God has taught me SO MUCH as I have been blogging for single women (and for wives on my other blog www.peacefulwife.com) these past 19-20 months. I’m incredibly thankful for all of YOU, my readers.
You sharpen me.
God uses you to teach me how best to approach different topics women face, to understand how people might take things very differently from what I intended (which is extremely important for me to know!) and to help me understand the unique challenges that Christian single women face today. When I get feedback from you – it is a blessing. God uses you to shape me and hone me and teach me to be more like Christ.
I am thankful when someone rebukes me in the love and truth of Christ.
This week, I was working a lot more than usual – and trying to fit in blogging, emails, my husband, God, our children, exercise, housework… The balancing is much more difficult if I am at work for 9-10 hours/day! I hardly had any time for emails and comments Tuesday. But last night (Tuesday), I had a single Christian man comment on one of my oldest posts on Peaceful Single Girl. His comment was kind of harsh. So – while I was awake last night until 3:30am not able to sleep – I used the opportunity to read that old post – and you know what?
I agreed with much of his criticism.
There were huge things in that post that needed changing to properly represent Christ. I was thankful for the chance to get to rewrite that post. It makes me think I need to re-read all of my old posts – or trash them if I don’t have time to read them soon!
A NOVICE BLOGGER
I wrote that post in March of 2012. Back when I was getting about 15 hits/day on that blog. I had been studying God’s design for marriage, for femininity, for masculinity and the Lordship of Christ very intensely the 3 years before that. I had so much I wanted to share with women, desiring to bless them and share what God had taught me. But reading that old post made me CRINGE. Today, I would NEVER write the way I did back then.
Why is that?
Well… now I know a lot more about how people take things and I am seeking very much to learn to give grace and to be sure to love along with sharing God’s truth. At first, my biggest focus was to just try to get the answers and information to women as quickly and concisely as I could. I knew how much information I was lacking as I began my journey. I thought,
If only my sisters in Christ could have ALL of the information up front instead of missing huge chunks like I was for so long – it would be better!
But here’s the thing. I can’t squeeze 3 years (or now – 5 years) of all that God has taught me into one post. And even if I could, no one could digest that much at one time!
Ugh. I really need to go back through those old posts and rework many of them. God has changed my approach dramatically since I first began blogging. And I am sure I still have MUCH more to learn! In another year or two, I’ll have to rework the posts I am writing now!
GIVING LOVE FIRST
Sometimes women are hurting SO VERY MUCH, that – they just can’t hear the answers right now or talk about how to take the first step on this journey.
- Sometimes they are bitter toward men- understandably so.
- Sometimes they are bitter toward God.
- Sometimes they can’t take their eyes off of their circumstances long enough to even be able to glance up at God.
- Sometimes they are not able to hear God’s voice yet
- Sometimes God hasn’t opened their eyes yet
I am still learning to do this well. I am learning even this week. I will continue to learn every day for the rest of my life. I LOVE my sisters in Christ or I sure would not spend the massive amount of time I do on these blogs and on emails and comments. I want to give other women the life-giving information and peace, joy and blessing that God has shown me. But…
- Sometimes women aren’t ready for the information yet.
- Sometimes they are not able to receive God’s Word or my best attempts at pointing them to Christ.
- Sometimes women just need to be loved on first.
So – when I see a woman who is in great pain and does not seem able to hear yet – I am learning to just love her and wait for God to work in her heart. I have to be so careful. If left to my own wisdom, I often just want to give someone a whole elephant of God’s beautiful design to eat all at one time. But
None of us can eat an elephant in one bite. Or one day. Or one month.
I am learning that I need to slow down and be sensitive to go at the pace that my precious sisters need – even if it is very slow. Even if it is a dead standstill at times.
Sometimes we all need to feel heard first – and to feel genuinely loved before we can receive anything into our hearts.
I want to do better at not rushing or pushing women but allowing God’s Spirit to work in their hearts.
I CAN’T CHANGE ANYONE! I know that for sure!
So – if I have tried to feed you a whole elephant all at once, please forgive me! I am still learning and have a LOT more to learn.
And if you have read one of my earlier posts recently – I am sure I have things to apologize for!
I am not at all perfect.
I am so thankful for the Body of Christ and how He uses all of us together to accomplish His purposes. Thank you for ministering to me! You each bless me greatly. I always love to hear from you – the hard and painful stuff – and the good stuff.
I so long to share Christ and to always be accurate and loving and full of grace toward my sisters in the Lord. I don’t want to write even one word that offends God or misrepresents Him. I NEVER EVER want to cause a stumbling block for my sisters in Christ and I want to present God’s Word in a balanced way that honors Christ. I pray daily that God would reveal to me anything I have written at any time that He is not pleased with. I know that I will be accountable for EVERY WORD before God one day. That is a heavy weight and responsibility. I long to please Him and for Him to find me faithful in every single word.
When I do get criticisms, particularly from believers, they are a wonderful opportunity for me to prayerfully consider my word choices and my approach and to refine my posts. Actually – it is an answer to prayer if someone points out something that I have not explained clearly enough or that I made generalizations or that my approach was not helpful. I know that God speaks to me through many of the people who lovingly share criticism with me. I do always prayerfully contemplate any criticism I receive and I talk with Greg about it and pray about it.
This is a LONG, LONG journey of many thousands of miles. It is a lifelong process of sanctification – becoming a godly woman and a maybe one day a godly wife. I pray that God might give me more and more wisdom about just how to best share what He wants me to share. I appreciate your willingness to ask questions and to tell me if you hear something that doesn’t jive with scripture. Please pray that God might empower me to write His message by His Spirit for His glory alone. Please pray that I might always show lavish agape love and grace as I share.
And please pray for my readers. Many of them are hurting terribly. Many are lonely. Many are feeling discouraged, exhausted, depressed and defeated.
I long to see each of us walk in the power of God’s Spirit and to live in victory over sin and to be the women of God’s dreams. I trust God to work in each of you in His timing.
Thank you for being with me on this road. I walked it alone – just me and God – for a LONG time. It’s wonderful to have you for company!
Nina Roesner’s description of the stages of this journey of learning to respect and give up control is a process