I receive a lot of private messages and emails. Some of them are people sharing their story because they know I welcome those with open arms. Others are writing to inquire about starting a blog or sharing their, sometimes brutally cruel, opinions about mine. Occasionally, they write asking for prayer or advice. I love each and every note that comes through my inbox because I genuinely value what others have to say and have learned to (gratefully) accept constructive criticism. My one wish is that people would learn how to voice their opinions in a kind way and to exhibit self-control so that unnecessary and hurtful things could be avoided altogether.

We live in a digital world where people will say things from behind the screen that they wouldn’t dare say to another’s face.

One of my closest online friends, Jess Oakes, the gal behind Positively Oakes blog has been a victim of cyber-bullying. She woke up to a message on her blog that said, “That’s weird that your baby started crawling at barely 7 months. Most babies that crawl that early it’s because they’re not held enough.” Followed by the hashtag #badmom.

Did your jaw hit the floor like mine did when I first read of this? Although it’s comical, it’s downright rude and uncalled for! Honestly, it makes me heart-broken for the person who actually took the time to type out a comment letting Jess know that they thought she was a #badmom.

Hurt people hurt people and it’s proving true more than ever before thanks to the internet.

Jess started an awesome movement called #Projectigotyoback. Since my blog is free of paid advertising or promotions, you can rest assured that I’m suggesting you check it out purely because I am 100% behind her with this!

pigyb

It doesn’t help that this digital world we’re living in goes a million miles a second. It runs us. Too often I believe the biggest culprit of our society is the rush we’re all in. I’m guilty of it, too. It’s why I started doing the “Just Five Minutes” challenge. By the way, I’m ACTUALLY doing this EVERYDAY y’all! Please comment on this post letting me know if you’ve tried it and if so, what it’s doing for your mental and emotional health. 🙂

I know this post is a longer one than usual, but I want to end it on a positive note, so bare with me…

God has been revealing this truth to me more and more each day:

You are His. You were made in His image. You have His DNA.

This has been revolutionary to me because it means that any part of me that isn’t like our Perfect Father, the creator of the universe, isn’t truly me.

Let me back up here. It all started when one of those many messages I receive on a daily basis came through via direct message on Instagram yesterday. It read:

“I am struggling, really struggling…I am irritable at work, judgmental towards those I barely know, and even some I know well and love. I’m finding myself annoyed with them. I feel ugly. I don’t feel like myself. I want to get through this feeling of not being myself and be who I want to be.”

I responded with, “You are being prayed over right NOW out loud in Jesus’ name!” and so I closed out my Instagram app and began praying for her. There’s something so powerful about praying out loud. I’ve become more comfortable with it the more that I do it. I seriously feel like my prayers really are conversations with my friend named Jesus. 🙂

As the words flowed out of my mouth, I realized something: I wasn’t asking God to change her. She doesn’t need to change who she is. She is perfect. She is a daughter of the King! She is my sister in Christ. She was created wonderfully in His image.

Rather, I was asking God to strip her of anything that isn’t of Him. 

Unfortunately, sin and muck tend to cover up our true identity, confusing others to see us not for who we really are. What’s worse is that it can run so deep and so thick that even we forget, ourselves, who we really are.

Let’s take back our true identity.

Not today, Satan. We know who we are and whose we are. We are going to live as the sons and daughters of Christ who were made to be a light in a dark world. Rid us of anything that isn’t of you, Jesus.

Amen.

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6 comments

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I love the truth. I’ve learned God’s truth & found that it truly does suffocate the lies that are bound to come at us like flaming arrows daily. As of this week, i now believe lies are annoying and not something to fear. God rocked my world last week when I claimed victory over the lies that swarmed me after trying on bathing suits for vacation. Lies like, Nothing fits, I’m fat, I have no self control, I am useless, I’m going to feel like a white whale in Jamaica…. BUT GOD…..has created me in His image and I am beautiful. I cried and felt exhausted after this spiritual battle, then God empowered me and set me on a mission to start a women’s bible study where we will combat lies. A different lie every time we meet with a truth from God’s Word. I’m freaking out because it’s not me and I feel unqualified, but God’s truth wins every time. It’s awesome that you are encouraging other women to believe this too. It’s empowering & energizing. Thanks for sharing!

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The truth does suffocate the lies that come at us daily – AMEN to that! I love that you’re starting a women’s bible study on combating lies, Jenny! I totally know what you mean about feeling unqualified; I feel it and have to rise above my own insecurities each time I write or speak because God wants to use broken and ordinary people, just like me and you, everyday! 🙂 Thanks for reading! Hope to get together with you and drop by College Church this Sunday evening.

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So beautiful 😍 Thank you for sharing your thoughts xo

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Aw, thanks for reading!! 🙂

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Hey Manda. This is a great post. It’s so unfortunate that people think they can say whatever they want, because they’re behind a screen. That person may not be talking to the other person face to face, but it’s still incredibly hurtful, if not more hurtful, because the whole world can see these awful comments on display.
I really admire what your friend is doing! It’s so important to foster communities that encourage! And it’s so important to say ‘negative language will simply not be tolerated’.
And good on you for taking every message & comment seriously. We have a wonderful opportunity to use social media for good, and to really place value on women.
Cheering you on! X

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Elise, thank you for reading, dear. I agree- negative language won’t be tolerated is a good and simple way to put it! It’s so sad that most negativity comes through privately and anonymously, but that just allows me (and hopefully others who’ve dealt with the same thing) to take those remarks with a grain of salt 😉 I am rooting for you too, friend!

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