In the face of everything that is threatening to tear you down — keep standing

I’ve spent 29 years of my life asking God why I was put on this earth, and the last few, telling Him all the reasons why I couldn’t possibly do it.

I’ve contemplated making a run from God’s call on my life, too many times to count. Much like all the times I hid in the bathroom to escape gym class in Elementary School.

I just couldn’t do it. I missed kickball tournaments, field days, and square dancing. All because I was too afraid of what my peers would say, of how athletically incompetent I might prove myself to be, when inevitably, some sphere of death would be hurled unmercifully in my direction. (I’m also, legit, afraid of balls. But that’s another story for another time.)

So there I stayed, in the bathroom, nearly every day, studying the barely legible choice words that were littering the lavatory walls I had locked myself in, while the shouts of my classmates echoed from the gym.

Though I rarely hide in bathroom stalls anymore (praise!) I realized this week, the reason I most often feel like running from what God is asking me to do, is still the same as it was while cowering on the commode all those years ago:

I was, and still am, debilitating afraid of the critic.

 

 

 

Oh, the critic.

I have come to know them well these days…

Over the years, I’ve told you all about the notably, er… creative ways in which people have criticized me due to this blog. I’ve had moms call me out at play dates, and readers contact my husband’s boss, telling him, and I quote, “I’m not even sure how she could be saved.” (Yep, it happened. And yep, fun fact: I am.) 

Nothing is off-limits it seems.

Just this last week, I was told my blogging is $%*#, (their words, not mine) and that I’m an awkward person to be around. The same person went on to tell my husband that I, his wife …his person… have publicly humiliated and shamed him in my writing, saying, “yah know, everyone is talking about it…” thus, attempting to create hysteria, I suppose. (Well played, hater. Well played.)

And that’s all it took – three insults – to send all the feelings of longing to retreat to the bathroom, swarming around me again. The word, awkward, humming through my brain throughout the day, and making me feel just as uncoordinated and incapable, as I was in  the third grade in my P.E. shorts, and my navy blue Adidas.

For a moment, I considered what it would look like to walk away from what God is calling me to do.

Stay small, a voice whispered. Don’t make waves. Just sit down, bow out, and hide in the bathroom if you have to. It’s safer there, and all the unworthiness you feel will melt away.

To which God stepped in and set the record straight, saying (on the contrary),

“Keep standing.”


 

In the book of Acts, Paul is – quite literally – taking a beating. The critics are coming at him from all sides, and they’re dragging him outside to hurl cruel insults and accusations at him. So much so, it says, the backlash ‘became so violent that they were afraid they would tear Paul apart, limb by limb.’

Pause. Have you ever felt so attacked, your character so demeaned, that you felt as if you and your life’s purpose, were at risk of being ripped to shreds, literally picked apart limb by limb?

For me, it seems if I so much as even (think) about writing, that unprovoked and biting criticism, like vultures, will swoop in, to obliterate any courage I thought I had (or for that matter, any courage I had mustered up enough to fake.) Limb by limb, it feels as if my calling is being ambushed. Insult after insult, my character hounded.

But in Acts 25:10-11, Paul says 5 words to the haters (And they’re the same words God instructed me to say to mine.)

* Note: If you’re one of my haters, lean in, would you? It’s simple, really… *

Paul said, “I’m going to keep standing.” 

I’m going to keep standing… even when everyone is attempting to tear me down.

I’m going to keep speaking… even if it means my voice trembles when I’m nervous, and every word out of my mouth seems to infuriate the masses.

I’m going to keep writing… even when the finished product is laden with feelings of inadequacy and misplaced commas.

And I’m going to keep showing up to the plate, each and every day… unwavering even when my inabilities prove the critic right, and unrelenting until the day God’s power unleashed in me proves everyone wrong.

Today, God is asking us to look straight in the face of everything – and every one – who has threatened to muddy and disorient our belief in ourselves and the One who has called us. He’s asking us to unflinchingly declare never to back down; never to be silenced. To refuse to be coerced into becoming small, and to never, even consider, sitting down in the name of being compliant.

“Get back on your feet, and get the hell out of that bathroom!” God said to me this week, “Its time to take hold of My purpose for your life once again. Relinquish it for no one!

You’re life is too significant to sit on the sidelines anymore. Especially, for the sake of the critic hurling insults, like stale popcorn, down from the cheap seats

— So, keep standing. “

And with every word that I type, I am. — Will you? 

 

image

Krista Ortiz

 

 

 

Advertisements

30 thoughts on “In the face of everything that is threatening to tear you down — keep standing”

  1. Yes! Yup! Amen, sistah! I’m entirely thankful that you’ve stood despite the critics – internal & external. Again, this hits home. Standing with you, friend. “She clothes herself in (freakin) strength.” I mean that actually says, “girds her loins” so let’s be real, she’s ready for a fight, ready to stand up to anyone and anything. Thanks for being an example of this. So encouraged by your words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t tell you how much I LOVE – and agree – with your STRONG perspective of the proverbs 31 woman. Its a far cry from the crock pot cooking, wedding planning, weak sauce one, I was taught about in bible college hahaha. Glad my words helped to encourage you, even in the slightest way. I can tell already, you are a force to be reckoned with. And I love that so so much ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh the irony. Haters attempting to chastise you for being open, honest and obedient to God about your walk; while giving your husband a free pass for all the things he did that caused the situation. How about how all the ways he broke his vows? Wow! Should the person not have said “Brother, you did your wife/family wrong, you are a lucky and blessed man to have a wife so obedient to God that she saw you through it”. That’s what should have been said. Keep standing, girl keep on standing.

    Like

  3. Krista, your ministry enables others to BELIEVE in our Almighty God and claim His promises for our lives. And, for those who do not believe, who would NOT be attracted to know more about Jesus–the one you love and serve–after being around you, and observing you? THANK YOU! You are AWESOME & BOLD in His name. You are extraordinary in your ways, you are the epitomy of a Godly wife & partner for Ricky, EXTRAORDINARY Mom to Gia, and beautiful Daughter of the King! For these things I have witnessed, and am blessed to have you as my friend/family/mentor.

    I love you Dearly. Thank you for your honesty–

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michele! Seriously. Those are THE MOST encouraging words, and coming from you they mean everything to me. I am so thankful how god has crossed our paths. You guys are a gift to us as well. The Ortiz family loves you guys so much! ❤

      Like

  4. I read this and it makes me think you need to hear it: Never think that what you have to offer is insignificant. There will always be someone out there who needs what you have to give.”
    I love your writings and I check each and every day hoping you’ve added an new post.
    I wonder, if the “haters” don’t like your posts, why read them? Many things have been suggested to me to read and when I don’t like them, I don’t keep reading them. Isn’t that a waste of a way to spend their minutes (also known as minutes of their lives).
    Please keep sharing your perspectives as I need to hear what you have to say.
    Thank you!

    Like

    1. Thank you for taking the time to reach out! That is such a great perspective to hold onto, believing that there is someone who needs to hear the words God is asking me to write. Its hard to believe that sometimes, right? That God can use silly ol’ us to help others, but He does, doesn’t He? Thankful for that reminder. Thank you for sharing that with me!

      Like

    1. You have become a warrior, yourself! So dang proud of who you have become, not inspire of what you have been through, but because of it! You inspire me more than you will ever know, my friend!Love you, friend.

      Like

  5. Hey Krista! My name is Sally. I commented on one of your posts a few months back saying how my husband was on his first deployment and how you nailed it on the head of what I needed in that exact moment, just to jog your memory lol Any how, I just wanted to send a big, loud, old fashioned “YOU GO GIRL!!” your way. There’s a very clear anointing on you and your words, I can so feel it. Thank you once again for showing strength in the ugly face of so many emotions. Keep being you, Gods got a big purpose for it.

    Like

    1. Yes! Sally! I 100% remember you! THANK YOU for reaching out and for your (always) kind words. Gosh, I wish we could meet for coffee and you could tell me how you are doing. Is your husband still away or is he back now?

      P.s. It means A LOT that you would call out strength in me, when you so obviously are among the strongest women out there!

      Like

  6. Krista…once again you knock it out of the park with your truth. Keep standing sweet sister…there are more of us standing with you than you know.

    Like

    1. thank you, sylvia. I can’t tell you how comforting that is to hear. Means everything to me that you would take the time to reach out with your (always) kind words ❤

      Like

    1. Thank you, Amanda! Truth telling is the most difficult work, isn’t it? But gosh, its among the most sacred. You do the same, my friend. Hold nothing back.

      Like

  7. My sweet gifted girl I see more and more why God has it on my heart to move up there. You need to just go ahead and adopt me as a surrogate mom so I can whip a** when needed!

    But seriously let’s talk about Paul for a moment. When he made his venture into Athens he wasn’t all about quoting scriptures and such because God hadn’t blessed him with an audience of Jews who would respond to this approach, but an audience of Greek pagans. He adjusted his conversation to introduce “strange things” through dialogue that got their attention when he spoke their language, he had knowledge of their culture of worship and he even quoted their pagan poet Phaenomena of Aratus. Don’t be too hard on your critics they obviously missed Paul’s example here, or maybe they just missed that whole section called the New Testament where Jesus never conformed to the religious sect. Your a modern day Paul – keep living your life just like Jesus!!

    Like

    1. hahahahaha…. bahahahahaha….. Tracy… I can’t stop laughing! hahahaha… you’re amazing. And yes, get over here ASAP. There always seems to be @$$ to kick, and I could use some backup lol.

      I love your insight about Paul! Thank you for sharing that with me! And you are right, Jesus NEVER conformed! And neither should we. So good, Tracy! Thanks again for taking the time to share that with me!

      Like

  8. I, for one, think that transparency is just following Jesus. Jesus didn’t mince words and you don’t either. I love reading your blogs and love them because they are raw and real and honest….no matter where that honesty leads. I’m not sure why we always try to portray perfect when we are all just beautiful messes but unfortunately is the way of the human I guess. Keep going against the flow girl. You matter.

    Like

    1. Your words are so perfect.

      To hear that I matter and that its ok – maybe even a gift to others when I go against the flow – is such an encouragement to my spirit. Thank you for taking the time to reach out and share that with me. I, too, feel like transparency is following Jesus, as the closer I get to him the more I feel him asking me to expose who I (really) am to the world. (I’m just waiting for the day that it gets easier to do so… haha!)

      Thanks again, for your words. Cheering you on in your own journey to be honest and transparent!

      Like

  9. To all the other women out there that have survived their husband’s porn/marital betrayals and are STILL STANDING, I say well done friends.

    Krista, for those of us that have shared that pain ourselves we say KEEP STANDING. I have also survived (although barely) my husband’s porn addiction and I can truly say 100% that I am grateful for going through what I went through. My husband and I learned how to grow and forgive like never before. God has literally done a full miracle in our marriage and friendship and I literally come to tears several times a week thanking Jesus for my husband. I love him more now than I ever have.

    How can that be? How can we have an amazing friendship, marriage, sex life, after such betrayal and heartbreak? THAT is the power of saying YES to GOD and the very hard things He calls us to do. THAT is what it looks like to KEEP STANDING.

    When we boldly speak the truth about the new life God has made then we encourage other women to KEEP STANDING. What would it be like for you to have received such a miracle from your Creator to just then have you stay silent about His goodness? I imagine it would be insulting to Him. Especially since He is telling you to SPEAK about His goodness in your life. Well done. The haters can keep hating. God will keep working and blessing your for your obedience.

    Like

  10. ahhhhhhhhhh, There you are!! I wondered where you went! 😀
    People suck. Christians, Non-Christians, people=sinners. Enough said! This is where we show THEM grace and OURSELVES grace. Where we realize their life must really have some deficiencies, if they to have time to comment on our life. Where we die to self and realize it IS NOT ABOUT ME, but about what God is doing and how I can best serve Him and glorify Him.
    Stand Tall Warrior, your journey has not ended!
    ❤ Jenn

    Like

  11. ahhhhhhhhhh, There you are!! I wondered where you went! 😀
    People suck. Christians, Non-Christians, people=sinners. Enough said! This is where we show THEM grace and OURSELVES grace. Where we realize their life must really have some deficiencies, if they have time to comment on our life. Where we die to self and realize it IS NOT ABOUT ME, but about what God is doing and how I can best serve Him and glorify Him.
    Stand Tall Warrior, your journey has not ended!
    ❤ Jenn

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s