For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Better Answer--Part 5, The Power of Credibility

It was WonderGirl's first time back at youth since her dad had died, and the sermon that night just happened to be about honoring fathers and their being the unquestionable head of the house. For WonderGirl, this was a double whammy. First of all, she no longer had a living father, and second, he had chosen to walk out on his family so he could "be happy". The topic of fathers was not a good one for her, and the idea of honoring a father who abandoned his family...yeah, not really.

When the pastor asked the young people to raise their hands for comments or questions, WonderGirl's hand went up. When he pointed to her, she said she thought honor was earned, and some fathers didn't earn it. The pastor told her he didn't care what the father had done. He should be honored and given authority over the house.

WonderGirl cared.

When she got to the car, she was just about beside herself. She was livid, and and she was hurt. By the time the door closed beside her, she was in tears. She unleashed the entire 30 minute drive home. I listened.

When we got home, she went to her room to work things out with God, and I posted on social media an explanation of what had occurred and asked for prayer.

One of the women took that opportunity to tell me I was coddling my daughter and allowing her to walk in anger, that I was allowing her--even encouraging her--to wallow in anger, and we needed to get over it.

As tactfully and calmly as possible, I informed this person that I didn't know how she could make a statement based on blips on a social media page, that there is a whole story she didn't know. She replied that she didn't know what was happening the rest of the time. She was only going by what she saw online, and based on that, she had given her opinion.

My point exactly.

She didn't know what was going on the rest of the time. She never called. She never emailed personally. She never texted. She never messaged. She made no effort to contact us or be part of our lives in anyway beyond the blips of the media page, but that was enough for her to make judgments--and they were judgments--about our hearts, our feelings, our thoughts, and our healing.

I deleted her from my list of friends online. Then I deleted her from my phone and my email.

And I didn't miss her .

Earlier this week I was talking to a friend about the family, and she was asking me about different aspects of life. Specifically, she asked me about the possibility of my dating or having a relationship, and we talked. It is a personal topic, and she knows it, but I also know her heart. I know it because she has walked the hard road with us. She has listened and loved through the ugliest. She has handled honesty I wouldn't put on anyone else. She has proven herself with phone calls, cards, texts, and coffee. She knows the story because she has walked it with me.

When she shared her thoughts on my lack of dating and lack of relationship, it wasn't someone tossing out a personal opinion based on her own filter. It was my heart friend looking closely at my children and me and being concerned for us.

And I listened.

And today as my mind has rolled her words over and over and sorted through thoughts and feelings that popped up while I went through boxess of family pictures and keepsakes, she is the one I texted.

When it comes to helping people on a personal level, there had better be a relationship.

If there isn't, the person will see the "concerned advice giver" as a judgmental busybody who is invading space where they are not welcome. They will not receive the person or advice as a blessing. Instead, they will reject the person and their words with a curse because the person is not speaking to them or their lives. They are simply giving their filtered opinion based on something having nothing to do with the hurting person.

Trust has not been established. Obviously there is no respect.

Honestly, it comes across as arrogance, and arrogance is never helpful.

A few months ago I served as a victim for an emergency response drill. While we were waiting for the drill to start, a female victim and I struck up conversation. While talking, the fact Rob had died came out, and she asked if I were dating anyone. No--and before I could say anything else, she informed me I shouldn't date anyone till the kids were grown, and they didn't need to lose another parent, and I owe my kids--

My palm shot out in a clear, "Stop right there," fashion.

"Excuse me, but you don't know me. You don't know my family. You obviously have no clue what you are talking about."

"Well, I just think--"

"I don't care what you think. I have no reason to care what you think. And you have no reason to think you have a right to dictate to me how to live or how to care for my kids."

You don't know.
You don't know my family.
You don't know how we live.
You don't know our story.
You don't care enough to learn it.
That means you don't care about us,
so why in the world should I care about your thoughts, feelings, or advice?

 If the best you have to offer is opinions from the cheap seats, keep your opinions to yourself. Be helpful by not being hurtful.

If you really want to help on a personal level, you have to get on the level of the person. Invest in the person. Write the texts. Send the cards. Clean the house. Buy the coffee. Listen.

Instead of saying you care, SHOW you care. Otherwise, they won't care at all.


  1. I don't understand how people think they can invalidate the feelings, thoughts, or beliefs of another person. Baffling!

  2. I don't know. It happens far more than people talk about in public, though. I've talked to so many people are shocked from the pain inflicted, shamed by the person's dismissal, or simply trying to be strong who say nothing and try to either be brave or just go and hide. NOT acceptable.