Continue to Stand

So, I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I wrote last. I have to say I’m slightly embarrassed about that but there was a reason, even if it wasn’t a very good one. Back in March I was a featured writer on The Moments We Stand blog and I talked a little about my history including problems within my marriage and how it had helped my testimony.

I don’t know what I expected to come of writing that, maybe a few people would see it. I didn’t plan on much, however, it had a further reach than I thought it would. As I read through the comments on the social media pages and the blog itself, I was amazed at all the encouragement and kind words that came from people I didn’t even know. I didn’t really expect any response.

I learned quickly that writing on such a popular forum would also lead to negativity. Even though I didn’t see any negative comments on the site itself, I received a few private messages and texts from people in the area I live in of disapproval of my openness. Whether it was because I was giving our area a bad name, they felt I was being unfair to my husband, or that I was just looking for attention, I received very few, but very detailed messages telling me how I was wrong in what I had written.

I couldn’t see past the negative comments, even though for every one of the negative I could see several positive. I also received compliments from people I knew, but I just couldn’t get over all the hurtful things that had been said.

Was I unfair to my husband? I had written it, and had him read it before I submitted it. We discussed what would and would not be shared about our situation. He not only agreed with what I had written, but encouraged me to send it.

Was I seeking attention? I didn’t think so. I was following a passion that I’ve had for a long time, which is writing and trying to send encouragement to others who may have been through some of the same things I have been through. Encouragement that you’re not alone, that not only are there other people in the world who’ve been through what you’re going through, but also that the Lord is always watching and waiting to help us up.

Was I trying to give our area a bad reputation? Not really. I have found that living in a small area that things are noticed more, especially if they go outside the normal. I’ve noticed if someone says that there isn’t always “peace in the valley” that people tend to want to defend the area as a whole. Obviously, I don’t mind living here. I grew up here, moved back here, and bought a house. I’m raising my children here, so I can’t say I’m to threatened by the area. With that being said, I do think that sometimes we get so accustomed to viewing where we live as heaven on earth that we forget bad things can and do happen.

I decided that I was done writing. If people couldn’t be understand and accept where I was coming from, that maybe they were right and I was wrong to put what I was thinking and feeling down for others to see. My mom and my husband both would ask about my blog. Why I wasn’t writing anymore. I always had a reason. My life was to busy with a new job and expecting a new baby. That I wasn’t having any thoughts or inspiration to put down, even though I have several posts started and notebook pages full of ideas. But it all came down to, I didn’t want to feel like I was doing something wrong. I didn’t want to feel bad about myself or my thoughts.

A couple weeks ago I was driving with my kids in the car and a song that I really like came on my iPod. Anyone that knows me, knows I kind of have a thing for Idina Menzel. I absolutely love her voice, all the musicals and movies she’s in, and her personal music. I turned up the song, and started to semi-sing along.

“Mom, this song sounds like you.” my six year old says.
“What do you mean?” I asked her, surprised she was even really listening to the music.
“Well, I don’t know, it just makes me think of you. You do what you can to make other people feel good. And you try to see most people as good people, even if they don’t do good things.”
“Oh, I haven’t ever thought about it.” I said.
“Mom, you just want the world to be a better place and you see people. You help people.”

I’ve listened to that song several times. I’m not sure where she got the connection between me and the song, but I guess I’ll take it. For now on I’m going to continue to stand for what I believe and say what I think and feel in hopes to help someone in spite of getting negative attention from others. Here’s to a new year and a new effort.

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