So, two years ago I wrote this little Open Letter that I thought a handful of people might read. 24 hours after writing I realized I couldn’t have been more wrong.
It’s funny the things you remember. I remember writing the blog and publishing a little nervously. I remember going to dinner that night and noticing that my “views” were a little higher that what was normal. I remember going to bed and thinking this was the biggest reach that any blog of mine had ever had. I remember waking up on Sunday morning to an overflowing comments stream, comment and shares galore on Facebook and texts from friends telling me how “big” my blog was getting.
I remember feeling overwhelmed at all of it. I remember getting to a point where I didn’t even want to check my phone or my site because I just didn’t have the brain power to respond to another comment. I remember a friend from high school and a former co-worker both offering to navigate this PR world that I was so unfamiliar with.
I remember things seeming to slow down, only to be contacted by two national news agencies to do interviews about my little letter. My little letter, that came from the heart of a mom who wanted better for my son and better for a struggling young man.
I remember kindness. From strangers, from friends, from family. I remember those who disagreed with me and didn’t like what I said, but opened the door for good conversation.
I also remember that is was the first time I realized how thick my skin was. I still can’t wrap my head around people wishing cancer on my kids or hoping I would die or my husband would leave me because they didn’t like my blog. My brain doesn’t work that way. But I remember reading one of the nastiest comments in those first 24 hours and my immediate reaction was feeling sorry for the guy who wrote it. I remember the moment I realized I wasn’t taking those words in.
See, this little letter was what all of my posts are…my heart. Out there for all the world to see. Although its scale was grander than anything else I’ve ever written, my heart was the same. And when all of the attention went away, I was in the same place I was before I hit publish that day.
I was in my little corner of the world with my people. The only real change? I learned that after many years of worrying what anyone and everyone thought, I was free of that curse. To say I don’t care isn’t right. I deeply care that I reflect Christ. I want strangers, friends, family…anyone…to see that. But a reflection of Christ isn’t comfortable for everyone, so people aren’t always going to like me or what I say. And that’s ok.
The thing I most remember? Realizing that for the first time in my life, I truly believed what my Father said about me and without even consciously trying, heard His words above the hate, the hurt and the ugly.
It’s funny how this little letter has come up now and again over these last 2 years. It doesn’t happen as often now. But that lovely Memories feature on Facebook brought back a lot of memories for me yesterday and today. I’m glad it did.
It took me back to the place where the thing I remember most is HIS voice alone can drown out hundreds. And what HE says is good.