Real Talk

Dear God,

It saddens me how cruel some people can be.

You know all the thoughts in my head before I even think them, so you know that I am very tempted to delete my blog completely. It's been a great year and a half of blogging, with almost 35,000 total page views. I've gained some really faithful readers and received some amazing encouragement that I will not soon forget.

But Lord sometimes the criticism weighs too heavy on my soul. It tears me apart when someone makes fun of me for loving You. Yet what's even worse is what has been happening lately. People are starting to use the blog against me. "When will you start being more like the person you claim to be in your blog?" Or worse - "You are a hypocrite because the words you write in your blog do not align with the way you live your life."

What do I do, God?
How do I help them realize that, yes, I am a Christian, but no I am not perfect?

***

Last night, I was doing homework in the library (yes…it was Saturday night…), but I couldn't keep still. The finance problems in front of me were confusing enough, but all the thoughts swirling in my head made the work nearly impossible. I couldn't stop thinking about my blog, the criticism I have faced, who I am, and where I am going.

And as I sat in front of the Grotto for 30 minutes in 0 degree weather, balling my eyes out, I sadly did not feel much better.

All I could think was, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged" (Matthew 7:1).

At the beginning of high school, I found myself judging a lot of people for the way they lived their lives. I saw how some people claimed to be Christians and yet none of their actions seemed to align with their words. Yet in every single situation, there was always more to the story. [Go back and read that sentence three more times.] Gossip would always dramaticize the story in some way or another. And the whole time I failed to realize that the person about whom we all were gossiping was just another broken human being, just like me & you.

I judged then. But I grew out of it soon enough, realizing that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). ALL. Not just some. ALL.

Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

I judged, and now I am being judged. And being on the other side of things is much harder and more frustrating than I ever expected.

Because the thing is, until you really REALLY know someone, you have no right to say anything at all about them. Honestly, don't you dare even think about opening your mouth to gossip unless you know every single tiny detail of someone else's life. You don't. And you never ever will.

I know I sound crazy and pretty sassy, but words cannot even explain how hurt I am right now.

All I have to say is this.
If you're going to read my blog, don't expect me to be perfect. Don't expect every little detail of my life to glorify the Lord because, as much as I try to do that, that is not humanly possible.
And if you're going to judge me or criticize me or gossip about me or even ABANDON me simply because you think my actions don't align PERFECTLY with my blog, then man does that say a lot about you or what.

***

As always, God has surprised me. My priest from back home (Father Alfonse) just so happened to discuss the topic of judging today on his blog too. What he says is critical to the point I am also trying to make: "Let's make something clear. It isn't wrong to judge. We do it all the time. What is wrong is to take our judgment and to not reach out to others; that is, to not lift a finger to help - and not hurt - others. That is what is wrong with our world.

When we judge someone's actions, especially their sinful actions, our next step should not be to condemn them but to reach out to them, which is exactly what Christ did. 'How can I help you?' should be the first thing out of our mouths."

Read the rest of his post here:

Comments

  1. Haley, you are a beautiful person & are loved by SO many people. Never forget that.

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  2. Keep blogging Haley. You are truly a gift to others. You get it. You know what it means to be a Christian. It means to love. It does not mean to be perfect. It means to set a very high standard for oneself which opens us up to falls and failures. But it is worth the try. Don't ever forget it. We are all in this battle together.

    The Lord was tough with Pharisees and scribes, not because they were not perfect, but because they would not lift a finger to help others. You are constantly lifting people up. Don't ever give up. :)

    God bless you! You are loved by God. This is what matters most. It is what mattered to Peter and the others who failed from time to time.

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  3. Haley- you are such a precious gem! Don't ever forget it. This is a beautiful post and the words needed to be said. You show love in this world and that's what it means to be a Christian. So keep spreading that love. Even though we fail, keep trying, keep loving, keep serving. Praying for you always!

    “Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies" -Blessed Mother Teresa

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  4. Haley,
    I wish I had been there for you at the grotto last night. You inspire me on a daily basis. "Illegitimi non carborundum." Always keep pushing. Always keep going. Always do you.
    -XOXO

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  5. Haley,
    You cannot imagine how timely this message is for me and my daughter. Thank you so much for living your faith, sharing your love, and most importantly describing the heaviness of your soul. She is 14 and experiencing so much criticism for her conservative views. I am 54 and experiencing the same for defending our faith. You are a true inspiration, a precious gift from God and a wonderful surprise for me today. We will say a rosary for you and ask Mother Mary to dry your tears and surround you with angels to protect you. Peace be with you. God Bless You

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  6. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."-Matthew 5:11-12

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  7. You have such a beautiful, faithful, truthful and holy body of work on this blog. I pray you find comfort in the huge benefit you are giving to others by sharing your faith journey with us. Anyone who tries to thwart your efforts must be very unhappy with themselves and they feel they have to tear you down, OR they are truly giving voice to the evil in their own hearts (or BOTH) and should be ignored anyway! Please take all opposition to your blog as "character building material", and take strength from the fact that you are being true to Our Lord and yourself by sharing your thoughts, feelings and prayers. Nothing worth doing is easy. You are a gift to us, Haley. Congratulations and keep going!!! <3

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