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…

 

74 thoughts on “To My Naysayers…”

  1. Wow. I emailed my best friends last night after reading your blog post for hours this is what I said….(linked your blog)…God is using this blog to change my life!!!
    My friends loved the post I sent them. I have been thankful for you all day! I would not handle naysayers well at all bc I take things too personally but I will pray for you to have peace and for God to lead to to writing more. You point of View is beautiful!

  2. ^Not a compliment, but the truth. I didn’t start reading your blog until I knew you for reals–in the *real* world. And you are full of integrity and truth and realness and vulnerability.

    You, in your honesty and truth-telling, Nicole, in the life we live out together on a weekly basis, have made me a better person. A better Christian.

    You have been a gift.

    These are not compliments; these are facts. And if people want to mistreat you out of their jealousy and arrogance, let them.

    They are missing out on knowing one of the most remarkable people living during this century. You are a catalyst for change, Nicole. And people who read your work need to make a choice.

    1. “They are missing out on knowing one of the most remarkable people living during this century. You are a catalyst for change, Nicole. And people who read your work need to make a choice.”

      Nicole, please write that down on your spirit and file it away. It will come back later when you need it most, and I believe our Father is even now watering it. That was a seed of sure fruit. Brilliant.

  3. Nicole, thanks for writing this. Anything in life that is worth doing will be hard, and things that God calls us to are hard. One of my favorite authors wrote that if everyone likes you it means you are a duplicitous person. Having naysayers means you are doing something right. I entered a career field (mental health) that some Christians consider unnecessary and even sinful. In college I attended a church that regularly taught that having depression means you’re not helping enough people and that you’re too self-involved. The logic was that mental health treatment is unnecessary because if you are a good Christian you will be close to Jesus, feel happy, and always put others’ needs above your own (some partial truth). I ended up seeing a counselor who helped a lot with my depression (gasp! I prioritized my own needs!) despite this teaching. After too many years of attending this church I found a church who believes that as Christians we need each other as well as Jesus. I believed I was called to the mental health field and went to grad school, and at this time an almost stranger gave me a book called “Psychoheresy,” which is about how the entire field of psychology is sinful and unbiblical. He gave me his phone number so we could meet up and discuss it. I was 23, and he had gray hair. Creepers. Even now, I have conversations with Christians who believe that psychiatric disorders do not exist and that having symptoms indicates the individual has weak character or is in sin. I agree with you that many Christians have a tendency to judge before gathering all of the information. I am boggled that someone would judge an entire field based on a tiny bit of information, especially when the experts disagree with each other on many things. We should always be discerning regarding what we open ourselves up to, however I think the world would be a better place if Christians took the time to gather more information before making judgments. Just keep doing what God called you to do. Consider the criticism and if there is any truth in it, but don’t let it distract you from God’s work.

  4. I am horrible when it comes to criticism..I don’t take it well at all. It is not that I get angry, it feels as though my confidence has been snatched from me and the little girl I once was is back with tears in her eyes. Is is something though when the lord critiques you. I spent the last 3 months of my life on my knees praying to the lord, learning from the lord.

    Going throughout my everyday life seeing all the things I have never asked the lord about me, things that needed to be changed. Through that raw time of being with the lord, getting to not only know him better, but know myself better, I learned this. There is always going to be someone on the stepping out on the sidelines saying they are in the game, instead having their click board out, think on what to criticize next.

    When they come at you, with things, I have learned to do your best to learn something from it ,and move on. Someone once told me there are two types of people in this world, teachers and students. Well I find there are 4 types of people in this world. There are teachers and students, but there are also teachers that need to be students and students that need to be teachers.

    I am asking the lord, “Lord, allow me to be a teacher when it is the right time, and a student when it is the right time.” I can get is mixed up so much, but as life is a journey it is an ongoing process as well. I tend to think of it as an on progressive progress.

    I had a moment today where I was student, I got it right. I wonder what tomorrow will hold. You know and then those moments where you wonder about tomorrow, all you can do is lean your head back with a big sigh and said, “Only the lord knows!” Life is journey, ongoing process, I tend to think of it as a progressive progress, as we go through out life being Teachers and students. It is in my God given nature to encourage so I will say this, I apologize for this now, Nicole I am glad you are human, keep on being human, keep keepin on honey! You are not the only one for sure, but lets the haters sip on the sour haterade, while we are at the fancy luncheon drinking 3 million dollar Champagne! God Bless you Nicole! ~ Writerscomposition

  5. BOOM! This is great. Trolls, haters and naysayers be damned.

    I wrote awhile ago on the idea that we speak in generalities (because we only have so many words to use at one time whether writing or talking) and listen in exclusivities. Basically we don’t give the person the benefit of the doubt and we assume a positive statement about one group (i.e., women, college students, latinos) equates to a negative statement about another (i.e., men, old people, asians).

    I hope you are encouraged today. God bless.

  6. This was well said. I appreciate your honesty in all of your writing but particularly in this one. When I’m attacked I tend to retreat and brood. God has been working on me, though, and I also tend to eventually shake it off and come right back again. Each time, the brooding gets a little shorter and the advancing a little further.

  7. One of my favourites. Perhaps you will like it too. :)

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

  8. I asked someone last week how he deals with criticism, because he’s had his fair share of it. He told me that it doesn’t bother him as much as it used to, but what hurts is when it is blatantly false (like when someone criticized something on page 200-something of his book, and there were actually less than 200 pages in the book…). He said he first looks at it to see if there is anything about it that could be true and that he maybe he needs to take into account, and he said if there is, then that kind of criticism doesn’t bother him.

  9. “People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
    If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
    If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
    If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
    The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
    Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
    For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
    ― Mother Teresa

    Don’t know you, not sure I need to. I enjoy reading your blog posts, I enjoy seeing a fresh perspective on the gospel. And I like that someone touches those “awkward” topics that a lot of other people don’t. How else will we learn about it?

  10. I’ve just recently discovered your blog thanks to a post by Antwuan Malone…and I ♥ you! I don’t have the time or the attention span to read all those cookie-cutter blogs…I want to read something I can relate to, like yours! Christians need to come out of their stuffy, self-righteous, judgmental little closets and engage the real world, and talk about real issues with real honesty, if we’re to have any hope of bearing the fruit that God desires of us. As I grow in my faith, it’s been a real eye-opener for me, how many people out there who call themselves Christians just really DON’T GET THAT. WWJD is more than 4 letters on a rainbow bracelet, more than a short-term mission trip, more than a $20 bill in the offering plate at Sunday service, etc…maybe there should be an “app” for that? Think that would help? Don’t worry about your naysayers…trolls and a******* are everywhere…people like you aren’t! ♥

  11. Thanks for being so transparent. I know it is frustrating.

    I have gotten a lot out of your posts. Our walk with God is just that. A journey. One of the biggest things people need to realize is that we all should RARELY be in the same place in that walk with someone else. If we are, we are stagnating.

    Your posts speak to people. Not all people but there are more than you think that need to hear what your write.

  12. I personally LOVE your blog, and I’ll say, if everyone is happy with you, you’re probably not doing something right. Haters gonna hate! :]

  13. Oh Nicole, thank you for writing this. It’s funny how many Christian cliches are coming to my mind write now. I could say, “Pray it away,” or “Give it to God”, or “The Spirit is bigger”. And all of that is so true. But I know how hard it is when you are trying so hard to share something real and true and passionate, and you meet resistance. I don’t understand how out of 500 words people often focus on 10 that absolutely miss the point. Frustrating. So we can respond with prayer and go to the Word and all that really good stuff, but sometimes it seems like the only real comfort would be to find a friend (a real one) and cry and cuss for a while. I mean really, whoever said Christians should have it all together. We’re a mess, like everyone else.

    1. Nikki,
      Ha! I love that all those cliches came to mind because they did for me too. “Let go and let God…” came to my mind and I cringed.

      And you are right, sometimes we just need to cry and cuss and I have done that. I have also laid in bed at night constructing the perfect comeback to those who would attempt to strike me down.

      But today, I was just tired and felt like letting it all out–not biting back but just responding. Thanks for the words, friend.

  14. I experienced this earlier this year. We are “missionaries” of sort, in one of the poorest counties in the US, having been here for almost 2 years now.

    We had just finished a camp that we did — completely run by volunteers and donations. And I was confronted with all kinds of negative people. Some of the rumors were twists of the truth, and some were flat out ridiculous lies.

    Like you (it seems), I was accused of being arrogant and self-serving, as if I was looking for glory by moving my family away from a great city and great church. All we’re trying to do is help some “at-risk” kids.

    But a mentor told me that if we weren’t getting some pushback, we probably were doing something wrong.

  15. I hope I have not said things like this… I would feel like a failure if I have been that mean.

    I guess some folks speak out of their own hurts and disappointments in life…

    I would also add that typically most legalistic people do not know that they are legalistic, nor do they know how mean they appear to others.

    I was astonished when some folks pointed out how bad I was a few years ago. It led to some big changes in my life.

    Keep up the good work… I like your common sense articles… You seem to have more common sense than most people I have ever met in my life.

  16. Nicole, I don’t care how many naysayers you encounter – I believe they must be in the minority. Even if they aren’t, if you’re one day tempted to quit because of them, I’ll give you my email address and you can send your blog entries to me personally, because I want to keep reading what you have to say.

  17. Well, like it or not, God is using you anyway—for lots of good in His kingdom. I’m glad you addressed the naysayers. It needs to be said. Whenever you put a piece of you out there, a belief, a statement, a thought, an opinion, it’s amazing what people say and do.

    Just think of that poor guy recently who hugged the President in his own restaurant! People sent him death threats—all over 30 seconds of one day of his entire life! Screw all the great food and good times they’ve had in his place up until then! Go figure.

    Somehow that’s where we are with the world today and social media. It really is a tight, scary walk. You are in my prayers that you’ll not waver in spreading the message God has most definitely asked you to spread, whether any of us agree or disagree, or act like little schoolyard bullies. God said He’d make the rocks cry out if we don’t. I’m praying He doesn’t have to go that far!!

  18. and also note… I hit the respond button right after I read your email… look how many people beat me to it! Your readers have your back!

  19. Well said Nicole. Haters gonna hate. I hate criticism like everyone else. Like you, I’m a big boy (well, you a female of course), and I handle them my way. I don’t fear them, and I actually enjoy their ridicule.

    This just goes to show that you know for a fact that your writing is producing fruit. Nothing fruitful ever goes uncriticized. Carry on!

    1. Moe,
      THIS: “Nothing fruitful ever goes uncriticized.”

      Yes and thank you. I love when truth hits me like a train–I mean it hurts, but it’s always so good.

      P.S. It was so great seeing you at Catalyst. Praying for your church family and God’s moving in and among you.

      1. Great to see you too Nicole. Also, with all due respect, I think you married up. Jonathan is a gem. Dude is a quality spiritual man with no preservatives. Here’s hoping I get a chance to sip on some black Americanos with him as we discuss the beauty of our Christ. (I suppose you can be part of that convo too). :)

          1. Honestly, you both married WELL. The Lord brought together two amazing people (no, that is not an exaggeration in the slightest bit) who would become even a stronger force together.

            One of the reasons you get some of that hate mail is because many people cannot comprehend the quality of both your lives individually, as well as the tremendous quality of your marriage. Many of them have never seen a good marriage, let alone a great marriage. So they think it must be fiction, a fantasy, a boastful facade put forth to cover up a dysfunctional relationship like the painful reality they are experiencing themselves. Their hurt shouts out that others cannot have anything wonderful.

            But we know better. We see you all the time. We see you even when you are having bad days, just like other people have bad days. We see you dealing with real physical pain on a regular basis. We see you dealing with difficult people in a godly way. We see you making good decisions to keep following Christ and being filled with the Spirit to deal with the many pressures of your life. The naysayers have absolutely no idea what you deal with, or how gracefully (usually) you deal with it all. And in those few occasions when you might not react the right way immediately, you come back and fix it.

            Nicole and Jonathan are the real deal. What you all read in this blog is real. They live it truly.

            For those of you who don’t believe it, I believe that is because you do not know the great God they know. They don’t practice religion; they truly follow Jesus in wholeness of heart and mind, with all their being. And the love and grace and truth of God flow out of their lives as a true example to the world of what it looks like to be a woman of God and a man of God and a genuine Christian household that ministers to all who come to them. And if any naysayer is willing to open his eyes and ears and receive the grace of God, this couple whom you have maligned will be willing quickly and earnestly to share the love of God with you so that you can experience for yourself the quality of life they have found in Christ.

  20. It’s so sad that we seem hardwired to give out 10 times as much critique as encouragment… whilst being able to maintain good mental health with 10 times as much encouragement as critique! I love what you write. I don’t think you’re bragging, or prideful, or arrogant…. in fact the way I read your blog makes me think you’re just like me! You have some stuff pretty well (albeit tentatively!) sussed whilst you flounder endlessly in others! We’re all like that! (Aren’t we?!)

    I guess you’re going to get a lot of ‘we love you’ type comments after a post like this… but I hope each is just as precious and affirming to you as the odd one that creeps into the middle of an online ‘debate’ (aka furious written battle!).

  21. As someone who knows you FOR REAL, let me just say, I am beyond proud of the woman you are. I am proud of the truth you speak. This is not me throwing compliments your way because I know you aren’t fishing but this is just the reality. You will always, always be one of my favorites….one of my go-to’s when I need truth, a laugh, the Word, or even just a hug. You are amazing, Nicole. God sure knew what He was doing when He put you on this journey with Modern Reject. I, for one, freaking love it. And I love your face.

  22. Thanks for sharing this Nicole. I think it’s important that your readers understand that this blog, while free for them to enjoy and/or criticize, costs you a great deal. Not the least of which is what you’ve described here. Thank you for your faithfulness in continuing to follow where Jesus leads you, despite the naysayers. He is using your gifts to touch hearts and change lives (including mine!). This is a great reminder for those of us who love you to be praying for you, specifically for protection for your sweet, tender heart that you dare to bare here for the edification of others. Keep sharing dear one, we’ve got your back (well, Jesus does, but we are, after all, His body :) ) <3

  23. Great post. I wish I had thicker skin on the criticism issue and dwell on it way too much. Something I am learning from my wife on this is that it is ok to admit it hurts. As a leader or public figure we absorb a lot of criticism. Of course we want to respond in a good way and accept our part of the responsibility, but sometimes it is ok to let people know their words hurt. Thanks Nicole

  24. “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.”

    Pow. And there it is. While it may be distasteful to some, there comes a time when we all must simply draw lines in the sand once and for all, and follow after Christ, in the meantime leaving others behind in their fleshly arrogance and spiritual immaturity. It is not fun. It is not pleasant. But Jesus taught us to do this when it was time to do it. (Remember the 70 He sent out? Yep. They had specific instructions to follow when dealing with those who were less than receptive.)

    I empathize with your plight. I do. It has not ceased to amaze me how quickly the knives come out when a person speaks as our Father wills them to speak, and the hearers decide they don’t like it, or that they decide they are experts on the person speaking. Yikes. Discernment is one thing; rash and fleshly judgment is quite another.

    For what it is worth, just know that there are many of us out here who refuse to allow mud to cling to the Nicole we know. Let the mud-slingers take note: As believers, we are Family. You touch one of us, you touch us all. Go ahead and mock and vilify. We are quite aware of it all. Furthermore, how much more will Jesus Himself deal with those who would seek to tear down and destroy what He is building? Exactly.

    When The World hates us, it is no big deal. They are supposed to hate us because of Him. However, when The Church hates us..well now. That is completely different. Like your husband told me this morning on the phone, if a brother hates another brother, then is the love of Christ in them to begin with? Ouch.

    Love ya in The Lord, sister. You got this, because Jesus has you right where He wants you. And that’s more than good enough.

  25. This is some of your very very best writing friend, wow! I’m sad that you are dealing with this- but I also know for sure that for this space to be as great as it is- it can’t be without a lot of resistance. But- they don’t know you- because if they did- they would see a woman full of crazy love, living with purpose and overcoming so much physical hardship (that would put most people in bed every day, all day)- and yet- you are taking on the world! One of the most incredible people I know- and I am so so blessed by our friendship! Don’t give power to words from people that don’t know you- but to those that do. Xo

  26. As I age I become more and more convinced that life is about managing expectations. You my dear–I believe– are playing in part–the role of a prophet. Prophets speak truth to people that often don’t want to hear it. Here is where the expectation thing comes into play…psssst…”Prophets often lose there heads”… I am speaking metaphorically of course–but the hurt, feelings of being misunderstood, shamed, and disrespected are just another form of losing one’s head. Keep doing your thing!! Keep running back into the arms of people that know and love you. Allow them to be Jesus with skin on to help recharge your battery… to put a proverbial “band-aid” on the wound and to provide a place to rest up. I am so glad to have stumbled on your blog ….Keep speaking truth Sistah!

  27. I think this is hardest for those of us who are intentional about authenticity, even in our little share of the blog-o-sphere. And while you acknowledge there’s no way someone can really know you through your blog, I sense that you make an effort to be authentic and vulnerable in what you write. That you hope people who meet you in person would recognize you from your words here. And when you put it all out there and it’s so incredibly misjudged, well, it sucks.

    Loved meeting you at the Blogger Meetup, and have loved catching up on your words here!

  28. I had a college instructor over 40 years ago tell me when my paintngs were being naysayed. “Don’t let the bastards get you down” Good advice that i pass along. I realize they are or at least perceive themselves to be illegitimate children of a lesser god. When folk know Him and His grace and mercy they are not so quick to cast the first stone. Plus when you spend your while life trying to look good to gain His favor it kind of blows it when you try to be honest .
    I encourage you in your trip along grace highway. I personally like your blog. Write on sisterBye the way I am an old man who has pastored for 25 years so get used to gainsyers the church and world are full of them

  29. The first thing to pop in my mind while reading this is the Jim Carey classic “The Truman Show.” I recently watched it again. An entire world created to watch this guy and still no one knew him. No one knew his thoughts, dreams or hurts.

    I don’t like criticism. I think they are wrong about me. ;-)>

    1. Ken,
      I love the way your mind works. What a great example and movie reference.

      This is The Nicole Show…oh wait, except someone will say I’m being self-absorbed and arrogant. (sigh)… You just can’t win. :)

  30. Great sentiment. It’s too easy for people to react to a blog as an abstraction, and disconnect the words from the author. This post clearly articulates the reality that you and your posts can not be separated, attacking your thoughts is attacking you, but your words are not you they are only a reflection of a portion of you. I’m looking forward to reading more.

  31. Thus, as the Prophet Bono hath sung, “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.” “Acrobat” may be one of their lesser known songs, but man, does it stay on constant repeat in my heart.

    Nicole, you’re awesome. Period. I simply echo with an outstretched hand what others have already said here.

    I for one thank you for sharing this slice of your life with us.

  32. I did write a post called “Who’s Your Naysayer” today, saying that we need criticism to improve…but please know that I didn’t mean *this* kind of criticism! Nobody needs that, and I’m sorry you’re dealing with it.

    I am continually struck by how little can actually be conveyed in a mere 500 words, and how great the opportunities for misinterpretation are. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one.

    1. Anne,
      Oh, I know you weren’t referring to this type of criticism. :) I agree with your main point that we all need to learn how to handle and apply constructive criticism–an area the Lord has certainly grown in me.

      Thanks so much for stopping over and commenting too!

  33. Nicole,
    You take a risk putting yourself out there, and so many people benefit. (I know I do — thanks <3). It's unfortunate that some choose to take advantage of that vulnerability and go for the jugular. It's more than unfortunate. It's ugly, ungrateful, and unkind.

    As a new blogger wrestling with vulnerability and looking at those like you who have "gone before," this really hits home. I would like to think that people wouldn't judge me on the basis of a few (or even a hundred) unrelated posts. Actually, I would like to think that people wouldn't judge at all, but I know better.

    Naysayers are everywhere, even in my head. I remind myself that only God's opinion matters in the end, try to stay true to whatever he's calling me to do, and keep his voice louder than all the others.

  34. I adore you not because I think you need to hear such an affirmation on a day when you are so tired or because it is my Christian duty as your sister. I say I adore you because I have stood in a room full of strangers with you feeling a constant drawing to the light upon you without ever having read a word of you, your story, completely unaware of your beliefs. You greeted me lovingly and thought so much of God and the story that he is writing through my marriage that you mentioned me on your blog probably without reading but a few of my words. This is true. This is real. This is what our world needs. People of Christ coming together loving one another even tho we may not all believe some things the same. There are negotiables and non negotiables on this walk and sadly I think too often we focus on what does not matter which ends up hurting deep deep hurts. Scars of past hurts are opened wide by the judgement of today when all we are doing is being faithful to our Creator. I love you Nicole. I was just saying today that Christ centered marriages don’t talk enough about sex. Looks like I need to dig into your blog because what may offend others is what I am searching for as I become more and more comfortable in my own skin.

  35. Hi Nicole,

    I read your posts from my email inbox, and occasionally pop over to comment. I just got this Naysayer post and–while I don’t know what has happened– I am so sorry that you are having a rough day and that you have gotten mounting recent criticism. From someone who works in ministry, I get that.

    Hang in there, my sister in Christ. Thanks for being honest, for instructing us to love our husbands and to put their needs high, and for chasing after Jesus. If you were near MN, you could stop over for coffee, conversation, and a hug.

    Jennifer Dougan
    http://www.jenniferdougan.com

  36. Nicole,
    It is not easy to be a Christ follower. It is counter-cultural, politically incorrect, and unacceptable in our nation of celebrity worship. Remember Jesus’ advice, “if you are not welcome, then shake the dust off your sandals and move on.”
    God Bless.

    1. Dawn,
      Yes, I know. It is not easy. I agree completely and accept the fact that following Christ is counter-cultural. Hence the name of this blog: Modern Reject.

      I choose to reject that which the culture says is relevant. I shake off me sandals almost daily it seems.

      But, all that to say, while it gives reason, it doesn’t make undeserved criticism and harsh words hurt any less. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      Blessings to you.

  37. Thanks for being honest. I really appreciate your blog as I know many others do. There has not been a time that I have read one of your posts and thought to myself at some point and go “Huh…. hmmm…. interesting”. That or I just laugh with agreement and because you are just funny. Thank you for being disciplined in what God has called you to do.

  38. This is the third post on criticism I’ve read today. As I see you as a leader, hopefully this comment from one of the other criticism posts will be of some help:

    Leaders must be intentional and strategic about soliciting and gathering feedback, both positive and negative. Build this feedback mining into your leadership routines and unsolicited criticisms will be far less likely to throw you for a loop. Most criticism will be old news, and the invalid criticism will stand out like a sore thumb against the bank of solicited feedback you have built up.

  39. Very well put, Nicole and thank you for writing this blog. Our children and several friends are in ministry and would like to say this to their congregations as well as to those not attending but have “input”.
    Recently, a newscaster was emailed by a viewer about her weight in such an insulting manner, that her family and management encouraged he to reply publicly. The viewer explained he was flipping channels, watched her about 10 minutes, and then sent the abusive email. Her regular viewers overwhelmingly encouraged her and the self appointed “thorn” failed to accept any wrong doing. TEN minutes or even ONE hour and he thought he could rightfully judge her.
    Your posts are refreshingly honest, clear and provoke me to thought for days after. The tired days come and go while the naysayers often “feel led” to stay. God bless.

    1. Gary,
      A friend and I were just recently talking about this incident. It is heartbreaking to me, for so many reasons.

      I, for one, as a Christian struggle with feeling like I need to let others in, feeling like I need to take any criticism into consideration because perhaps it is the Lord telling me something. This, however, is unhealthy not to mention potentially dangerous.

      But, you are right–that person thought they had the right to judge. So many people think this way. And I am thankful that the tired days are less frequent. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

  40. Sad that you’ve been getting flack but it’s par for the course when you’re brave enough to post on the internet. None of us have perfect knowledge but there’s a way of addressing disagreements that speaks life rather than harm. Just remember to keep building that wall, a trowel in on hand, a sword in the other.

  41. I know you said no compliments, but how can you expect your biggest fans not to stand up for what you’re doing when you write something as beautiful as this?!? I don’t know you from adam, Nicole, and I think God is using you and your words in amazing ways you’ll never know. Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

  42. Nicole, I have been reading your blog almost every day since I found it. I love your VOICE. It is so unique, so strong, and so very authentic. This post demonstrates how unafraid you are to allow the Lord to SPEAK through you. Bless you, sister. I cannot wait to keep reading!

  43. Hi Nicole,

    I’ve been reading your blog for months now and never commented before. I just had to comment on this one, though, to say that I am grieved to hear about the level of judgmental comments you have to deal with as a blogger.

    And I want you to know that I am grateful for your courage in pressing on and continuing to write. Your posts make me think and point me towards an aspect of God’s character I either hadn’t considered, seen or thought much about in a while. In a world of sound bites and conformity, that is rare indeed.

  44. I just found your blog and signed up. What you do is hard! I was asked to start a blog for my church, and then when they realized the ramifications of it – like it’s public- they asked me to take the name of the church off. So be it.

    I am seeking direction and part of me says people like you do it so well. The other part recognizes that I have a team of eager writers who want to share what God is doing in their lives….God will guide us I know. But I just wanted to encourage you in you amazing organization and variety!

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