As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Friday, May 9, 2008

Who Gets to be Right?

For the last six weeks or so I've been under a cloud. Actually, it's been more than a cloud. It's been a pretty steady downpour of criticism and rejection from lots of ample sized clouds that seem to never move off my radar.

I shared some of the frustrations of my homeschool loop, but that isn't all. I've struggled with some prolific criticism of my writing from a one particular person, and there have been a few potshots that have left me with some flesh wounds. :-)

I have chosen not to say anything because really, there is nothing to say. There is nothing anyone could say to make me feel better. It isn't about those people, and I know that. In a recent post to said homeschool group, I stated that others only affect us where we have a wound or something in need of healing.

I've written about healing before, and I believe it is God's desire to heal all sickness, whether that be physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. If that is true, then I have to wonder why healing doesn't happen. One answer I have found to be true is that we sometimes do not receive the healing offered us.

I have not received the healing offered me, and thus, I have spent weeks sick at heart.

One of my recent posts asked the difference between judging and opinions and whose opinion gets to be right? A lot of people seem to have the opinion that I talk just to hear my head rattle. They feel I have nothing of importance to say, and they believe I simply talk so I can have the last word. Some feel I am too verbose, too descriptive, and too flowery in my writing. Simply put, those folks do not think too highly of me, and they don't seem to think I have much-if anything-to contribute. That is their opinion.

Their opinions hurt.

There. I said it. I don't like criticism. I don't like conflict. I don't like being told I'm unimportant and have no value. I don't like hearing people tell me that my gifts aren't treasured or worthy of value.

However, those people are entitled to their opinions, and their opinions of me aren't very high.

On the other hand, I know so many of you, not just on this blog but through personal emails and friendships, and you have your opinions, too. You've shared them through birthday cards, sympathy cards, emails, your own blog entries, and phone calls. Your opinion is that my writing makes sense, shares Truth, and impacts people. Your opinion is my gifts are treasures with great value to make a difference. You have extremely high opinions of me.

So if their low opinions hurt so much, why don't your high opinions heal so much?

Because sometimes I don't have the sense to embrace the healing held out to me. Sometimes I don't have the sense to recognize the most valuable opinions come from the people who are most valuable to me--the ones who hold my heart tenderly and speak Truth with kindness in their eyes even when I don't want to hear it, the ones that laugh with me, cry with me, listen to stories about my children and ooh and aah at the right times. The valuable people are the ones I can be real with, and they find it endearing.

So, my beloved ones, I am so sorry I did not receive the healing you've held out so faithfully. I have thankfully come to my senses. Granted, it's still raining, and there will always be a cloud around, but I think back to splashing through the puddles rather than sitting in them.

Thank you for being the opinionated bunch you are. I think you are wonderful. Granted, it's only my opinion, but I'm convinced I'm right.


Jennifer said...

Jerri, I read a comment by a very dear friend of mine and trusted Elder in our church today that impacted me and I think it speaks to this very subject.

Life isn't so much about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain.

I love you - as I know many people do! You are an amazing lady and I will never get tired of telling you that!! So when you need me to come dance in the rain with you - let me know and I will put my rain boots on and bring my favorite music too! I LOVE YOU!!

Robin said...

Hi Jerri,

I'm sorry you have been hurt, I guess we all experience pain from others especially when we are trying to live right.

I want you to know that I appreciate you, your words of wisdom and your prayers for healing of mind, body and spirit. You have a tender heart that cares for others - it seems tender hearts can often hurt the deepest.

Thank you for being you!

Jerri Phillips said...

And we will play the music REALLY loud and let people wonder what there is to dance about!!!!

So thankful to be your friend...
Love you!!!

Jerri Phillips said...

Thank you so much. I'm so glad God connected our blogs!