Monday, May 7, 2018

I. Feel. Judged.

Photo by Claire Anderson on Unsplash

There…I said it. I. Feel. Judged. After another long hiatus from this little community, I don’t want my first post back to be one that sounds negative. It’s just what’s on my heart right now, and I find I write more authentically from the heart. Maybe that’s why I haven’t written in awhile…just too hard to compose “feelings” into words sometimes. But, I’ve been thinking (could be dangerous, at times), and some of those thoughts are coming out via the keyboard.

I’ve been feeling judged lately. Nobody has said that, in essence, but actions (or lack thereof) speak loudly sometimes. As a I told my dear friend recently, “I know I haven’t been the best daughter, friend, family member, blogger (and I implied any other relationship I might have missed the mark with), and I’m truly sorry.” I just stink at it…a lot.

I could “blame” it on a lot, according to many.

You had a crappy childhood; you’ve been widowed twice; you’re solo parenting four adopted kiddos (all of whom have a special need component that we deal with daily); you have a lot on your plate with day-to-day living, in general. And the list goes on…

The truth of the matter? I’m a sinner, saved by grace. Right now, a LOT of grace is being poured out on me. If people want me to feel judged, they’ve succeeded. However, most of the judgment I feel, I heap on myself, and I don’t even need anyone else to do that for me.

I feel I fail most days. I feel defeated quite often. I keep trying and trying and trying and often feel I take two steps forward and three back. And…then are the good days. Aaaahhh…the good days keep me sane. They are balm to my weary soul. Sometimes a good day is simply getting the kids to school on time. Seriously. I keep backing up the time our mornings begin, but with four ADHD kiddos, each new morning brings a new set of chaotic challenges. I’ve thought many times of dressing them for school the night before simply to eliminate that element of it. (There…I admitted it.)

I’m truthfully ashamed, most days, at the disorganized mess my life has become at times. For those that “knew me when”…I am a recovering perfectionist with high OCD tendencies. Nothing was ever out of place. I would have never entertained the thought of filing a tax return extension. I was NEVER late. I filed receipts weekly (not once a year – another current confessional). I crafted all the time. I read lots of books, and I do mean lots. I never missed sending out a thank you note and certainly didn’t miss mailing out Christmas cards. My car was always clean (at least on the inside). I communicated with people frequently (yes…even before email and Facebook).

Now? I don’t think I need to spell it out. It hurts to be at a place in life where I sometimes don’t even recognize myself. However, I am also grateful for the “new me”.

  • The new Leah has experienced abounding grace, and I feel I pour it out more abundantly than I ever did before. I used to be what many might consider judgmental, but now…I see people for who they are and where they are in life. I simply love people now. Now, don’t get me wrong…I don’t like bullies (and, they can come in all shapes and forms), but I love people.
  • The new Leah understands failure and accepts it (even though painful at times) when it arrives at my doorstep once again.
  • The new Leah has learned to say “no” to what doesn’t fit into my life, as it exists now. That was something I’ve always struggled to do in the past, but I’m getting better at it.
  • The new Leah recognizes all that’s been done for me and my family and is thankful for it beyond words…even, if I can’t reciprocate it appropriately.
  • The new Leah realizes she might not be a Type A personality anymore (by default) and has embraced (not always willingly) her new Type B+ personality.

But, there is one area in which I’ve never changed. I don’t accept the role of “victim”. I will not use my life experiences as a reason for self-pity. I have been given much, and to whom much is given, much is also required (Luke 12:48 reference). Sometimes, the requirement is great sacrifice. But, I’m thankful God feels me worthy to walk the road of sacrifice quite often. And, I’m thankful He’s continuing to change me and mold me into someone He can use. He is my ultimate judge, and to Him I owe my life (even if it is messy much of the time).

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Comments

  1. Robin Stirewalt says:

    Leah, I too, have felt judged (a lot) these last few years. I made a decision to concentrate on those people who are supportive, and ignore the earthly judgers. If I am being judged for certain circumstances in my life, those judgers don’t know the real me or the real situation. They are not worthy of a moment of my time or my thoughts. They are worthy of my prayers, and I try to remember, most of the time they are working out of their own insecurities. With practice, you can learn to ignore the judging as well. It’s not always easy, but it can be done. You just need to be sure you don’t become your own worst critic. You are doing the work you were called to do by raising and nurturing your children. You got this!

    • Leah Stirewalt says:

      Awww…sweet Robin! Thank you so much for your words and encouragement! You are definitely a perfect picture of a grace-giver, especially with ALL you guys have been through. I’m so encouraged by the way you’re living out your life in spite of your circumstances!

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