**Word of caution: vulnerable and long post ahead.**
I had the brilliant idea of starting a blog back in 2017. I had a desire to write and get my content out there for the world to see.
I began my first motherhood blog and I was excited for people to read my posts and provide feedback. I was ready to encourage and impact others and while I did receive some positive feedback, I had no idea of the scrutiny that would ensue upon starting a YouTube channel alongside having my blog.
I wanted to do it all. The blog, the YouTube channel, the beautifully curated Instagram feed and slowly grow an audience. My goal has always been to provide encouragement and inspire others through my writing.
I had my blog going and, later, I started to post videos on YouTube and let me tell you, I had a blast doing it. It was a fun hobby at the time although the editing part was quite tedious—I enjoyed it and I learned a lot about editing videos, adding effects, and background music.
While I was in the midst of trying to grow an audience through Youtube and my blog, all the opinions suddenly flooded in. Not only were they just opinions but they were criticisms and judgments and negativity from people whom I once considered close to me. People who I thought would encourage me, support me, and be there for me.
I felt a knife penetrating my heart when I found out what was being said about me. Dramatic I know, but it’s exactly how I felt. I put my heart and soul into everything I did. I was passionate about writing and well, YouTube was just a hobby, so it wasn’t anything I wanted to pursue for a long time. But after the negativity I faced, I began to grow discouraged and wanted to give up–thankfully I never did.
Galatians 5:13-15 NIV says this:
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other” (emphasis added).
The Bible reminds us that we ought to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, to encourage one another and serve one another. So why weren’t these ‘fellow’ Christians doing so?
When we are walking in the Spirit, these gifts will naturally flow out of us but when we are not, Galatians 5:19-21 NIV tells us this:
“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (emphasis added).
The moment I began to share what I was doing with others, I noticed the silence and rude glances they made. In that moment, I realized this dream I had of writing was only to be shared with people that sincerely cared for me and would be happy for me.
I grew distant from said fellow Christians who I knew would cast judgment on me for being bold and different and thinking outside the box.
I want to encourage you if you’re a writer, a Podcaster, a YouTuber, artist, musician, and so forth; and anyone that has a dream to influence others in a positive way–continue doing what you’re doing. Don’t give up and don’t let the voice of others overpower the voice of God.
When you begin to pursue your dreams and put your work out there for the world to see, you will face negativity from others. It’s only a matter of time. Some people will love what you do, and they will love you as a person but not everyone will. Keep that in mind.
“When you begin to pursue your dreams and put your work out there for the world to see, you will face negativity from others.”
If you haven’t heard of Allie Casazza, I encourage you to listen to her podcast. She started a business from her home that has brought in a full-time income for her family. Once she started becoming well-known, she began to face all kinds of negativity, criticisms, judgments—in reality, were just jealous. People would mock her and make fun of her for doing what she was doing. She had one of her closest friends steal from her and another start her own business while copying all of Allie’s ideas, techniques, and so forth. She has faced it all and while it hurt, she trained herself to not give any space in her mind or her heart for the negativity. She’s a woman of faith and so she meditates constantly on the Word and the more you do that, the more you will be able to love those that mistreat you. To this day Allie continues to be successful amid the hardships she faced.
It’s difficult to face the negativity when you are first starting out and it may be easier for you to just throw in the towel, but don’t! Don’t let them win! Continue doing what you’re doing. You never know who you will impact along the way.
Amid the criticisms, the negativity, the opinions that came my way, I continued to encourage and love those surrounding me. I love encouraging people and I can’t stress that enough. I continued publishing content, and I prayed for those that hurt me. I won’t lie and tell you I didn’t hold a grudge against them for a while because I did but I knew that it was wrong and so I made the decision to forgive.
People will always have their opinions about everything and there is nothing we can do about that. What we can do is continue loving them because there may be something inside of them that is causing them to be mean, envious, or jealous. If they can’t be happy with you, they’re probably are not happy with themselves.
Now back to the encouraging part. As I was saying, for years I made it a goal to encourage, uplift, love, and serve others regardless of what they had done and guess what happened?
God brought the most incredible, encouraging, loving, kind, joyful people in my life in due season!
My husband and I made the decision to move to another congregation back in November of 2018. Although it took us a while to get acclimated, once we got to know the church members, we quickly grew attached to them as they continued to reflect the love of Christ toward us. It boggled my mind that these people were so kind and loving toward us from the very beginning.
Finally, I had reaped what I sowed for years and my husband and I were placed with the right people at the right time!
I self-published my very first novel in July and once they found out, they shared it with their friends and family and they were so happy for me and proud of me. They thought it was amazing that they knew an author. These men and women God brought into our lives have shown me what family is all about and what reflecting the love of Christ means.
Now that I am friends with such amazing people, I feel more driven to continue doing what I love.
So, friend, I encourage you to continue writing, continue blogging, continue creating content. You are going to impact the lives of hundreds of people and that will outweigh the negativity you may face.
Yes, the opinions might hurt, the criticisms will sting like a knife penetrating your heart–but this will only make you stronger and will prepare you for the future.
You can do this friend; I believe in you!
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. -Galatians 5:25-26 NIV
Featured Image By Jean Gerber