The day I posted my first ‘tiny paragraph’, I wanted to throw up. I walked around the house, wringing my hands, muttering, “Why am I doing this? I’m not a writer. What was I thinking? Every single person I know is going open their inbox, read the invitation to my new blog, and then roll their eyes and think to themselves, ‘What makes her think she has anything to say that I might like to read?’
I’m sure I was right on many accounts, but strangely enough, there were a few who didn’t roll their eyes, and who actually smiled on my tiny idea. And some even shared it with friends!
I can’t link to my very first post because a couple of years in, the site crashed and burned, and we were never able to find anything in the rubble. (But that’s okay, because my writing has improved over the years and I’m kind of glad no one can read my rookie material.)
Even though my posts were less than perfect, I went from wanting to throw up to wanting to write more! I loved having an immediate audience. And I loved all the positive feedback…. Until the day I got the other kind.
It came after my 5th or 6th post–one about a parenting idea. I could almost hear the sneer in the voice of the stranger who posted a comment suggesting that I had allowed my kids to be disrespectful and indulgent. She labeled my parenting as ‘child centered’, which was something I had recently said parents needed to avoid.
Well, I fell into a crumpled heap under the weight of my laptop. I was completely deflated. Undone. See? I knew it! I never should have started a blog. Why did I think I had anything to offer? This stranger had revealed to the world my incompetence and inconsistency in one fell swoop. I wanted to throw up all over again.
Many, many tiny paragraphs later, I’ve gained a little staying power. I’ve learned (am learning?) not to let comments bowl me over–even when they are delivered like private cannon balls, wrapped in an email. Anything God calls me to do will draw opposition. If it doesn’t, I haven’t caught the attention of the enemy.
Actually, opposition can serve as validation of God’s gracious hand upon me–not the opposite.
When Nehemiah rallied the people to build the wall of Jerusalem, the only opposition they faced was mockery. But the public sneering would have been more than enough to deflate the people’s resolve, if they had let it infiltrate their mind. Instead, they listened to Nehemiah, who said, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome…” (Neh. 4:14)
Is someone sneering at the work God has appointed you to do? Don’t cower, quit, or doubt. Rather, plug your ears to the sneers, remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and get back to work!