His email came out of the blue. A retired, successful businessman – no slouch. I want to always stay open and be teachable, so I took in his words.

He suggested told me to:
Get rid of your chair. It is only a reminder of sadness, you need to move on.
Delete your Facebook account. It’s a waste of time.
Delete your blog. You’re saying too much.

I didn’t know this man, so why did his big voice make me shake inside? I had felt good about being myself, about my vulnerability and honesty. I suddenly questioned my motives and activity. I questioned my grieving process and emotions. I sat with his email all day, thinking, praying, talking to a few wise people in my life, feeling wobbly.

It made me think of 1 Samuel 1 – Hannah was desperately praying in the temple… moving her lips, but in her anguish she made no sound. Eli, the priest, thought she was drunk. He misread the situation. Perhaps he was unknowingly reading his own woundedness into what he saw and that colored his view. No doubt, Eli was approaching Hannah’s actions as a man in that culture – a very different perspective than a woman’s in that time and place. He reprimanded her for what he thought he saw. I’m sure it took courage for Hannah to say “No, my lord – that’s not true.”

Get rid of your chair.
No. The chair is reminder of God’s kindness, protection, and love.

Delete your Facebook account.
No. When used with care, Facebook is a helpful place of community and connection. I need community now more than ever.

Delete your blog.
No. My highest values are honesty and vulnerability. I will continue to share my own personal experience.

With respect, I say “No”. As my husband likes to remind me, I have almost 20 years of professional experience and I’m no slouch either. I’m learning to trust myself and God’s Spirit within me, the mind and heart God gave me, and stand on my own two feet as I walk with Jesus.

17 thoughts on “No

  1. Lynne

    Lori I love this. I could see myself questioning that email too. So glad you waited and let the spirit guide you. By getting rid of all that it would be running away. So glad you chose to wait and write this blog.


  2. Lori, I love how the Lord led you to the story of Hannah in the temple in this situation. Thanks for sharing this. I am glad you were able to say “no.” Please keep up the honesty and vulnerability; I deeply appreciate these qualities about you.


  3. Brittany Frederick

    Thanks Lori for your vulnerability! I believe that our highest call is to soak in God’s presence (healing, restorative, empowering) in order to display that presence in our daily encounters. I have seen you walk in His power and anointing from afa( through listening to the last episodes of Midday connection and reading your blog posts intermittenly). You have displayed a high example of how to walk with God through “it all” good and bad and for that I’m truly thankful! Thank you for allowing God’s spirit to work through you in a way that impacts us all. πŸ™‚


  4. melissaglorioso

    Showing your wisdom in two ways, Lori. First, you are open to input from others and are teachable. What a fantastic quality to develop in your life. Second, you waited to act (either waiting to get rid of the chair or waiting to respond unkindly to this man) and prayed through the emotions swirling inside of you. I agree the chair will always be a reminder of this spot in your path of life – a cozy, comforting reminder of God’s faithfulness.


  5. I used to work in journalism, and I got nasty emails and phone calls often enough that it made me question what I was doing. I’m glad I didn’t quit because of that, but it was hard for a sensitive, introspective person like me! You strike me as a similar temperament to my own, so it is extra brave to put yourself out there for the world to criticize you. Kudos, and keep it coming! πŸ™‚


  6. Denise

    I remember attending the Come To Our Table luncheon. It was a great experience. I remember the thrill of being part of the broadcast and watching all the coming and goings. I remember observing you, so organized, prepared and just serving behind the scenes. I walked up to you and said….”they couldn’t do this without you”. This was true, because you not only served us the listeners, but both Melinda and Anita as well. A true leader Lori, knows how to serve and lead all at the same time. I saw you grow into being behind the mic because you loved your way there and God blessed you with promotion in his eyes. He has plans to grow and use you even more than He already has. Hugs!


  7. I think what he was saying was “delete your voice”. I’m glad you said no!

    The kind of vulnerability and authenticity you display is rare in Christian circles. Many really want the big God stories of victory and this type of being in the middle of the process without a clearly defined resolution makes them uncomfortable. I am personally inspired and encohraged by your raw honesty. I am in the middle place at the moment and know rhat this is what God is using to pull many lies out and help me to see more clearly who I am. It is not easy to live it, let alone to tell others about it. I call it gloriously painful. Keep sharing. We need to know we are not alone in the middle parts of the story.


  8. Donna Sparks

    Good for you for saying “NO!” for all the reasons you so aptly explained. The first thought that came to my mind was, “HOW DARE HE!” My second thought is that he needs a chair.


  9. Pingback: Inside “The End”, Part 9 – Lori Neff

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