Yesterday I was fortunate to have my most vulnerable piece ever featured on the Scary Mommy website and Facebook page. (If you missed it, you can read it HERE. Or you can search Facebook for Scary Mommy and scroll to find the article.) I was a mix of terrified and excited. This was a big deal opportunity to help others feel less alone. That’s my goal, you know…to work hard at this, turn it into something that reaches more people in need of encouragement, comfort and GRACE.
Around Noon the story was posted on their Facebook page. Right out of the chute there were really mean comments. I mean vicious mean. I should “get off my lazy a$$ and go to work like everyone else.” My kids appear to be old enough to go to work and help out.” (Yes, I’ll call Wells Fargo or Wal-Mart or something first thing tomorrow to inquire about positions with full benefits for 9-year-olds). And then the one where children shouldn’t be entitled to Medicaid because they haven’t even paid into it!
Oh, Lord have mercy! If you don’t know this about me already, I am an overly sensitive empath. I cry a lot. My heart is wimpy. This was about more than I could take! I believe in the good in people, and yet here I was reading what seemed the absolute worst side of humanity. And the attacks were so personal! I was called fat, lazy, a moocher, a terrible Mom and more. It was the consequence for sharing my heart and making myself vulnerable. I opened myself up to everything and I began to wonder if this was all a horrible mistake on my part.
I took the advice of people who know and love me and stopped reading the comments. Then I received a private message from a friend that said “don’t be afraid to read it all. Some amazing stories, shared grief and support.” I worked up the bravery to log back on to Facebook to read the comments…. All 986 of them and still counting. And do you know what I found? I found love winning. I saw if I looked beyond the hate, there was much more love going on. People were opening up about their own grief, their own fears and their own struggles. There was an important dialogue happening. There was evidence of strangers supporting one another with kind words. LOVE WAS WINNING. Suddenly it wasn’t the hate making me cry, it was the LOVE! I was so moved by the kindness I was reading. It was beautiful.
Of course I was also reminded why I named my blog “Extra Grace Required.” Boy, do we all need extra grace, don’t we? I sure need it, and there were a LOT of comments that sure required I give it. We all need extra grace…ALL. THE. TIME!
To everyone who has supported me with loving kindness, words of encouragement, humorous gifs (my favorite)…THANK YOU! I’m working very hard to turn this into something that will help others and also support my family. Thank you for understanding me and being patient with the calling that’s on my heart. I’m just trying to obey and turn all the pain into purpose.
I’m inspired and honored every day by the stories that people share with me. I’m in love with the beauty in those who are letting their light shine amidst uncertainty and darkness. I’m motivated by their faith and encouraged by their determination. They make MY light shine brighter. I think that’s what God intended for us, don’t you? To shine our (actually HIS) light to fill up the darkness? To help ignite a light in someone else who is feeling dimmed?
So I’m going to keep writing. I’m going to keep being vulnerable. I’m finding it’s giving others permission to open their hearts and tell their stories. We are meant to work together, not alone. We are designed to empower one another instead of competing. Together we are stronger. I feel more emboldened and more determined after yesterday’s Internet experience.
Whatever you’re struggling with, I want you to know there are more people ready to show you compassion than hate. Look for them. They aren’t always as loud and noticeable, but they are there, I’m sure of it. They are out there to remind you of how much you matter and how much God loves you and cares about your specific situation.
So let’s keep helping each other! I don’t know why love is controversial sometimes, but let’s try to persist, persevere, and press on with the assurance that LOVE wins every time!
I’m off the Internet now so I can spend this beautiful day with my family now.
Love and lots of Extra grace,
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Thanks for being here. You’re not alone.