I have been going through a really tough time. Like, one of those times in your life that you look back on and think, “How on earth did I make it through that?”

Well, one thing you learn about going through a tough time is who your friends are.

One of my friends sent a card that broke me down to tears on a Tuesday afternoon. I was isolating myself from others and really trying to protect my heart. (Self-preservation is essential)

So Olivia and I walked the 1/4 mile gravel road (otherwise known as our driveway) to the mailbox. It was an unseasonably warm day and the fresh air, sunshine, and excellent company was doing my heart good.

Our driveway

the long walk to the mailbox

We walked along and she rambled on in her indistinguishable toddler speak and I was getting quite lost in my own thoughts.

In the mailbox amongst the bills and grocery store ads was a handwritten note.

I opened it right there, slumped to the ground, and cried like a baby. She told me to be strong in the Lord, to not give up hope, to have faith in the great things I am meant to do.

She simply said, “I believe in you.”

I believe inyou.

Olivia was delighted that we were taking a dirt playing break and she played happily next to me as I cried and let my soul breathe.

A few days later I opened my facebook to do some work-related scheduling. I happened to see her name pop up so I clicked over to see what she was doing.

true friendship

She was posting a highly political post… something that we just so happened to disagree on. As in, REALLY disagree on.

I read it and my heart hurt. I wanted to unfollow, delete it, reply with my opinion… something to show just how drastically different we felt on this issue.

Then the next thing that popped into my brain surprised me but was probably one of the most important self-realizations I have ever had.

Her opinion on Facebook was none of my business.

If this was not something that we could have a face to face, heart to heart, discussion over, then it was not worth the strife.

Being strong doesn’t always mean you have to fight the battle. True strength can simply be walking away. True strength of character can be choosing to see the good no matter the circumstances.

And in that moment, it was easier to ignore what she had written and focus on the amazingly loving and generous kind thing she had done and the blessing her kindness brought.

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Reader Comments

  1. Thank you for that, such a blessing to read, I was reading before in Prov 13:17 …a trustworthy envoy brings healing. Even when we disagree our Envoy can still bring healing between us irrespective of our disagreements

  2. Amanda, I have posted this before…but you are totally responsible for my cake decorating over the last several years. It was always a lifelong dream to be able to decorate like a pro. I have created some beautiful cakes and that came from you! Delicious recipes from you too. I most often use your Perfect White Cake.

    Now, about Facebook. I was a very social FB person and posted every day. When I co-authored and published my Which Fork Do I Use? book, I had to post professionally, as you do. That frustration is another subject for a different day. I have taken a break myself from FB. It is saddens me to see the postings of those I know and love supporting a candidate that I feel would wreck our country and life as we know it. The shaming that these lovely people are casting on those who don’t think like they do IS hurtful. On one hand, I like to know that we have a completely different viewpoint. Know thy enemy. They aren’t going to change my mind and I’m not going to change theirs. It is a most unsettling time. In my humble opinion, we can just be the best person we can be. After all, we have to live with ourselves.

    And you, my favorite blogging friend, are a treasure God has brought to us. Never for a minute doubt yourself and your reach. You can’t possibly know what your readers are going through and what being a blogging or FB friend means to them. You have what many do not. Inner beauty, grace and love for others that shines through your words and talents. Sending you a cyber hug. Two, if you need it!

  3. I am so sorry for whatever challenge/struggle you are going through right now. You touch so many other lives on a daily basis with your clever wit and sense of humor as well as sharing your amazing recipes. This verse always always helps me through tough times…”I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” I pray it will see you through as well. So nice of your friend to support and encourage you in your time of need. We all could use a friend like that. You take care.

  4. I am a Christian but I love this!
    Do not pursue the past
    Do not lose yourself in the future
    The past no longer is
    The future has not yet come
    Looking deeply at life as it is in the very here and now, the practitioner dwells in stability & freedom
    We must be diligent today.
    To wait until tomorrow is too late, death comes unexpectedly.
    How can we bargain with it?

  5. It’s hard not for social media not to taint us in every aspect of our lives. It can be a blessing at times but at times hurt us. We have to keep it in perspective .. It’s not meant to replace one on one relationships .
    You are a blessing to me and know that God is raising up people that will never meet you to intercede for you. Thank you for sharing Raw, real life moments. They encourage all of us! Be encouraged Gid is always faithful… Always!

    1. Such wise words… it is NOT meant to replace a relationship! Thank you for clarifying that so beautifully. 🙂

  6. Dear Amanda, i really don’t know u but reading ur post seems like i do. Just want u to know that God will never leave u alone and His grace is sufficient to see u thru the hard times u re going thru. Don’t forget his word in isaiah 43:2b that ur troubles will not overwhelm u. God love u always.

  7. Amanda,
    Stay strong and I pray you continue to work through this difficult time. The toughest time I have gone through made me actually better now. Long story so I won’t share but I feel better after the horrid experience than I had for years. Also, my own father claims to be a Christian yet he can be awful. I have a really hard time dealing with that and actually just try not to think of it. Makes it easier they are many miles away. 🙂 He didn’t talk to me for over a year and glared at me and said mean things, because of who he thought I voted for (which I had. ) When I fibbed to him who I may or may not have voted for again he let the extreme anger subside. (It was a test on my part to see if that was why he was acting that way.) He does not speak to his own sister for her political beliefs. It is very sad. So much needs to be overlooked on personal opinions and really look at the heart and soul of a person. The kindness they give, the love they give, the time they give, the heart they have. I will be thinking of you and praying for you. And yes, we all should be taking breaks from technology regularly!

    1. I can really, really relate with what you have written and know for a fact just how much it hurts. It sure as heck is not easy to love someone where they are at… to not react when they attack or criticize. Praying with you… praying that there is healing in your family and that are able to be a whole family again. Thank you so much for sharing today!

    2. Kristin,
      I was grounded at 21 when I voted in my first election for who I voted for. I can so relate to that “father acceptance”. I was so proud of my decision that day…I have raised my kids to own who they are and not be influenced. I’m now 63 and still get frustrated thinking back to my first election.

      Politics and religion never mix. I still think a lot of the technology and how we communicate now has really had an even bigger negative influence on that.

  8. Amanda,
    First and foremost I am so sorry to read you are going through a difficult time. I do not know what is heavy on your heart but I will keep you in my prayers.
    I am happy that you chose to ignore the Facebook post. Too many use the computer to hide behind and expel out some of the most hurtful and toxic thoughts.

    I experienced this first hand in my own family and it literally destroyed us. Growing up with 5 sibs with a 20 year age gap between the youngest and oldest can be generationally challenging. Four of us do not participate in Facebook. Sadly when the marriage amendment here in MN was being voted on, my niece posted a comment that sent many of our children and others in to a tale spin. She judged that anyone supporting it could not be a Christian. Amongst our children we have two Pastors in the family. It became a very unhealthy and toxic dialogue and destroyed many relationships that had been strong with our children and one uncle. Still saddens me to this day.

    It was devastating and for the first time since then all of us were together last Saturday night to celebrate our oldest sister and her husband downsizing in to a condo. How sad that we missed so many wonderful times together (as we have always been a very close family). Much healing is needed.

    Words can be calming and much needed as you pointed out with her card. But I worry about the words that can be toxic when sent for everyone to see electronically.
    I wish Facebook with all it’s well intended good …would just disappear.

    Praying for you.

    1. Oh wow. I get teary just reading this… and mourn with you the lost years. 🙁 Thank you for sharing this today. I hope that we can all find healing and a better way to just love each other!

      1. AMEN!

        It is blogs like yours that have picked me up some days. Fed a lot of the raw emotion and now I’m working to get it off. Miss my baking…but still faithfully follow you:)

  9. If you need a smile, know that you have a fan (me) out there rooting for you! You’re brilliantly talented and creative, and you basically have the most awesome baking pantry I. Have. Ever. Seen! True story. Hope that makes you smile. Wish I could give you a hug cause I feel like I know you through your posts…although that would probably be highly creepy since you don’t know me! 🙂

  10. So needed to be said. I have learned to unfollow but not unfriend those that post things that really get under my skin & change my mood. It’s not healthy. I found myself not liking people anymore- even those that I had loved for years- all based on what they were posting. I feel it’s far more mature & better for my mental health to just keep scrolling & not engage – rather than to start something you may regret later.

    Hugs my friend!

  11. I’m in the same boat. I have a few friends whose beliefs differ from mine. I wouldn’t have bothered since I understand that everyone is entitled to his or her opinions. But then, when they started to ridicule and trash-talk my belief on Facebook, I started to unfollow them. I think it’s better that way than always see their posts that could affect my mood and eventually our friendship.

      1. I have not seen or heard from you in awhile. I do hope I have not offended you in some way. You are a beautiful person and I so enjoy your friendship even tho it is only on the road. .I walk out there all the time and am constantly amazed at the beauty God has given us in this crazy world.
        I got up enough nerve to post a comment on the racial issue which is very disturbing to me. Wish I would have kept it to myself. I had a black waitress at Applebee’s on Friday and she was so beautiful and polite I just melted and got rid of the issues. I love the Lord and I love life. I will make the most of it the best way I can. If I can help in any way, just let me know. God loves you and so do I.

      2. I adore you!!!! I just need to stop over with some baked goods and soak up some of your smiles. 🙂 Thank you for your kindness!!!

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