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September 19, 2013

The moment I decided to stop Blogging & found Faith instead

Obviously, thankfully, I changed my mind...but oh, what a moment.

It's been a while since I posted anything very personal.  After a run in with a not very nice person, I got rattled and wondered...no, doubted... I doubted myself and the things I have shared here on this blog.  It was just a moment but I have never experienced anyone mocking my faith to my face before.  She mentioned numerous blog posts I have written and shared here on my blog.  Times when I felt alone, scared, worried or afraid  but a  prayer or a person or simply my faith in God got me through.  She mentioned many of those stories and laughed at each one.  Laughed right in my face again and again.  Saying, how silly I was to believe I had worth.  I admit, I didn't know what to do.  It seemed so unreal.

Faith-why it's my daughter's middle name.They made fun of the fact that I believe that prayer works.  That I believe God hears our prayers. I know He does.  I know it and I have shared many stories here on my blog about times when my faith helped me.  I've shared the times when the faith of another gave me just enough of a boost to get me through a tough time.  It's one of the reasons I started blogging in the first place. I wanted to share those things that give me joy - especially when the last thing in the world I was feeling was joy.  For a second I wondered if I was just a big joke.  What had I been thinking, having a blog and sharing so much of myself?  I knew instantly I must stop.  I felt ashamed though I wasn't sure why. 

Criticism is not usually a problem for me because I have learned over time to always consider the source.  Most people have good intentions and those who do not, well, I just don't have time for that.  But, this time it hit me.  It was hard because I knew this person.  I once loved this person and yet this person what saying vile things about my beliefs.  This person goes to the same church as I do and she claims to believe the same things I do.  And although I know she has been heading down a slippery slope emotionally for quite some time, I was stunned at the attack.  It was cruel and nasty and I listened and felt the tears welling up.  I was surprised by my response. I think because it was not just on me and my faith, but my children were there as well.  They all witnessed this too and the look on their faces after hearing and seeing such a display by someone they had known so well, had loved and respected,  is something I will never forget. 

That second of shame left me when I turned and saw my little family behind me.  This is how the ugly people of the world work.  Be ashamed of who you are and what you believe!  Well, I was not going to allow that at all.  I snapped out of it and just felt pain replace the shame.  I saw my little girl's face.  My 20 year old daughter and I had tears in our eyes.  I think we just felt shock and such betrayal on a level I didn't think possible.  I was worried and turned to see my sons reaction.  But my boys...oh, they had a very different look on their face. 

It was not what I expected to see. My husband stood there next to them.  His long strong arm went around my youngest sons shoulders and his fingers gave my other son a comforting squeeze on his shoulder.  My boys didn't look shocked.  They didn't even look mad.  They looked like someone had lit a fire under them.  I saw my boys morph into men.  Resolve. Determination. Pride. Spirit.  And most of all, I saw their Faith.  


Missionary Quote - Elder HollandIn the next year or two, both these young men want to serve 2 year missions for our church. They are excited to do so and watching them that day I realized that this sort of confrontation from someone who is trying to attack their faith is something they will deal with during those two years.  I got a glimpse of what that may be like and I was proud.  I didn't see fear or anger and they didn't have the tears like my daughter and I. It was a moment I will treasure.  What had been done to hurt us, to basically hurt me, ultimately had the opposite effect.  

This person had wanted to cause pain or shame or something negative by mocking what I believe - she had given us an amazing faith building moment.  My moment of feeling a pain that hit deep in my heart had been replaced by the feeling that only comes from faith in a God that loves me and hears the prayers of my soul. I felt that familiar warm rush of a heavenly spirit that whispers to that heart of mine again and again - just when I need it - that I am not alone.  My boys will not ever be alone.  My family is stronger because of  moments in life that were meant to make us feel weak and yet we stood strong.  Together.  In faith.  And it was oh, so good. 


So, I'm going to write about moments like this.  I'm going to write about it all the time.   I'm going to share my stories, my faith, my trials and I ask that you keep sharing right back with me because...even if some of us are crying, some are worried maybe even afraid or feeling shame and some are standing firm, we all walk away with more faith & stronger in the end when stand together.   

And it will be, oh so good.



Standing up for what you believe in.
Stand strong.



30 comments:

  1. I am so glad I started following your blog. Maybe it started because of DA, but I relate to you quite a bit. I have posted a lot of personal stuff on my Non-family blog, which started as a craft blog, but is starting become my place for sharing my thoughts about this and that. Last night I shared about my homeschool decision, even the spiritual stuff behind it.

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    1. I am going to reply to my own post. Hmm, 2 years ago. I remember writing quickly and just laying a bunch of stuff out in that blog post. Some of my friends read it and were kind and it opened up some dialogue about my decision to homeschool. Since then I speak more freely about it.
      However, I find myself now in this odd position- one that is more like the one you described in this post. I have since made my blogs private and haven't written a thing, after a few very honest posts since the one I was speaking about in the comment above. But I don't like the negative, hurtful feedback. I got some from some individuals that should be close, and it wasn't just in the comments section, it was right on my Facebook wall in reply to a sarcastic meme I'd posted. I'm very open and I just feel like sharing my thoughts brings me closer to people. I sometimes just share my flaws just to put it out there when I first meet people. Kind of like, "Well, this is me, and just so you don't thinking all of this good stuff, here's where I fall short. If that's a problem, well, sorry, because this is who I am." But in doing that I got lambasted on my public cyber space. Ever since then I just think, "How do 'they' do it- those bloggers? How can they put themselves out there that way and take so much flack? I know they get a lot of people appreciating their candor and willingness to be real, but how can they take the negative? I hate it. I don't think I can do it."
      I have thought about just starting new, with a new blog. I even have an account I've kind of started. I just don't know if it is needed- if my thoughts and happenings, pictures, etc. are needed in that forum. Maybe they are just supposed to be person to person, with people I meet? I used to blog to keep family up to date with our lives, but FB has kind of taken over, so the need to share isn't so great.
      I think reading this is making me think a little more. I know when I do share, it is helpful. Sometimes it's like casting pearls before swine- sharing things about prayers- this person even told me "your prayers aren't working" they also share our same beliefs. I can't think of a more hurtful thing to say to another human being. To say their faith building experiences and conversations with God aren't working. I have thought a lot about that for several months, if not about a year??? I have limited contact with said individual, and a few in their cheering section. But it's okay, because they don't know the truth. I do. Maybe I don't have it all figured out, and I know if I decide to start blogging again, it will be good in whatever way it needs to be, but again, I haven't decided if I need to. But this post was a good reminder for me to not fear the negative stuff. I mean, I might still hate it- detest it, and hurt from it, but when I make up my mind, I'll know if it's something I need to do, then it's okay if others mock it- it's what I need to do. Just like homeschool. Thanks again for sharing. It helped me tonight.

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  2. I. Love. You.

    Please don't stop sharing. Your stories of faith and overcoming are inspiring to many.

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  3. Wonderful! And true. Like you.

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  4. What a demoralizing moment. I'm glad you didn't let it take you down.

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  5. Thank you for this! My favorite line? When you watched your boys morph into men......oh yes!!!!!

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  6. I love this! Thanks for the boost!

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  7. I loved reading this. I loved reading about your boys reactions. Like a fire was lit beneath them! I am so glad that they took such a nasty situation and made it a faith building moment. If nothing else, that speaks volumes of the way you and your husband have raised them. I have never had a personal attack like this, but I hope that if I ever do, it will not shake, but strengthen my faith and that I can react to it with at least half the class that you did. Bravo!

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  8. I have never posted on any blog before but this was too raw and beautiful not to say- keep the Faith and...always keep your chin up.
    Thank you for sharing. I simply feel sorry for the person you're talking about.

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  9. Great post! I love how the Lord used it to bring about such fruit in your family. I think too how you looked over at your sons morphing into men, how God must have been looking at your family watching you all as you gave Him His rightful place of honor in your lives... What a proud moment that must have been for our Abba! Thank you SO much for sharing this! Keep posting!!

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  10. Thank you for standing strong in the fae of your pain and for sharing. Those of us who live by faith struggle daily to be in the world but not OF the world and we need peolple and places we an tune into if only for a moment to help us with that struggle. Praying not only for your wonderful family but also the person who caused you such pain.

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  11. I started to read your blog because I am a Downton Abbey fan but I so resonate with your blog about personal struggles and faith. Thank you for letting your voice be heard, the world needs it!

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  12. I don't believe in God, so there is a lot we don't share. But I believe in love, and you believe in love, and that's enough in common for me to be able to connect with you in this post. Even though I can intuit just from this one post about a hundred things we'd disagree upon, your faith inspires me. Not faith in "God" per se, just the fact that you believe and you put your heart and soul into something positive for yourself and your family is amazing.

    The ex-friend you're talking about, she had a moment of weakness, self-hate, and shame, and it was projected as cruelty toward you and your family. She tried to humiliate you, and I say "tried" because she failed. You could have fallen apart, but you just came out stronger, and that says a lot about you.

    This person felt angry because she had pain inside and that pain was heightened by the fact she saw you happy and faithful. She was angry because her faith was shaken, but also because she probably felt you were kidding yourself. In a way, attempting to knock you off your cloud was probably a desperate attempt at making you see something she thought you were missing. Most of her wanted to hurt you, but a small part of her probably she thought she was helping you in the long run.

    The only thing that disappoints me is that you were so quick to dismiss her for the pain she caused you. She was your friend before, and she obviously needs something/somebody. You seem to be demonizing her and putting her into the "enemy" box. I'm not saying she deserved a second chance from you, far from it, but she does deserve your sympathy, even if you never tell her. All people deserve love, and people who are so badly messed up like her, NEED it most. I wasn't there, so I don't know the extent of her cruelty, but I hope one day you can forgive her and pray for her.

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    1. I appreciate your comments very much. There are years of forgiving and loving this person in spite of her behavior that led up to this moment. My family - the ones there that day and my extended family - have all been put through so much heartache and pain by this person. It's almost like sport for her - like a game and she is good at it. I do feel very sorry for her and believe me, I pray that she will move on and eventually find real happiness and love. It's impossible to put everything into one post so I understand how it could seem like I was quick to dismiss her...but you could not be further from the truth. Sometimes we get to the point when all we can do is cut ties with toxic people and love them from afar - or at least love them for who they once were. I think you are very right when you say she must be in pain. Sadly, a lot of her pain is self inflicted and there is nothing anyone can do anymore. She has to fix herself and I have to do what I can to remove those I love from the line of fire.
      I am very happy and grateful you took the time to comment. It never hurts to step back and gain a different perspective. It is never my intent to demonize anyone. I simply wanted to share a moment where something good came from a bad situation. Thanks again for your insight & honest comments.

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    2. June,
      I have so much respect! My mother ways taught me that "as children of God we are to love those who hurt us, but that doesn't mean we have to like them." :) I'm pretty sure you already had a grasp on that concept because it's basically how you handled that situation...but I hope that will help you with "having the words" you need to explain it. I really love your blog and think you are beautiful, outside as well as inside! I think I have quite a lot in common with you. I'm not a victim advocate but the thought has certainly crossed my mind! I am happy to share like faith and be able to feel less alone by reading through your blog! God bless you and keep you as you do your part in sharing your life and your faith as eloquently and beautifully as you do! <3

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    3. My momma always used to say "Stephanie, you are only required to love them...liking them is entirely up to you." Hopefully that helps you find the words you need to explain it. I appreciate your blog. I feel less alone by reading it! You are beautiful inside as well as out! May God bless you and yours as you share your experience as well as your faith in such an eloquent and beautiful way!

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  13. You always risk backlash when you are open and honest like you are, June. And there are many I'm sure who have commented and not commented that appreciate deeply that you keep opening yourself up to those of us who need to hear you, in spite of the people who will try to use your openness against you. It's inspiring and thank-you so much!

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  14. I could never understand your situation from one blog, but I appreciate your strength and am so humbled by your family's response. I am sure you understand the Christian charge to "forgive everyone," and although that is difficult for all of us, we are required to do so to heal ourselves as well as others. So distancing yourself may be important for a season, but praying for this individual, even in times of pain will ease your suffering and increase your faith as well as the faith of your family. Your blogging has obviously helped so many, but did this post help this woman? Sometimes saying nothing is very powerful.

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  15. That moved me to tears...so powerful. To think that someone so awful ended up having such a positive affect on you and your family is simply inspiring. I am so happy I found you today and have been reading your blog for over an hour. Someone sent me here to find Downton, but I am so glad I found you instead. As a teacher of young children, your story has gripped me. You have grown into a beautiful and courageous woman. God bless your precious soul.

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  16. Thanks for continuing to do what you do and have courage to stand up for what you believe in! People need more faith in their lives. I've had moments like that too, and at one point felt the way you did, but I don't care about opposition anymore... I will share with the world all the wonders God has to offer! Thanks for the reminder! ;)

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  17. June, you always brighten my days and strengthen my faith and you always have. I appreciate so much the example you set and the strength you show. I have been lifted up by you on days that are drenched in mud and have often been able to smile/laugh when you post about your humorous escapades. You are AMAZING!
    Karen (Howe) Loope

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  18. June, I'm sending out a lot of press releases, but writing you a special note because of this line on your blog: "...I have never experienced anyone mocking my faith to my face before." I think you'll like the book. -S.M.



    Reaching Rose: Genre-Bending Spiritual Thriller Asks – What Becomes of Anger When There is No One Left to Blame?



    S.M. Johnson’s debut novel was written to thrill both the scientifically-minded as well as churchgoers. Fusing science and history, ‘Reaching Rose’ is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.



    Salt Lake City, UT – S.M. Johnson’s debut novel ‘Reaching Rose’ has already made its literary mark by defying standard genres and presenting a narrative literally like none other. The fast-paced novel is best classified as a ‘spiritual thriller’ that appeals to readers with any belief system, including atheists.



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  19. this was a powerful post! i am grateful to hear how you and especially your boys responded to such an experience. i too am LDS and have three young boys! i love hearing the courage they have in choosing the right in their day to day school life. i am grateful for those moments in life which make us who we are, those moments of real stamina in our faith!! thank you so much for sharing.

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  20. Got on here to watch Downton but saw your post and had to read. Romans 1:16 kept coming to my mind, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe". Keep proclaiming the name of Christ. Blessed are those who are persecuted...there is solace in that. You may feel alone, but in God's eyes you are fully surrounded! Keep it up!

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  21. Oh my Goodness June! You have written another brillant post!I love the Quote by Jefferey R. Holland.
    This sounds bad, bind up the broken hearts, dry your tears, and set your family free, that is my kind of promise right there. All I have to do is faithfully share the gospel I love. Well I am in! I haven't heard that qoute before. Your blog is always really inspirational. I have 3 boys at home 7, 5, and 2. I hope that I raise them up to not fear the adversary but to rise up! I am inspired to do better, and teach them a little better. Thanks June!
    P.S. If you are ever up in Logan... we better meet up! I am always so inspired by you, and would love to meet you!

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    1. Thanks for such kind words :) Sounds like I need to make a trip to Logan!

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  22. I just read this after heading your way to watch Downton :) I'm so sorry that you experienced this, but grateful that you continue to have the faith that you do to share your testimony with the world!

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  23. I've only recently found your blog (because of Downton Abbey) and read this blog post. Didn't realize which faith you were until I saw the quote from Elder Holland. It's sad when someone diminishes another in this manner. I pray that the person finds peace within themselves. And proud you found strength to look up, and move forward.

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