Today is one year since I first stepped "foot" on Blogger. One year of writing... one year of helping people and unfortunately, one year of being subjected to the limelight of judgement. But it's all been worth it. Just under 100,000 visitors and 269,192 pageviews have been counted since 8/12/10. I can hardly believe it. I should have known that first day when I set up the blog and I wasn't even done yet (which goes against ever part of the perfectionist in me!) and Harlee & Kim had both already found it and signed up as followers, that God had bigger plans than I did with this - but wow, I never in my wildest dreams expected anything like what has happened... both good and bad. Thank you for walking along side me through this past year. It means more than you know.
On another note, I have a disclosure/request I guess I need to make again.... As I thought about whether or not I even wanted to waste time writing about this, the one thing I kept coming back to is that this blog, while on the internet, is still my space to write about my ups and downs of life after the loss of my baby. That happens to include struggles that I have in day to day life - and will sometimes include other people. I don't mention people by name or focus on their behavior. My purpose ANY time I talk about something I'm dealing with is always to share my heart about it, how I'm struggling and how I'm seeing God provide for me through it. If you don't agree with that statement, feel free to read the hundreds of previous posts and if you find a place where I do any of these things, let me know and I'll be glad to erase it. Please though, don't get a lawyer and try to scare me into obedience to your control... yes, this actually happened..... keep reading....
I made a commitment to always be real on my blog. Throughout my journey, I have worn my heart on my sleeve and been open about all my feelings, good and bad. Most people like this, some don't. But I'm never going to make everyone happy all the time and some people will never be happy... they like it that way. I refuse to stop being real, knowing how many people it does help in order to humor a few unhappy people. especially since you come to me and read this by your own free will.
Last week, I got a letter from a lawyer that someone had contacted in regards to my blog. (insert smiley face drooling here) saying I had made "derogatory statements" about his client and was demanded to erase them, even if indirect, or they would come after me for compensation. (insert smiley face trying to get blood from a stone here) Thankfully, besides the fact that I didn't make any derogatory statements about anyone, we live in America where freedom of speech is a right I have - But for the record, threats and scare tactics aren't nice or Christian-like, neither is getting a lawyer for something so inaccurate and baseless.
I think the verse is "mourn with those who mourn" not "sue those who mourn" but I'm no scholar. (insert confused smiley face with funny eyebrows and a ? above head here) Thankfully, I've been too busy to even think about it all week, and God has helped me to not be angry about it or let it take up space in my mind and to instead have sympathy for this person. (please pray this will continue genuinely) He always provides for me and is my ultimate defender, bigger than any attorney on earth - and will one day judge everyone. For now, I'm trusting His word that this battle is not mine, but His.
But this leads me to my request - please - I'll say it again - if you are reading this blog with judgement, using it as a way to analyze me and what you think I need to do as far as my grief, or waiting for me to say the 'wrong' thing so you can talk bad about me and put me down (or sue me), PLEASE go get yourself a good book or something. I'm sure you can find more suitable ways to keep yourself entertained. Try a good Caramello or whatever your favorite chocolate is, it works for me. Seriously, stop wasting your time - and mine - and just let it be. There is no reason at all to read my journal entries if you either don't like me or are not supportive of what I'm doing here. I can assure you if this is your attitude towards me and my girl, then I'm not writing for you anyway, so just hit the "x" in the upper right hand corner and loose the blog address. I say this will all due respect, of course...
With over 300 people a day reading this, I know that there are many more people supporting me than talking crap about me, but I'm just a mama with a dead baby who doesn't need or deserve the lack of grace and compassion. And honestly, I don't get it... if I come across something, whether it's a book, a blog, or an article in a magazine and I find it either offensive or useless to read - I just don't read it. It's such a simple solution.
On the other side of this coin, I got a card today from a friend I made through my blog telling me what a difference my journey with Rachel has made in her life, because of my willingness to be real - as well as a very precious comment from a reader on an older post, thanking me for being open and telling of how it has helped her to grieve the babies she has lost. I got one of the most beautiful cards for the anniversary of Rachel's diagnosis that I've ever seen from a friend who knows me completely and loves me just the same - and many many more blessings from people who are with me, not against me, on this hard road. Thank you for your love and for your compassion. Thank you for being Jesus' hands and feet to me this past year.
So, as usual, I come back to the fact that I cannot allow a bad apple to spoil my bunch... there are so many good things happening in my life because of my girl and what my God is doing through her. These are the people I write for. This is why I subject myself to the judgement and criticism of the few who have nothing better to do than harass and judge a grieving mother...
I never started this blog to get support. I certainly didn't think I'd get criticism and letters from lawyers, but I didn't do it for my benefit - and although I have found much more support here than I ever expected, it's come at a sacrifice as well. I started this as a way to tell people about Rachel... a way to show what God was doing in us through her journey. I started it so that other mamas like me would find a message of hope when they googled "anencephaly" the night after they had their sad ultrasound. I started it so that Rachel could leave a legacy here on earth. And that she has.
If in the meantime, I have had to deal with drama and unwelcomed criticism during the hardest time in my life, it's still all been worth it to have people all over the world know about Rachel and her amazing God. And I'm okay if I look completely human and fallible in the process. I believe that is why people read this. I never claimed to be perfect - just in love with my daughter and with my God, with a heart to help those walking this path. I like to think I've done that. I pray I can continue to despite satan's advances against me. I feel too weak to withstand them, but when I am weak, then He is strong.
Thank You Lord for being my rock during all the ups and downs this past year has brought.