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.