“But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. Your builders outstrip your destroyers, and those who laid you waste go forth from you.” – Isaiah 49:14-17
Last week was a tough week for me in the e-world. One of those classic “when it rains, it pours” kind of weeks. It seemed that last year’s worth of criticism realized it was late to the party and decided to dump it all in one heaping session.
Which is fine. I don’t mind criticism when it’s logical and respectfully presented, and I’m constantly looking for ways to better my writing, this space, and myself.
What’s hard for me, however, is criticism that is ill-informed and presented as an attack on my person. From strangers. Especially in reference to my relationship with the Lord. Yeah. That part is hard.
It’s what comes with the territory of having a little space on the internet, right? Totally my own fault. And after fuming for a while and telling Dave I was going to delete the blog and stop writing forever and crying a little bit, I got over it (mostly) 😉
But that’s not the point of this post. The point of this post is to let you know what Jesus did in my heart in the days immediately following what I will not-so-affectionately label “the donkey-dung days” (family-friendly blog here, people).
The bolded verse from Isaiah above is one of my top five favorite bible verses of all time. The Lord has used this verse many times to pull me out of some pretty dark waters, and it’s as though it is His constant reminder to me when I start to sulk (whether pathetically or legitimately). I think it’s a statement that has such profound meaning, such unshakeable hope, and that express such irrevocable love.
During my difficult days last week, I immersed myself in Scripture because the lies of the enemy were being hurled at me like a shot put. However minor and seemingly insignificant they were, my destroyers were locked and loaded. I felt myself being stripped and I hated it. It was just really hard on my heart. I knew that the only way I would be able to counter those lies was with the Truth Himself, the Word of God. The Lord brought my attention to Isaiah 49:17 yet again, and it was as if it ignited a chain reaction.
Over the course of that next week, my builders showed up. As though taking a cue from your Father, you, dear readers and friends, began pouring lovely emails into my inbox and texts on my phone, although you were completely unaware of the state of my heart. You wrote about the impact that The Total Life Overhaul series has had on you, your relationship with God, and your household, you shared stories about how essential oils are changing your family’s health for the better, and you wrote way-too-kind notes of thanks for Write It Down and how it is encouraging you to dream again and challenging you to live with more passion and intention. As if you hadn’t fulfilled your charitable duties enough, you so kindly nominated me for some awesome Sheenazing Awards. You literally made me cry tears of extra gratitude because I knew what God was up to.
He was rebuilding.
In a small and sweet yet mighty way, you were building me for Him.
You were outstripping my destroyers.
And while I realize my little heart aches are absolutely nothing compared to what many of you are going through, your goodness has shown me, yet again, how much our Father cares about every little hurt we have, every hair on our head. He used these small acts of love from you to remind me why I’m doing this in the first place: to encourage you and to keep you company along the way to Him. The Lord reminded me why He’s using this blog int he first place, and He reminded me that it is His doing, not my own; that it is His space, not mine.
Thank you, then, for reading this little blog. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for your participation. This space would literally be nothing without you. You are the lifeblood of this community and you are the reason I write. And I cannot thank you enough for acting on that nudge to send me a little note last week and always, because you do much good work on my tattered little heart with the Lord.
And you? Your builders outstrip your destroyers as well. God fights for you in all your tiny cares and concerns. I can only pray that I can someday be a builder for you in whatever way He pleases.