She’s doing all she knows to do.
She’s getting up every morning, though everything within her wants to stay in bed.
Her faith is battered, almost shot. Yet she holds tight to what she knows to be true.
She planned her life a certain way, and it didn’t turn out that way.
Whether it’s a marriage gone wrong, or a child who feels broken, or a life that was going one direction until . . . it wasn’t anymore, all she knows to do is to keep fighting, keep praying, keep putting one foot in front of the other.
The problem is she feels so stinking alone.
She sees that look of judgment. She hears that quick advice. She sees those stares, notices the whisper. She doesn’t have time to tell you how hard she fights every single day, just to have what comes so easily to others.
She’d like to tell you, but it makes her vulnerable.
Is it possible to put your heart out there, without it getting trampled?
Do you just nod at the advice from that mama whose baby slept at 6 weeks, and your child is still battling sleep at 2 years?
Do you listen to all the to-do’s from that woman whose husband cherishes her, while you pray for your husband who has slipped from a good man to abusive alcoholic?
Do you stuff, stuff, stuff the looks that say, “If only. . .”
If only you’d spank.
If only you’d try harder.
If only you hadn’t gained that weight.
If only you’d do X, Y, Z and be more like me.
The if only’s make you feel even more broken, because you’ve tried everything. You’ve listened to the advice. You’ve spruced up, read books, prayed until your knees were raw, and you’ve hung in there.
If doing were the key, you’d have opened the door wide by now.
You know they haven’t walked in your shoes, so you offer grace. . . again.
Why in the world do we judge each other so harshly?
Maybe it’s because we just don’t realize how powerful we can be. We can make that burden heavier, or stand shoulder to shoulder and lighten the load for each other.
To that woman who feels judged today, I want to say how sorry I am.
I pray that I haven’t made your load heavier, but because I’ve lived a few decades there’s a good chance I have and didn’t even know it.
I want you to know that I think you are brave.
You say your faith feels battered, even shot, but the fact that you are reaching for Jesus tells me that your faith is like a rock. For what greater definition of faith is there, if not reaching for Jesus when the enemy is hitting you with everything he has?
You are courageous and strong, even on the days it might not feel that way.
I want you to know that I see you.
I may not know what to do. I haven’t walked your particular path, but I’m game to walk it with you. Show me what your life looks like. Tell me how it makes you feel. Show me ways I can encourage you, and please tell me the things that I might do that make it more difficult (and I’ll try to do better).
[ctt template=”4″ link=”r7dFS” via=”yes” ]Father, show me ways to encourage rather than judge. https://ctt.ec/r7dFS+ #livefree @suzanneeller[/ctt]
I won’t have the right words all the time, but maybe that’s for the best anyway. When I don’t know what to say, then I’ll just sit next to you. Just being there. Just letting you know that you aren’t alone.
I’ll be praying for you.
I believe in the power of prayer. It doesn’t always mean a happy ending, but I believe it wraps around us when the winds blow and the storms batter away at our hearts. I’ll call out your name and those you love. That’s my promise.
We can turn this around, friends.
I know we can.
We aren’t destined to judge each other. We don’t have to join in when others do it.
We can turn that conversation in a new direction. We can let down our guard as we share a time when we struggled. Maybe it will strike a chord with the crowd, but even if it doesn’t, we’ve not left her hanging out to dry.
When that child is out of control, we can ask her how we can help.
When that marriage is in trouble, we can pull her close and let her know that we care.
When her life is falling to shambles, we can lean in to hear what she longs to say, but is afraid to say out loud. Even if she doesn’t have the words, we can listen.
If she’s tried everything she knows how, and it’s still falling apart, we can sit next to her. . . shoulder to shoulder, and for a moment she’ll feel a little less alone.
I have this dream.
It’s burning me up, and I’m asking God what to do with it. How to take the next step. What it might look like. All I know is there was a time I tried to do it (faith, parenting, life, spiritual growth) by myself and, at some point, I refused to live like that any longer.
We are stronger together.
There are things we can do. We are difference makers and world changers, and usually this begins in the small things. It’s my heart — standing shoulder to shoulder. Loving others. Speaking truth, but in a way that builds each other up rather than tearing us apart.
Will you do me a favor?
If you know of someone who is struggling, will you take her by the hands today? Tell her how brave she is. Promise to pray for her. Don’t give even one word of advice, but pour in love.
If you are struggling today, let us know and we’ll pray for you.
If you want to take this deeper, you might love these past posts:
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Suzie, your words rain truth into a heart and soul fighting to stay true to God. Thank you.
Hand and hand, shoulder to shoulder, eye to eye filling in the gap for one another. I copied and pasted the below sentences in my notes.
“World changers and difference makers…pure Love…pour these desires over us, Lord.” Amen
“There are things we can do. We are difference makers and world changers, and usually this begins in the small things. It’s my heart — standing shoulder to shoulder. Loving others. Speaking truth, but in a way that builds each other up rather than tearing us apart.”
Shoulder to shoulder . . . that’s what I see.
I love your words; they are so well spoken. I too believe we are stronger together. We need each other, and we need grace from each other.
I think back to my younger days when my children appeared as though they were perfect little well behaved children. I judged others so harshly whether I spoke it or not. The women in the shoe store who couldn’t get her child to sit while mine sat like angels. Story after story.
I am so sorry I judged. I was ignorant and had no idea.
Then mental illness came to dwell in our home and it brought a better me as I learned I needed grace, and so did my children. As the judgments and advice came flying as to what I should do with a child. Be tough I frequently heard from those that had no idea.
Oh, we all need to judge less and pull together. We have no idea what the other person is dealing with and little grace goes a long way.
Thank you for your beautiful post.
Amen! Thank you for sharing this. It blesses me in ways you might not even know. I’m so glad you joined the conversation today.
Oh Suzie…your words went straight into this broken, tatterted heart of mine. The one I don’t usually want others to see so broken and scared right now. But how can I know share this with you, as you spoke the words it needed to hear. Tears this morning, but thankful someone helped me expose the rawness that’s going on right now. And that was you. Thank you for speaking from the heart and loving us right where we’re at. ❤
It is early….there are typos in my comment and I can’t figure out how to edit it. This is my life. But hey…at least it’s real, huh?? 😉 Hope you can understand my message even with the extra words. lol You are a blessing in my life, Suzie. Thanking God for you!
Your words were so heartfelt that I didn’t see the typos!
Rochelle, I wish we could all just speak from the heart as you just did. I want to do that more in life and in ministry. Today’s post is my cry. It’s consuming me. I pray for women to be strength to each other, especially those who follow Christ. I want us to scoop each other up and be strong together. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for showing up!
I’m crying, broken and grateful. Thank you for this today. I know the Holy Spirit comforts me and keeps me but being able to be vulnerable in the midst of others, that kind of fellowship lifts me to God in just the way I need. Thank you again. Your posts are so precious and God-breathed.
Elisabeth, thank you for such a beautiful response. I hear your heart and it makes me wish we were sitting across from each other, a cup of coffee or a smoothie between us, as we talked. Thanks for joining this group of Jesus-filled women of all ages, sizes, and cultures, and sharing your thoughts!
As recipients of HUGE grace it is our privilege to extend grace to those most in need. May God help us to be women who are known for our love and acceptance that looks like Jesus.
Amen, Michele. I want to be self-aware of the ways that I might be judging, and not even realize it. We live in a culture that judges each other every day in a thousand ways, from what we see as beautiful, to what we think is the best or more perfect way to do something.
God, help us to see each other the way you do. Help us to notice the ways we make others feel “less than.” Open our hearts to see the way you see us. When others judge, may we find our confidence in your acceptance and great love.
Tears are flowing. I wish I knew you in person. I’d run over and squeeze you tight. Reaching for Jesus together. We are stronger together. Suzie, you spoke VOLUMES in this post. And we want you to know that we think you’re brave and you’re amazing and that your prayers are deeply felt. If I have ever inadvertently judged, I too, am sorry. I’m going to share this with a few people I KNOW will be breath taken by how the Lord is speaking through your words. Love you, sister. #IseeYoutoo
We all could use a friend like Suzi. Praying for you today.
You bring me joy, Carolina. : )
LOVE this comment and the truth and love it displays! May He reach down and give you a sweet kiss today, Carolina!
Please pray for my sister Kathy. She needs support and love, not judgment. Thank you.
Father, thank you for Kathy. Hold her close today. Watch over her. Let your words be the truth that soaks into her heart. Let your Word be the guide that shows her who she is, where to go, and what to do. Thank you that you have marked her life for your purposes, and due to your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Father, wrap Kathy in your loving arms right now. Cover her in your wings of protection, comfort, acceptance, and worth. Send others in the flesh to walk by her side and encourage her, in Jesus name.
Father, We ask You to help Kathy feel in a very real way how You are holding her and wrapping Your arms around her today and as she takes each little step forward in her situation. Remind her that she is precious and loved by You, that You created her, that You want her, that You love her and call her Yours. Help her to rely on and find her identity in You as she struggles with feeling judged. For others around her, clear their minds of negative thinking and help them reach out to her with love and acceptance. In Jesus name, Amen.
This truly spoke to my heart today. One of my daughters is dealing with a difficult situation and I am trying to do just what you say – be there and comfort. I can offer some advice but mostly she just wants somebody to not judge her. She is feeling the judgment of so many others and doesn’t feel open enough to share all that is in her heart. Thank you for sharing your heart and just asking people to pray and be there. Sometimes all we need is somebody to just walk along side us without offering advice.
Praying for you as you walk alongside your sweet daughter today!
A sweet song from our Savior…
All. Of. This.
There is more truth spoken in this one post than has been all over the internet in months. THIS. This is what unity is about. This is what LOVE is. My gosh, if we could all embrace this concept, what a world this would be!
Thank you for being so raw and truthful, Suzie. Thank you for speaking out for those who have been forced to stay silent. Thank you for advocating for ALL. Thank you for showing this world what Jesus would really do. THANK YOU.
May God be with each of us as we encourage and not judge, as we embrace and not run, as we listen and not speak.
Oh, yes, Crystal. You have shared what is in my heart too. Let us join in acceptance and love and offer unlimited grace.
God has been teaching me a lot about this lately, as I seek to press out good, godly friendships without judging the rest at face value. Alongside of me, my daughters are beginning to weave their own way in and out of friendships …becoming more aware of what makes them feel comfortable and what doesn’t in the battlefield of friendship. It’s so important to see everyone as God sees them, whether we discern it’s in our best interest to befriend them or not. It’s extremely difficult! But when we remember to love and be kind and compassionate above all else, God does really miraculous things right before our eyes.
This took me forever to read because I couldn’t stop crying. I love your heart. <3
And you know where part of my inspiration lies, friend. I love your heart as well. You are strong and God is using you in incredible ways. I’ll be one of the people dancing with you as you see God unfold his plans over the seeds of faith your are planting.
When I first read this blog post this morning, I had answers ready. Things I wanted to say. Things that I have shared before. Then the doubts started in about what to say. If I should say things about my past again. About feeling like I don’t measure up to other people because of my past. How my past continues to haunt me – in my own mind. Because there are times after you share that you think maybe someone thinks or will think that I’m just trying to get attention. When you share what haunts you, it puts it out in the open, and the feeling of being judged is even worse. Then to make yourself feel better, you turn around and judge someone else. It’s a vicious cycle of hurt, judgement, and guilt.
This post speaks volumes that I don’t know how to express accurately. We need to not judge others. And we need to stop judging ourselves. While we encourage others we need to be with those that will encourage us. But most of all we need to stay in God’s word where He will continue to encourage and love us. I hope this makes sense. This post brings out so many emotions I am not expressing well.
I hope you said everything you wanted to say. If not, I’m listening and excited to hear all your thoughts.
It’s honestly one of the ugliest things that grieved me greatly when I realized how much, how often I judge. Brokenness somehow revealed that and other ugly sins . . . and yet as I confessed, I felt only unjudging grace. I so want to extend that same grace. Thank you, Suzie.
Yes! LOVE this, Lisa!
Thank you, Lisa Appelo, for sharing so openly that thing that so many of us do. Praise the Lord that he can change our hearts.
Thank you. Thank you. So full of truth. I will read this one again and again to keep my thoughts captive to Christ and keep me finding ways to pour in love. This. Is. Amazing. Printed and in my notebook and shared, too. Thank you for your words of truth, Suzie.
Amen, Leslie976. “Judge not,” is such a powerful and difficult challenge. May we all join together in His Name.
Thank you for sharing this. I’m struggling today.
Lord Jesus, help Kristin today with her struggles and let her feel Your loving arms around her. Amen.
Father, I don’t know what Kristin’s struggle is but you do. Meet her where she is . In Jesus name, Amen.
I’m sorry you are struggling, Kristin. Standing beside you in prayer.
Very powerful, Suzie! This has been a recurring theme in my life lately, too. How much stronger would women be if we stopped being so quick to judge one another – or to put up with it from others – and just started lifting one another up, praying for one another, putting ourselves in another’s shoes, and looking for ways we can BLESS one another instead of trying to always compete or be better? The answer? I think Satan knows it FULL WELL – and his mission has been to separate women from one another with the very thing that makes us so amazing: our words and emotions. We have such a powerful gift of communication – and the ability to feel in ways I believe men don’t always understand. Don’t get me wrong – men are great communicators and my husband feels even more deeply than me at times. But it’s different. We were designed to be caretakers, communicators, emotionally vulnerable, etc. And that can be such a great ADVANTAGE when we come together in the love of Christ. Instead, we’ve taken all of those things and have wrap them up in selfish ambition, or measure them by worldly standards – and we mix in unchecked and ungodly emotions. It’s created such division between women. I see it every day. I am extremely sensitive to other people’s feelings and non-verbal communication. It’s a blessing – and a curse. I see all of the glares, the rolled eyes, the whispers, the smirks – and hear the belittling, the judgmental tones, and the pride-filled remarks. I’ve been on the receiving end – and, shamefully, I’ve dished it all out too. But something inside me changed several years ago – and God has brought me out of that place and into such a more beautiful and peaceful place. I have made friendships that I never imagined possible – with women I might have avoided for such petty reasons before. Differences in religion – differences in politics – differences in spiritual maturity. Now, I see so many opportunities to be a blessing to these women – when before I only saw the differences between us. It’s come at a hefty price, though. I’ve had to learn to fight against those old ways – and the enemy is relentless. But so is my God! And relationships that once flourished, have now become almost null and void — because I refuse to entertain the gossip and unhealthy conversations. That’s okay, though. God is using me for greater things. And I pray more women will open their eyes to what a great blessing it is to see others through the eyes of Christ. We may not see eye-to-eye … but our hearts see much more clearly than our eyes. Let’s open our hearts!
This message is timely. Whatever time it is in our life. I think each of us has been a recipient of being judged. Sadly, most of us have also been the one doing the judging. I know I have. I have failed to show concern, comfort, encouragement ….. when needed most. I am sooo sorry. God died for me when I was yet a sinner. He didn’t wait until I got it all together and he expects me to extend that same grace to others. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. The passion and compassion are so clear. They are dripping off each word of your post and landing in our hearts. God is using you today Suzie. We hear you.
We are all guilty…. grace is a beautiful, undeserving gift, isn’t it?!
Great post, Suzie. This is something the Lord has been speaking to me about for quite some time also, at least a good year. Not a great track record considering how old I am, actually. Praise the Lord for His grace, mercy, and patience, and may He help us extend the same to others.
Ruth, I too have been hearing the Lord speaking to me about ending judging others and about learning to love and support others. How I agree with Suzie’s words that we are so much stronger together. Praise the Lord for loving us as we are.
I’m struggling in every area of my life it seems. I’ve been feeling very worn out from everything. I’m trying to believe God loves me for who I am and where I’m at in life. A lot seems to be twisted right now, but I have hope that God will straighten it out.
Father, wrap your arms around Alexis and comfort her. Give her guidance and wisdom. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen
Father, thank you for Alexis. She’s heard a lot of confusing messages. I pray that you become her sole voice. Let your love settle in her heart. You’ll lead her day by day. You’ll heal those wounds. You’ll help her with understanding and you’ll grow her faith. We trust in that with Alexis today. We celebrate every step she’s taken in faith, and the courage she’s shown to keep reaching for you. I thank you that you reach back, every single day, every single moment.
Suzie-I loved how powerful and honest this was, it convicted but also gave a hand of hope not only to the judger but also the judged. Let’s grab onto one another and just love, not judge. It is my prayer and thanks for putting to words what God is laying on your heart so we can all move closer to loving like Jesus.
Love this! Thanks for sharing! 💜