There is the old saying.... "try walking a mile in my shoes." 

You wanna know something?  I don't need anyone to walk a mile in my shoes.  Walking a mile in my shoes will not show you nor will it teach you anything about the "real" me.  The Missy you cannot possible see.  The Missy you cannot possibly know.  The Missy you cannot possibly understand.  

Neither my spouse nor some of my closest friends can see this Missy.  There is only ONE person who will EVER see her.... that is my Heavenly Father.  He gets me.  He knows me.  He has walked with me through every elating and tragic moment of my life and he was hiding in the corners with me when I was too scared to come out.  

This.  This is why I am FED UP with the world of continual and vocal judgement we live in.  

That used to be me!  Oh, yes it did!  Though I did not see it or recognize it as judgement.... if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck.... well.... you know the rest!!

What I failed to acknowledge was A) My own behaviors and character flaws that could be looked at and judged every day and B) I had absolutely NO CLUE where this person I was choosing to judge came from or is coming from.  

Human behavior is a multi faceted thing.  The big nature vs. nurture debate really need not be a debate at all.  Our behavior is molded by every experience we encounter in our lives.  Whether it just is part of our make up or it was an outcome of a life experience really doesn't matter.  We are all unique individuals with many stories to tell and some stories get told through our reactions and behaviors.  

You want to judge the mom that is yelling at her kids in the grocery store..... go ahead.... but what you cannot see is the fact that her utilities were just shut off, her abusive husband beat the tar out of her last night and she has absolutely no positive support in her life.  She knows no different and no one has had the love and compassion to try and lead her in any different direction.... .all they have had to offer is their judgement. 

You want to judge the mom who NEVER loses it with her kids! How she comes off as though life is a peach tree and she is the perfect Carol Brady? Go ahead..... but what you don't know is she was brought up in a home where emotions were never shared.  You never showed anger, you never showed exhaustion, you must always be strong or persevere.  What you don't see is her crying into her pillow every night because she does not think she can hold it together for her show... one more day.  

You want to judge the mom who lets her kids do things you wouldn't let yours do. or perhaps allows them to get away with thing you would NEVER let your kids get away with.  Go ahead.... but what you can't see is the pain and tragedy that has taken place behind closed doors in their home.  How these parents may be a little less aggressive because they know personal things about their children and family you have no clue about.  OR maybe, they were must raised differently than you.  Perhaps your parents were drill sargeants that rarely allowed fun and made you tow the line so that is how you choose to parent.  Either way.... it is simply not your concern.

So perhaps you feel compelled to judge the mom who never volunteers for extra activities or doesn't even bring a pan of brownies when they are needed.  Go ahead.... judge away.  But what you cannot see is this mom is barely keeping her head above water.  She is having major marital issues and is struggling just to survive the day and keep her children going.  Baking a pan of brownies seems as exhausting as running a marathon.

I can tell you personally that I am fully aware of my flaws as a mom, wife, woman and person in general.  Though I need a reminder at times of things I could work on, I certainly do not need a world of judgemental eyes and voices surrounding me.  There is typically no one harder on us..... than US.  

Through the painful events of our lives in the past few years I have learned SOOO much about judging others.  Aside from close friends and family, most people had NO clue what was going in our home.  None.  I had really bad days.  So did my children.  Would it perhaps changed a judgmental person's view to know the pain and heartache we were facing nearly every day in this house?

Maybe.... if they had a compassionate heart at all.  Some people will never break away from judgement as their hearts are as hard as stone.  It will take nothing short than the love of Christ to soften their cold and stone like heart

The bottom line is.... you have absolutely NO idea what drives another persons choices, behaviors, or actions.  And while I am not advocating for acceptance of negative and hurtful actions and behaviors, I am advocating for love, compassion and understanding of other people.   

You may not get me..... sometimes.... I don't get me.  But you may also not know that I grew up in a home with pretty intense domestic abuse, major financial stress, massive instability and I lived in a state of constant anxiety for most of my childhood years.  

I also grew up with wonderful, loving and generous grandparents and extended family that provided me with some of that stability, peace and love I so desperately needed.  They brought balance to my chaotic life.  

I was molded greatly by all of those experiences and though I am fighting the good fight to eliminate the negative outcomes..... for years they became ingrained in me and part of who I am.  I learned to react in certain ways, some very negative coping mechanisms and anxiety rears it's ugly head any time I feel my life is becoming unstable or chaotic.  

It took the love and compassion of others to show me where I needed God to work.... not a judgmental slap in the face.  

I pray if you have felt judged..... you allow God to show you where He wants you and you are able to SHUT OUT a world that has it's own issues to deal with.  

I pray if you struggle with judging .... God quickly convicts you and your behavior and shows you.... you will never win a heart for Christ..... by offering a heart full of Satan's' condemnation.  

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend 
Missy
 
 
One of the most precious benefits to giving my life to Christ was understanding what the word "free" really means. 

We live in the freest country in the world.  I am pretty much allowed to live as I choose, almost to a fault in the US of A.  However, the freedom found in Christ does not hold a candle to the freedom of living in a free country.  I am blessed to experience both, but what God has shown me recently, is I really have not experienced the freedom He longs to give me.

"For the one the Son sets free is free indeed." John 8:36

But am I?  Am I truly free?

No, not even close.

I have the freedom to practice my faith for all to see.

But I can't go a day without worrying about something I can't control.

I have the freedom to walk down my street, for the most part completely safe from harm.

But I can't break free from needing the approval of man.

I have freedom to say whatever I am thinking or feeling about whomever I wish to say it about. 

But I am in chains to my own emotions and intrusive thoughts.

I have freedom to go where I want, wear what I want and do what I want.

But I continue to  live as a prisoner to worldly standards.  

I have been given freedom..... but I am not free. 

I am a prisoner sitting in a cell.  Jesus flew the cell door open and is just waiting for me to step out.  I venture out, slowly, a few toddler steps, but then turn around and run right back to my personal prison.  

Why?

Why can't I shake these chains and run out of the cell and slam the doors behind me?

I pray this and ask this each morning.  And I live in an endless pursuit to allow God to break the chains for good.  

I have had seasons where I experienced this freedom, but as I mentioned, I always find myself running back to for the dark cell, even though I don't long to be there.  

Freedom is not found necessarily in a country, or a town, or even in laws, rules or regulations..... true freedom is found in our head.   

My mind wanders like a homeless bird.  I am often a wave tossed to and fro.  My mind is searching for a place to call home.  

True freedom is found when my mind wanders no more, but finds it's home..... in Christ. 

I pray for the day that I find THIS type of freedom.  The freedom Christ died to give me.  The freedom to feel joy..... always.  The freedom to simply follow Christ..... and shut the cell door and leave the world behind.  The freedom to let discouraging words or thoughts roll off my back and plop and be locked away in that dark cell I no longer reside in.  

Oh how I pray for that day!  

My God is faithful..... that day.... WILL come.  

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend 
Missy