that speaks volumes: HE KNEW THERE WOULD BE PAIN

  24. Ruth says

    Lysa, you have helped me so much with univited, my prayer every morning before I go out is that I will bring God’s fullness to my day, its not easy sometimes, but it is vital. But before I go out, I can cry to God, share my pain with him and in doing that, he enables me to take his fullness into my day… Thank you for your honesty, you are so brave and courageous and yes it does cost you, but I am so thankful for you, because it has allowed me to grow and be honest about my situation too. x

  25. Kara Shelton says

    Dear Lysa,
    I just started reading “Uninvited” this week, and am participating in a group study with some friends. As I read it, and I found out today, as others were reading it, many of us wished we had the ability to share this information with our tween/teen daughters, or girls in our lives (I am also involved in youth ministry with our church). I will do my best to work with my own sweet girl to encourage her to not put assumptions on others’ looks, remarks, etc. BUT, as I remember how I felt when my own mom tried to help me through the same type of thought process, I did not believe a word she said. I was wondering if you might consider teaming up with a young adult author to take the important things God has spoken through your book, and make it a little more accessible to the tween/teen aged girls out there. There are so many mamas and daughters out there that would be able to benefit from such an endeavor. And, as a mother to daughters, I know you understand this need for our girls. Thank you for listening to God’s calling. He is using you in spaces and places you may never be able to physically be, and helping many more women than you will ever realize this side of heaven.

  26. says

    Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your heart. The world expects us to react with anger and cynicism and to seek justice. Or just hurt back. As I keep telling my kids, as Christians we need to be different and react with grace. You are an example of that! Love your blog and your books :). Blessings from another Lisa 🌸

  27. says

    I just heard you speak at the Ohio Propel event. I’m not sure what you have been walking through, but I felt connected to your pain. You talked about rejection and it resonated with the season I am in now. I lead a Propel chapter in my city and just before our launch, I discovered that my husband (the worship pastor of our church) has been having an affair with another married woman. I have been working in women’s ministry for the last five years and I have never felt so much humiliation and pain in my entire life. I am out there suffering for all of the world to see. Thank you for being real. I’m praying for you and your heart tonight. <3

  28. says

    A year ago i was feeling rejected by a group of women who i thought were my friends and i was struggling to walk with grace through the situation and my sister said “You don’t have to be subject to that.” And that really hit me hard because that’s exactly what i was allowing it to do. And i thought you’re right! I only have to be subject to the king. King Jesus. And even though i was hurt, i was able to pass the buck right on over to Jesus and say I will walk with grace and forgiveness because i am subject to God, not anyone else. I don’t have to be subject to the hurtful words and rejection. I can smile even when a smile isn’t returned and hold every hurtful word and action up to God and say you see this, I’m giving it to you. I don’t have to let it take root in me and cunsume me. But as you say, that can only be done as we filter it through the love of Jesus in our own lives.

  29. says

    It’s funny, I JUST went through a situation similar to this. I actually was saying the same thing about the “stick and stones” saying in my latest post. Words DO hurt! Sometimes they wound so badly we aren’t sure we can heal! I love the truth of this post and the gentle nature in which you chose to do deal with your hurt! Looking forward to reading more of your words! Be blessed!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  30. Karan Cook says

    Lysa,
    OMG!! This is me! You wrote a book on MY life!! I am not a reader. I don’t comprehend. I don’t understand the words. I re-read everything, sentence by sentence, 3, 4, 5 times to really try to get in my head to stay there. I struggle.
    I saw your book on Facebook, UNINVITED. Looked at the sub-title and confirmed that this was about me. I got the book and study book, then because I am not a reader, there was no way of keeping up with the weekly study, so I got the DVD. So, I’m set. I’m gonna do this.
    I have a twin sister that could be a church communicator. She does counseling and holds a lady’s Bible Study in her home weekly. No one will play Bible Trivial with her because she knows 95% of the answers. She has given me so much advice and counseled me numerous times. We went to church as babies and just 3 weeks ago, celebrated our 60th birthday. She graduated 4th in our 300+ senior class. My parents always thought if I just studied more or applied myself, I could make better grades. I was labeled! I am stupid, idiot, slow learner……. I’m a worrier. Over thinker. Very insecure. Paranoid. Gossiper. Pessimistic. Negative person. Going through life day by day, just to get through it.
    But, YOU are the first person to break it down. Reading this over and over again, I finally understood what God was speaking through you. After 2 weeks, I just finished reading the 3rd chapter. But, I re-read and underlined highlights, which was most of what I had read. I could stop there, but too much I still need to have God speak to me still. Tuesday and yesterday, I finally understood the meaning of heart break, hurt, frustration, sadness, unworthiness, etc. I had pulled myself so far down that I gave up 5 weeks. We had a catastrophic event in our lives 4 years ago. These past 4 years have tramatized me and other people. I was confronted 5 weeks ago for what I thought was petty. He asked me to leave their home. I was only causing more stress in their home. You see, they lived 4 hours from my home. I had gone there to help, as she was to give birth to my new granddaughter in 2 days. After hours of driving around, I ended back of my daughter’s home, just to see. Well, I stayed. Longer story. Since then, I’ve done it all except take my own life.
    Now, the last 2 days, I’ve made a 180 turn around. Yes, I’m a good ole baptist christian and yes, saved. But didn’t understand. I’d tried to turn it all over to God. Stopped thinking because I only became worse when I thought.
    Now, these last 2 days, has totally been changed forever. I finally got it. You spoke, through God, in words I could understand. Even for me. I have released myself of my past. I have forgiven the ones that have hurt, rejected and unloved me. I’ve prayed to God to take my bitterness, anger, hate and anything else that stood between me and Him, away. I’m free!! I harbor no ill feelings against anyone, I feel. Then, yesterday, I accidentally locked my purse, keys, and phone in my car. God lead me to 2 different people that were my guardian angels at that time. All strangers. But, all Godly people. They even knew people in our church and one had even had her wedding at my church. After about an hour, God spoke to me and said, “I told you so. I had the answers”. I felt God smiling in my heart and mind. As I sat quietly, trying to get it together and the car cooler, God said that he never promised easy times, but HE would be there by my side to go through it with me. Just trust. God gave me a sign to confirm to me that I could trust Him. Love and be loved by Him. Believe in His future for my life, etc. I’ve even shared this with my pastor and secretary today! I fill renewed, refresh and alive, happy and free, but most importantly, LOVED. Still going to continue the study on my own. But, do read and watch the videos and messages via emails. Just going at my pace. I can’t thank you enough for allowing God to speak through you in terms I could understand. I pray to God to continue His work through you! Hopefully, one day, I will get to go to one of your lectures or even meet you. Thank you & God for your love and compassion to finally helped me to understand that I am worth it and LOVED.
    Hugs,
    Karan

  31. Lee Taylor says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was recently hurt in a deep way by a church member. God somehow took hold of me in the moment and kept me from lashing out at the person to defend myself. It was one week before my precious mama passed away. All I could hear in my head that night was her saying “We don’t have to like everything everyone does, or even like them, but we MUST love them.” I want to love like her.

  32. says

    I am sorry you were the subject of someone’s false perspective. I love what you shared about reminding yourself that hurt people, hurt people. I taught at a college years ago, and at the same time in my personal life I was working on being more “personable”, more “present”, learning to ask others how they were doing, etc. I did this with my class. I would ask everyone how their week was going, make eye contact, give them positive feedback along with constructive criticism and how to improve (this was a skills based class), be personable, things that didn’t always come naturally to me. I knew that each week I was trying to love those in front of me, intentionally. After the 9 week class, I received the feedback forms from the department. 8 of the 9 gals said things like “unfriendly”, “unorganized” (I have done organizing for friends in the past and I am a “detail” person), “did not give positive feedback on assignments”, the list went on. I was CRUSHED! I went and talked with my supervisor and she said something that really helped me. “Other people’s perception is not always reality”. This came from a woman who as chair person of the dept. was continually bombarded with criticism from students who didn’t like how she ran the program. I thought she did an excellent job!

    That experience and MANY MORE have caused me to press into the Lord each and every time something like this happens, and ask him the ROOT of this hurt. It has been 10 years since that class and each time I have been falsely accused, or rightly spoken the Truth to, but it feels hurtful, whether at work or by a friend, I have taken this to the Lord in my quiet time and He has graciously brought healing to that wound (usually it’s from my childhood, where someone said something or treated me in a way that caused this wound). He encourages me to be REAL with Him and walk through those feelings of shame, rejection, etc, and then He has replaced those lies of the enemy with His Truth, and over the years those words and comments of others do not hurt to the degree they did. Each time a layer of the lies comes off, they are replaced with the Lords perspective, and HIS Truth, and those comments mostly glide right off my back. I am STILL a work in progress. My friend says “Getting free is messy!” But the outcome is so beautiful.

    I made the decision after that to NEVER read the feedback forms from students. Instead I asked 1-2 trusted students (the program was full of non-traditional students) for their honest assessment and feedback. I don’t do Facebook b/c after trying it for 3 months, saw that while there can be good parts to this, there are so many reasons not to do FB, including the reasons many of the ladies who posted gave. Or, at least when being a part of social media, we have to really guard our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart.” What if those of us who have a blog or those who have a FB page, have a trusted friend/spouse to “weed through” the emails and comments and delete those that are outright nasty and mean spirited? Feedback is one thing, but when someone is intentionally being judgmental, as one reader shared she saw a woman doing, those need to go. If we read a comment that is negative about another friend, why is it necessary to tell this person? What if we said, “Hey, can I have your password? There is a comment I saw that I don’t feel is healthy or coming from a godly heart, do you mind if I delete that for you?” Or, if that’s a little weird, what would it look like to set a boundary with our dear friends and say “If you read a mean comment about me on the internet, please don’t share it with me.” What if we do get wounded and instead of accepting the lies and believing them, we run into the Lord’s arms and ask Him to heal those wounds and replace them with His Truth? I know I can sometimes sweep the roots under the rug again, but I am learning they will come up again the next time.

    There is one christian blog I read on a regular basis and there is no place for comments. I think that is brilliant! What if we gave our close friends access to our hearts and kept those in internet land out? Instead of opening ourselves up to unhealthy and unwanted criticism, what if we did everything we could to guard our hearts? Yes, the reality is that we will be hurt, that’s part of life and it can’t always be avoided. We don’t have to allow everything that others say, type, comment on, into our lives/hearts though.

    Honesty confession – Right now I am thinking, “Hmm, will those who read my comment think I am being critical?” I know it’s not my heart and I can’t control what others will think. “Will someone post a not so loving comment in return?” “Will anyone read my comment and care”? “Will someone think I am being high and mighty and acting better than”? I am seriously thinking about deleting my comment… but I’m going to post it, for the same reason each woman posts comment, and why so many women have a blog and share their hearts, because God didn’t create us to hide away and never open ourselves up and be vulnerable. He gave each of us unique gifts and things to say and we need to say them, no matter what anyone else says. I am choosing now to be me and be REAL and assume that others will see my comment with the right heart and just do it! Blessings to your day ladies, Paula 🙂

  33. Jeanne K says

    I love the way you put this rejection above, i share some of the same questions….. how would I be able to run my thoughts by you to ease my mind and heart and find direction for my future! I too, feel stuck and dont know what or how to make this better. I did request the 10 day journal because the link expired. hopefully i can get it sent to me. I appreciate you so much!

    jeanne

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