My heart

As we were boarding our flight to come back from the beach, we met some of the dearest people.  A group of caretakers from an adult group home took the group homies (is there a proper term?  idk, but this one is kind of fun!) on a cruise.  How precious is that!

Now the group homies were of various ability levels.  Many were in wheelchairs, many were nonverbal… and all were just precious.  The caretakers looked exhausted – just one more leg to get home!

God was gracious to plant one of the gentlemen next to me.  He wasn’t communicative, but oh how he communicated so powerfully to me a message I needed to be reminded of that day at that particular time.  His rocking and swaying kept me vigilant of his presence – and I needed that constant reminder.  I needed the reminder of God’s gracious love for His precious creations.  I needed the reminder that He is perfect and His plan is perfect – He doesn’t make any mistakes!  And I needed the reminder that I am blessed abundantly – He has given me gifts and abilities even in daily life, and I oft forget to remember their privilege.

Oh, how I needed those reminders that day at that particular time!

You see, we were standing in line for quite a while as the plane was loading.   With many passengers of various ability levels, it took a bit to load.  We were all lined up in that tunnel thing to get onto the plane (like my terminology? : )) just a-chilling.  The family in front of me I unfortunately didn’t speak their language, and the woman behind me was in high complaining mode.  That’s totally not my cup of tea, so I prayed, “Lord, what shall we do while we’re a-chilling?”

He brought to mind something that I’ve been told by some wise people a few times along my journey.  I’d kind of pushed it aside when they mentioned it because… well.. in all honesty, it seemed a bit much to me.  And… truthfully…I didn’t want it to be true.  But multiple people have said it – and they are people for whom I have great respect.  So I busted out my iPhone.  I’d been intending to research it for a while ~ apparently now is the time!

And oh. my. goodness.  My heart just broke.

I’ve waited quite a while to type this story for fear my tears would fry my motherboard.


As I’m typing, I’m not sure I’ve waited long enough.

When I googled, this is what I found:

a negative defining statement told to you or about you.

Another website stated it similarly:

a lie told to you or about you.


defining people by telling them what they are, what they think, their motives, and so forth.

And my heart. just. sank.  I’m not sure I knew it could sink so heavily.

This is exactly what we’ve been talking about on {double hockey sticks}.  Exactly.

  • To stop, drop, and roll to be sure we’re not convinced that we think we know what people think, what their motives are, and what they are.
  • To forgo perceptions to avoid inaccurately defining people.
  • To think things that are true – actually, factually true to be sure we’re not creating negative defining statements.

I. was. stunned.



Because of the term I looked up.  I had thought for sure that applying this term to my journey was overstated.  For sure it didn’t apply in the mature Christian kingdom.

Oh how I wish that were true.

The term?

‘Verbal abuse.’


Can I tell you the part that makes me the saddest?  It just grieves me to my core.

So often in the Christian kingdom, we do this:

  • We tell people what we think their (sinful) motives were in a situation.  We tell them what we think they think.  We tell them what we think they are.
  • Then if they don’t ‘own’ the things we think about them, then we tell them they aren’t teachable, they aren’t willing to own their faults, they aren’t submissive.

We start by defining a person, telling them what they are, what they think, their motives.  That is the definition of verbal abuse.  Then when they don’t own our verbal abuse, we further define them by telling them what they and their motives are.  We start with verbal abuse, then we pile more verbal abuse onto it.  Uck!

And the part that just grieves me to my core?

We say we are “speaking the truth in love.”

We baptize it.  We baptize verbal abuse.

Oh – I just grieve thinking about how that must grieve the heart of God.  Oh goodness.  How it must grieve Him that we talk to His precious children that way.  How it must grieve Him that we view His precious creations that way.  How it must grieve Him that we sin by thinking things about His precious creations that aren’t true, noble and right.  How it must grieve Him that we blame *them* when they don’t own *our* sin (of not thinking things that were true, noble, and right). How it must grieve Him that we then pile on more verbal abuse.  And oh how it must grieve Him that we sin and verbally abuse one another under the guise of God’s Word!

Oh how it must grieve the heart of God!

No wonder it causes so much destruction in God’s kingdom.  And no wonder it hurts so.

So here I was, standing in the tunnel thing to board the plane, dumbstruck and grieved.  I’ve been trying on {double hockey sticks} to cast vision for people to live a calling of thinking things that are true, noble, and right about others.  But really, all we’re trying to do is not verbally abuse one another.  That’s all.

Amen?  Can we make a pact on that?

No verbal abuse.

And *especially* no verbal abuse baptized as ‘speaking the truth in love.’


So I boarded the plane grieving.  Grieving what we do to each other.  Grieving what we’ve done to the Lord.  Grieving how we’ve misapplied His Word.  Hurting anew at some parts of my own journey.  Grieving.  And angry.

And the Lord in His good pleasure placed the most perfect person next to me.  As he rocked back and forth uncommunicative, oh how he communicated God’s love to me! God’s plans are perfect. He has unique journeys and challenges for each of His creations.  And they are all perfect in His plan.  His creations are perfect.  His blessings are abundant.  Oh how He reminded me of things I needed to remember that day at that moment.

We are blessed – abundantly.  We are loved – fully.  He has us each on a journey – purposefully.  He is a God of Victory, and He will bring us through – victoriously.

So as we consider thinking things that are pure – things that are holy – let’s make a pact to be set apart.  Set apart for the Lord… and far, far away from verbally abusing one other.  Set apart for pure, holy, joy-filled relationships in God’s kingdom.  Set apart for His blessed glory!  Amen?

a little ol’ note
If you’ve been following this blog, you know this well: My husband is my biggest fan, and the most caring, godly, wise person I know.  Just to be abundantly clear – the grief and hurt I mentioned about my journey has *not* been caused by him.  The Lord has been very gracious in our marriage.  For that, I am blessed.

22 thoughts on “My heart

  1. Your blog is really very wise…..lots of good tools to help along the way. Yes, that was a really good insight about verbal abuse. It DOES break your heart the way we all treat each other at one time or another. It’s the sin in us coming out. I know I have been guilty 100 percent of verbal abuse according to what you found (assuming motivations that people probably don’t have, thinking that I know what other people are thinking, judging others……Yuck is right.). And, yes, it does make you cry thinking that yes, I’ve done that a million times. Terrible. I’ve had to ask for forgiveness a million times in my life, to God and especially to the people who are the closest to me that I have assumed things about. It seems we “always hurt the ones we love” the most don’t we? Oh dear.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I think most people until they “wise up” have a problem of assuming wrong things sometimes about what others say to them or their actions toward them. But for sure it IS the problem of the one who is not checking out the truth and assuming things (That would be me at times). Really, the things that you think or assume about another person tell more about you than it does the other person. It is all so sad isn’t it, and just reveals our human condition. Thank God for Jesus. Oh my goodness what a mess we are even after we have become Christians.

    I guess I always thought of verbal abuse meaning “cusing” at someone, and calling them names and not just assuming what they are thinking and then telling them about it and it not even being true. It saddens me that I’ve done that a million times only to have a person say, “That’s not what I meant. Or that’s not what I’m saying, and taking them the wrong way.” I’m glad that you are young and learning all of this stuff now. Lots of love to you. Deb

    • I love your comments, Deb! They are really insightful. It’s both intensely maddening and convicting – all at the same time! Keeps us humble, though, and wise to watch our boundaries for healthy relationships.

      And I couldn’t agree more with this: “the things that you think or assume about another person tell more about you than it does the other person.” What wise feedback!

      Thanks for your great insights, Deb.

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  5. Wow! What a blessing. I was so encouraged…

    Thank you for sharing your journey with me. It was delightfully rewarding to me.

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