Wow. Part of my Christmas was Messy. (Yes, it deserves the capital letter. Really. It was a messy Christmas.)
It was the crazy kind of messy that people don’t normally talk about because it’s uncomfortable. Sharing it is scary and hard, but I know somewhere, someone else had a holiday that was just as messy (if not messier). They need to know they aren’t alone.
What you need to know first is that this post isn’t the one that was originally published.
My original post was a story about my feelings and perceptions. It was supposed to be about the amazing thing that happens when God’s love and grace and mercy are lavished on our hearts. It was intended to be a message of hope – a reminder that old hurts and burdens don’t have to be carried even a single day longer. When I published it, it was one of the most heavily edited and prayed about pieces I’ve ever shared. I knew it was a sensitive subject, but I believed the message was one I needed to share.
Unfortunately, that message was lost on some that I love. It was, for whatever reason, misunderstood.
And things got messier.
Most of the week since my original post was published have been spent in agony. To delete a post because someone else finds it offensive and objectionable goes against every fiber in my being.
It damages my credibility as a writer. My voice is my own. Part of what I strive for the most is authenticity and honesty as a writer. I feel that I’ve been asked to delete a post because the truth – my truth – was uncomfortable.
It establishes a dangerous precedent. Now that I’ve removed one post because it was found objectionable, what’s next?
It silences a voice. Based on the reactions I’ve read in comments and the number of times the original post was viewed, what I had written struck a cord. It was a message that resonated with my readers. It was the beginning of a conversation that needed to happen.
Simply deleting the old post wasn’t an option. I knew the moment I received the message requesting that I take down the post that I could not and would not just push the delete button.
Instead, I scrambled to write enough content to shove the post (this post) off the front page and out of view. I struggled to find enough peace and strength to do the unthinkable.
Over the past few days, my husband and I have spent HOURS praying over this. He’s held me as I cried. He’s allowed our family vacation time to be disrupted for hours on end as I tried desperately to write the words I didn’t want to write. He’s tried to understand my pain, listened to my doubts, and gotten the laundry caught up. I’ve tried over and over to write the one thing I thought I would never write.
Ultimately, it’s a pretty simple statement. In it’s rawest form, it started simply.
I deleted this post because I didn’t have the courage to stand by what I wrote. In the face of unrelenting pressure, I quit.
A part of me wanted to do just that – quit. I wanted to walk away. From my blog, from Facebook, from Pinterest, from email. I’ve taken to walking around with my phone in “airplane mode” because every single ding strikes fear in my heart. What emotional bomb will be lobbed at me next and from whom?
Honestly, I quit checking messages. I handed my husband my phone and asked him to give me a summary. I just couldn’t take more drama. I needed (and asked for) peace and time to think. I needed space for the words to form. I needed the perspective to see the bolder and more beautiful truth.
Deleting this post means I have the courage to be weak. It the face of unrelenting pressure, I’m choosing to bend.
Deleting one post for the sake of peace doesn’t change my message. It doesn’t change one thing. Not when I do it love. If removing the original post restores peace to those I care deeply about, then so be it. I’m saddened that my original words were so misunderstood and that they couldn’t see the story of grace that lay underneath.
About the only thing that still remains of the original post is what I share below. It’s still true. I believe it with all my heart.
Grace, spread liberally, heals all things.
It is a great blessing
when people are forgiven for the wrongs they have done,
when their sins are erased.
Psalm 32:1 ERV
I just wanted to remind you that God’s love and mercy and grace and forgiveness and healing are there for you, too. Always. No matter what you did. God is bigger than your mess.
Even if your Christmas was a messy as mine, there’s no reason to start a new year with old hurts.
(for obvious reasons, this post is closed to further comments. all existing comments have been removed because they no longer make sense under the circumstances. they were not deleted out of fear, they were removed for the sake of peace and sanity.)