When God’s Promises Just Won’t Cut It

 

I am just going to go right out there and say it, blogging is not for the faint of heart.

I have friends who have dreams of writing books and starting blogs, and they talk about it with rainbows and unicorns dancing in their eyes. And that’s great… but that hasn’t been my experience. And this last week, was proof.

 

“What’s been the response you’ve received from your writing?” A friend from college asked me awhile back.

“It’s been amazing!” I told him,”…and terrible!”

He looked at me cockeyed, searching my face to see if I was joking.

(I wasn’t.)

Writing has been painful. The cost of authenticity has been great. Over and over, God has asked me to write, that’s clear. Not to write a book or anything fancy, just to put my truest self out there, in life and on this blog, and amid the (very real chance) I will be criticized.

And boy, have I been criticized… 

Two years ago I wrote a post that we refer to around here, as ‘the post that accidentally went viral.‘ with a barrage of complete strangers, swinging their fists and casting cruel-amounts of judgment.

One commenter said this, which still to this day is fresh in my memory (the cruelest words always are, aren’t they?) He called me “Judas,” and went on to declare what a disgrace I must be to God right now, after having written such a post.

A plethora of others, would go on to correct my (many) grammatical errors. 700+ comments would soon follow suit…

I felt so unworthy.

…But God promised to be with me.

Everything will be fine, He said. Just keep writing.

And with bated breath (and after a good couple of panic attacks), I listened.

Another time (and more recently) I wrote about growing up with a father in full-time ministry. About what I wished he would have known. And how had he known it, how I believe it could have saved our family.

I had nightmares the night before it posted. Even still, nothing could have prepared me for the tears that would ensue in the produce aisle, when I received a phone call while at the grocery store telling me that my aunt had emailed my husband’s boss, a well known pastor, to tell him,  I was ‘too young to know anything about Jesus’ and that she wasn’t even sure I was a Christian.

I was humiliated… 

Again, God promised I wasn’t alone, and that everything would work out. Just. keep. writing. And again, I (somehow) found the courage to sit down at my laptop once again, and write.

Which brings me to last week, when my husband (so graciously) shared his side of the restorative process and owned his greatest failings, only to be publicly shamed on social media (by a friend of the family no less!)

“You are only sorry you got caught …a coward who was cornered,” they expressed, diminishing my husband’s progress. Going on to say, that they now saw him differently as a husband, father, pastor and friend. And that others would likely do the same.

As I read their words, I could feel my blood running hot and furious through my veins! At first, I thought I was pissed (what-with my blood running hot and furious, and all) but I realized that wasn’t the case at all…

I was heartbroken. 

But of course again, God promised to meet me in my heartbreak. Reassuring me He would be with me and that even though it doesn’t feel like it right now, everything would be fine.

But before God could instruct me to ‘keep writing’ like He always does, I told Him His promises wouldn’t cut it! Not this time, and not after what happened….

If God wanted me to continue doing what He was asking me (and with it, constantly having to dodge hurled criticism) I would need more than just His promises to get me through!

Interestingly, Moses demanded the same thing…

Moses knew what God was asking him to do (to lead the people of Israel to the Promised Land) But like me, Moses often felt unworthy in that calling, and at times experienced anger and criticism while trying to fulfill what God had asked him to do.

God also made him a lot of comforting promises along the way saying, “I will personally go with you, Moses…. everything will be fine for you.” Exodus 33:14

But one day, (like me) Moses wasn’t having it anymore! He demanded something more from God…

“Then show me your glorious presence.” Moses responded to God’s promises. (vs 18)

I don’t know about you, but there are moments in life where clinging to God’s promises just wont cut it. Like Moses, I need proof of His presence.

We desperately need to know God is in this with us; knee-deep in the trenches and combatting criticism alongside us. Not just throwing promises, like fairy dust, down on us from heaven.

It got me thinking this week, what if the strength we need to continue doing what God is asking us to do, was available to us — if only we would ask for it? After all, that’s all Moses had to do.

So that’s exactly what I did this week!

I begged God to show me He is in this with me — on this blog, and amid the ever-flowing judgement and controversy. I asked Him for His strength because for real, sometimes being authentic BLOWS and secretly, I’d rather spend my time doing much more enjoyable things; like exuding perfection and being the most popular person in the room.

…But unfortunately, that’s not what I have been called to.

And while I often question why God would call me to something that on the regular, makes me want to cry. What I do know is this: It’s up to me to seek God’s strength when I don’t have any of my own, to plead for God’s purpose when I don’t understand what He is doing (and why on earth, He is asking me to do it.)

When I need proof God is with me in this, His presence is available to me – if only I would ask for it.

….And so long as I stop just settling for His promises.

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29 thoughts on “When God’s Promises Just Won’t Cut It”

  1. Krista, you are a brave soul putting yourself out there and exposing the authentic you. Not many people are willing to do that in any area of their lives, let alone in print for all to see and put in their two cents. Here are my two cents: hang in there! If this is what God has called you to do, He will walk with you through the ups and downs of ‘comments’! I, for one, am in your corner, silently (until now) cheering you on, praying for you and crying for you and rejoicing with you! God bless you and your boldness. There are the stone throwers – always have been – always will be. Don’t worry about them – keep your focus on Him and the life He has called you to live- God will take take of everything (and everyone else!)
    Wish you could have joined your mom and me and my daughter in Seattle last month – maybe some day in Hawaii!!!

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    1. Kim!!!! Aw, thanks for reaching out!!!! My mom had so much fun with you guys — SO wish I could have been there! Thank you for taking the time to encourage me. It means so much ❤

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  2. Oh how hurtful we believers can be to one another! And oh how harsh and mean-spirited! I’m sorry that such unloving criticism has come from brother and sisters in Christ, Krista! Thank you again for the reminder that God’s strength is where my dependence is to lie and not in the approval of fickle, broken humans. I need to know today that my audience is One. Now if I can rely on His strength when all the lesser audiences are annihilating me! 🙂 I appreciate your honesty and openness so much! Your blog is a balm to my spirit and I am thankful you are faithful to what God is asking of you! Keep it up, Sista! Your writing blesses my life!

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  3. You are one of the few people that blog that I always read. You cannot imagine how many people God has touched through your writing and experience and willingness to put it out there. You are worthy and you have a story to tell and a means for God to continually touch people you would never know. I’m so sorry for your hurt, for the hurt others have caused you, but please hold your head high and know that God is using you and your writing in a way you could never know on this earth. May God continue to bless you. I have loved following you and am always so anxious to see your next post and rejoice in how God is restoring you and your marriage.

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    1. Lynn, that is so nice of you to reach out and take the time to comment. It’s so encouraging to hear that God is using my (oftentimes) silly words and messy story. Thanks again, for reaching out.

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  4. Krista,

    I want to thank you for your courage and bravery! You and your husband are far from cowards. Only the brave can stand in the face of judgment and criticism without backing down. I have been reading your blog for a few years and I cannot describe the affect your words have had on my heart. I know that I am one of the many reasons God keeps telling you to write. So thank you for listening! You are such a blessing to me! I have been walking through a crumbled marriage for the past 2 1/2 years. While against my will, my marriage seems to be ending differently than yours, but I still am able to see the same themes that God is bringing to both of us as we walk steadfastly with Him. He is bringing me restoration, providing for me, and replacing the thorn bushes with pine trees. Keep testifying what He is putting on your heart! Your authenticity is beautiful. Unfortunately, authenticity makes some people uncomfortable and they lash out. I am sorry for the hurt they have caused, but so grateful for your willingness to obey God instead of man.

    I’m going to do that weird thing and say, reading your story makes me feel like we are sisters, united and fully known…though we have never met. Maybe one day God will bring our physical paths together. Until then, keep writing dear sister!!

    With love and gratitude,
    Susan

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    1. Susan, I can’t even begin to tell you what an encouragement it was to read this comment. Thank you for being so kind, and for sharing part of your story. Sitting on the other end of a computer can be such a lonely thing, but hearing more about my readers and what they are going through (and how God is showing up for them!) is such an encouragement to ME!

      I am sorry to hear your marriage is falling apart, and all the unthinkable pain that encompasses. Even if it ends differently than mine, just know, you are crying out to the same Mighty God! Who can – and will – rescue you from your darkest days. If He could do it for me, He can do it for anyone ❤

      Praying over you right now Susan, that God would reveal His mighty power and His perfect plan for your life. That He would give you strength for the difficult days ahead and revive your hope for the future.

      Please don't ever hesitate to reach out again!

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  5. God will always honor obedience! It takes a tremendous amount of faith and courage to open up our failures and shortcomings for the world to see. God is using your story in so many different ways to help those struggling, to give proof of his faithfulness and to give you healing. When we go through difficulties our true friends show up and stand by us. Unfortunately, in those times we also discover those who don’t have the capacity to stand by us and that is painful. Hang in there and persevere!!! You are all loved by many!!

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  6. You have helped me more than you will ever know! You reminded your readers who were struggling themselves of God’s strength, faithfulness, mercy and of His redemption. Your husbands honesty in his blog was beautiful. I personally could never be that BRAVE. Blessings to you and your sweet family… “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.”

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    1. Thank you for your kind words! I suppose in order to show God’s strength, faithfulness, mercy and redemption, we have to admit how much we are in need of it, huh? Soooooo hard sometimes but it is so encouraging to know God is using it! Thanks for reaching out!

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  7. Krista,
    I can personally say that your blog has helped me through some of my darkest days. When God is using you for good, the enemy tends to come against you so strongly that you question whether or not it’s worth it. I can promise you that it is.

    Authenticity is more appreciated than you know. I remember your post about moving to the South and how you were judged for “airing your dirty laundry” when you were expected to just put up a facade and pretend that your life was perfect. It inspired me to take off my mask and just be real with people, because in being real, God’s strength is magnified because it is Him who is glorified, not my situation (past or present).

    Keep writing! You have many supporters. 🙂

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    1. YAAAAAY Sara, for being a mask-less Southern girl like me!!!! How awesome! It’s not easy huh? But man is it worth it, I have found.

      Thanks for your comforting words. They are the very thing God is using to show me there IS purpose in what He has asked me to do — so thank you, you are apart of that just by reaching out and sharing your story with me!!

      Where are you at in the South by the way? 🙂

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  8. Krista, please let me apologize for all of the, let’s use the biblical term jack asses, out there who feel brave hiding behind their “internet anonymity.” I would like to point out to them in a very loud voice that you are not preaching from a pulpit – although there is nothing wrong with what you write even if you were!), you are sharing your life experiences through your filter with the hopes of helping others who experience these things too (I doubt I would be that articulate if I was actually doing it.)

    You are brave. You are bold. And mostly you are a beautiful and obedient daughter of God. Do not forget that and do not let these donkey’s steal that purpose from you.

    I have been a faithful reader who accidentally fell upon your viral blog post way back when. I have celebrated your honesty and the knowledge that I am not alone in the way I feel in certain circumstances – as I know many others have as well. I have prayed for you, your heartache, your daughter, your husband and your larger family as I know many others have as well. Why? Because you are brave and bold and following the call God has put on your life.

    Let me remind you, gently, that if everyone approved of what you wrote, then you would not be serving God, you’d be pleasing people.

    Your husband is also brave for speaking about his struggles so publicly. One day we will have a church (I am referring to the greater body of Jesus) who celebrates the repentance and the transparency of the prodigal sons and daughters who return with the purpose of helping others instead of this body that celebrates hiding sin and punishing those who tell their stories.

    In God’s greatest grace and love ~M

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    1. 1. I LOVED that you called them jack asses. We would get a long well 🙂
      2. Thank you for taking the time to reach out with such kind and inspiring words! They have spoken so much timely truth to me! So thank you.

      And thank you for somehow being able to follow me for so long. When I read that you had been following since the crockpot post my first thought was, “what the crap have I been writing about all these years?” I couldn’t even tell you. But I am glad you stuck around 🙂

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  9. I want to encourage you to keep on keeping on. Who really cares what other people think as long as you are true with what God wants you to do. I am so grateful for your blog. There are many times your blog was just what I needed to read for the day. It has helped me immensely. I can’t describe how God has spoke to me through your words and your life experiences. Thank you for being transparent. There is nothing greater than the truth because God is truth. Your marriage and life will receive great blessing for your obedience. Thank you Krista and please thank Ricky!

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    1. “There is nothing greater than the truth because God is truth” So good!!!!! I can’t tell you how encouraging that was to me. Thank you for taking the time to reach out and encourage me Erica, it means so much more than I can express!

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  10. Krista, You don’t really know me, but we met once at ETV when your little girl was just so little. When I met you, I could see back then a woman who had let God capture her heart. You had this confidence about you that sometimes I find lacking in my own life. I started following your blog because I was going through my own stuff with family, and wanted to find a blog that could help me understand what I was going through. Sometimes other peoples words or advice can help you get through a trial.Yours was one of many that I found. I read yours from the beginning and I weeped with you and for you. I prayed for you and your husband. I went through a difficult trial with my own husband and leaned on God alot. If it was not for my heavenly father leading my way, reminding me he was there through his words, through music I would have left. God reminds me everyday of my partnership with y husband and how I have a feirce marriage. My life and my husband is my own not anyone elses. So keep leaning on God and remind yourself it is okay to have boundaries with others. The judgers someday will be judged. There is a song by Fireflight, caled he weeps. If you haven’t heard it, you should listen it is good. I will continue to pray for you. Remember you can do anything with God’s help and remember most that while you are going through this trial or journey, God is preparing you for another.

    If you have time and you want you can read some of my blog posts to see my journey…
    http://tracie-larson.blogspot.com/

    God Bless!
    Tracie

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    1. Oh wow, Tracie. That song!!!! crying….

      It is in our darkest moments that we get to know the most beautiful things about God— Like that He weeps with us! So powerful. Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing your story Tracie! And for your kind words. We could only hope to be women who have allowed God to capture our hearts! Thanks again ❤ ❤

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  11. Krista,
    I’m shocked people have been so mean. I want you to know, someone sent my your blog about a year that broke your heart. It lifted me up. 2013 broke my heart. My son’s girlfriend was murdered during a robbery/home invasion, my son went through hell (& still is), my older son got married 2 wks after that, I was going to see my ex-husband for the 1st time after 4 yrs, & watch my youngest son see his brother’s love life flourish while the love of his life was taken so violently, and then my mother passed away a few short months after that. It was the worst year of my life. Your post, it resonated with me and I literally look for your new posts daily.
    Thank you for sharing, for your faith, for your honesty, and for listening to God. You’re an inspiration. I sometimes have such a hard time depending on God. I want to but sometimes, I guess my faith is not strong enough. I won’t give up though, and part of that is because your inspiring words. Thank you, Katherine Darlington Florence, KY

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    1. Wow Katherine, you have been through so much! I can’t imagine the pain you have faced. Thank you for having the courage to share your story with me — it means so much more than you know! Writing can be such a lonely thing, so to hear what readers have been going through and what God has been to teaching them is so refreshing to me! I am so humbled that God would use my story to help encourage you (even in the slightest way)

      You are right – – Whatever you do, don’t give up! God is a good God who has AMAZING things in store for your future (even when it doesn’t feel like it) And whenever you need someone to remind you to hang on with every ounce of strength you have left, let me know. I am here for you, girl. 😉

      Thanks again and again for your kind words Katherine!

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  12. Fear is such a powerful tool and when people choose to be controlled by it, their actions are atrocious and unthinkable. The beautiful thing about your blog is you are telling the truth. Of course some people won’t like it, because it will shine a spotlight in to their own mess. Your honesty blesses others. Keep up the good work God has called you to do!

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  13. I have felt so alone at times in the hurt I have felt as a pastor’s daughter and then marrying a man pursuing ministry. Our first year of marriage was AWFUL. Your blog gave me hope and helped me keep my sanity. Thank you!!

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    1. Kayla, your comment touched me. I know how incredibly difficult it is to have been hurt as a Pastor’s daughter and then to be marrying a man in ministry. (Terrifying…) and marriage isn’t for the faint of heart! lol.

      Thank you for reaching out! Praying His strength and purpose over you – – there is a reason God is calling you into ministry (and it’s not just to be your husband’s wife!) praying God would reveal that to you in His perfect time. ❤

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  14. YOU are amazing! I’m twice your age, yet I still learn from you each and every time you post. God speaking through you, working through you has saved me on many occasions. God Bless you, your husband and kiddos. Thank you for bravely and openly being you. xoxoxo

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  15. We war not against flesh and blood but powers of air. It’s a battle, do all you can and then stand, in truth and seeking first the kingdom of God. You encourage me! So often fellow Christians, who we are commanded to love fervently, are so very hurtful. Love you💕

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  16. You know what Krista, this is what is wrong with Christianity. THIS is why the world looks down on us.. BECAUSE we look down on each other!! I’m sorry you have had to deal with these types of comments and hurtful situations. Those people don’t like it, because it reveals their own sin they are unwilling to look at. And if they think they aren’t sinning in big areas, Lord help them. But for the Grace of God, go I. One of my favorite sayings is “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you”, it’s so true!!
    I’ve read your blog since the “infamous post”. (I still follow Rachel too) I definitely think God used that to draw readers to your blog. Without that post, you might not have been able to reach as many people has you have been able to. Keep writing, keep sharing, keep being raw and vulnerable. It helps keep US real!! When I read your post on your car accident and how you were struggling with forgetting all that God has done for you, I did initially think ” WOW, so soon? How can she struggle after all she’s seen God do in her life?” That lasted all of 5 seconds before I had to check myself and say “YUP, I have done the same thing!!” :/ But your willingness to put out there your struggles with your walk with God, reminds us we have those same struggles and have to deal with the same things.
    Keeps us in check, as iron sharpens iron! THANK YOU!!
    You are out there in the blogging world, you are unfortunately going to get these comments, that’s ok. They may initially lash out, but maybe it’s the Holy Spirit poking at them. Just pray for them.
    May God continue to use your (ours too) messy life to further His kingdom!
    ❤ Jenn

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