Your Builders Outstrip Your Destroyers

“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 destroyersand 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.

builders-outstrip-destroyers-isaiah

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.

XOXO

Comments

  1. Olivia- while I didn’t drop you a note, comment, or email in the last few weeks- you have been on my heart. I spent time with the Blessed Sacrament last week and offered you up and I’ll do it again. I find incredible amounts encouragement in reading this blog and others in this Catholic Momma Community. Keep on keeping on! 🙂

  2. Your last paragrah..I really need to hear that,. I’m really, really struggling to believe that right now. While intellectually I know it’s true, my heart feeks like the destroyers are winning in my case.

  3. I am so thankful for YOU! I hope you truly realize that!! xoxo

  4. I don’t know who was mean to you, but shame on them. Your blog is always one of my favorites because it is so elegant, thoughtful, kind, and helpful. You are right, it is God’s blog and He is using it and you to reach out to people, and I think you do a lovely job of it. I haven’t really paid attention to that verse before, but I like it a lot. My “life verse”, as we always called it in school, is Psalm 56:3-4 “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. In God, in whose word I praise, in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” When someone is mean to you undeservedly, just think of them as a mere mortal. It helps to remember that they are as small as you are in the scheme of things and ain’t got nuthin’ on God 🙂

  5. I’m so sorry you had negative people sending you stuff. I’m so glad you didn’t delete this space 🙂

  6. <3

  7. Anyone mean to you will get a good thrashing by me!!! Love your openess and insights. I’m a mom of three but that doesn’t stop me from learning a ton from you because your humble wisdom is helpful and grace-filled. Love you, sister!!

  8. I’m new to your blog, although I’ve known and admired you for a few years now. You are an inspiration to me! And I’m loving the new person you are helping me become. (Yep, an old dog can learn some new tricks!)

  9. I agree! Shame on anyone bringing nastiness and meanness around. Sorry you had to suffer through that, but so glad you were able to offer it up and bring good out of hurt. Hurt feelings from other people’s cruel words have always cut me deep too. I pray they’ll bead up and roll off of you like a waterproof table cloth! (Perhaps I’m too tired to be writing at this point. Oops!) 🙂

  10. Olivia, I feel a bit like a dunce but I’ve never really understood that line. Thank you for bringing it to life for me. I’m sorry your heart was hurt. I am very glad for your blog.

  11. Boo on those who seek to tear you down. You are an inspiration to so many (including me) and it makes me sad that someone could be so blind to your love and goodness. I must confess that I’ve never noticed or paid much attention to that verse before, but you have suddenly made it one of my favorites. Thanks for the encouragement. And you keep doing the amazing things you do <3

  12. Wait a second…WHATTTT??? I completely missed anyone being a jerk on here, and am SO sorry that that happened to you. The internet can suck that way. There have been so many posts I have considered writing, but self-censored because I was worried about nasty responses. I really wish the world didn’t have to be that way.

    Everything you’ve written has been more than worth saying. Hopefully someone’s eyes will be opened in the future to any truth they misunderstood :/

    Hugs, girl!!

  13. Oh, sweet Olivia! I missed this last week. Geez, there really is nothing worse than being criticized by strangers for your beliefs, that is a really hard thing and you are wholly underserving of it. Your blog is so great, and I would be saddened if you weren’t here in our online community. Love you Olivia!

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