To My Naysayers…

No one told me this would be so hard.

No one explained to me that people will read and assume–that they will project their own messes onto me and that I will be, at times, buried by it.

No one could have told me, because no one could have known, how much God would use this to bring me to a place of discipline, where for so long, I had none.

And here’s the thing–this isn’t real.

The words you read here, on this blog, are not me. You know that right?

For all my attempts to be honest, vulnerable, transparent, and real (along with every other Christian cliche term regarding “openness”) I can’t really be…

No one can really know me through a series of 500 word blog posts no matter how personal I try to write.

Because this–this blog isn’t real. This isn’t life. This isn’t even my life. It is, in a day, one small portion of what I do, and who I am, and who I long to be, and who God is forming me into.

This is not truth–not all of it anyway. Never once have I suggested that my life is perfect or that I am perfect…

So, when you write me and tell me that I am bragging about my sex life, what would you have me say? Do you want to hear that years of childhood neglect and abuse sometimes swirl in my mind when my husband reaches out to touch me. That sometimes all I want it to say no, all I want is to retreat, all I want is to not be wanted.

But, that I make a choice in that moment to be pleasing and to be pleased…

And when you call me arrogant or prideful, for sharing an experience of God moving, what do you wish instead? Do you want me to tell you how much I struggle with writing anything about myself for fear of just that–appearing to be self-absorbed or looking as though I am seeking admiration?

But, instead I make a choice to insert myself into the story–hoping to illuminate His story…

And, you couldn’t know that I’m not parading around as some Stepford wife complete with deadened eyes and a manicure. Because most days I limp along carrying chronic pain and fatigue that has been a companion for so long that I no longer remember what it feels like to “feel normal.”

But, each day I make a choice to move, to get up, to pursue the things I love in the hopes of forgetting…

Yet, you couldn’t have known any of this. How could you, since you really don’t know me. You know bits and pieces of me and no one can really be known in bits and pieces. No one.

You write me emails telling me that you have me all figured out. You write your own blog posts about me assuming that you know my theology on a particular subject and based on that assumption you call me a fraud. You write me off. You dismiss me.

Oh, and I hurt.

I hurt, not because you don’t like me, but because you have missed the point entirerly.

I hurt because you feel the need to hurt others. I hurt because Jesus hurts, watching you bring your judgement and condemnation upon me.

The irony is so great that it becomes almost laughable. You judging me for being judgmental. You condemning me for condemning others. You thinking you know me when hell, I’m just beginning to know myself.

Your backwards thinking must be exhausting–running in circles almost always is.

And I’m left with not much else to do but pray and get over it. What else is there? But, even in praying I’m reminded that surely what God desires to bless, others will inevitably want to see fail.

Surely where God is, darkness will try, however feebly, to encroach. I’m reminded too, that I cannot allow you to steal away another minute from me–that your motives are ignoble and I owe you nothing.

So, I’m giving you this last pause–take it while you can. Take these words–twist them as you may, warp them, misunderstand them. I consider them yours and they are the last you will ever receive.

How to do you handle criticism or critique? Do you have naysayers in your life? Please, don’t feel the need to compliment me. I’m not fishing for compliments. I’m just tired and today, it shows…