Has anyone ever lied about you and you’ve found yourself floundering to correct the lie?
This is a story of yes, my desire for the lie to be corrected, but also how I’m learning to surrender the rights to my reputation and trust God as my defender. It’s also my attempt to tackle this mommy shaming trend.
After a night of broken sleep, I wandered into the bathroom blurry eyed and desperate for a cup of coffee. I heard the “ding” of my phone sign off, alerting me of an incoming Facebook message. After waking up a bit, I decided to glance at my messages to ensure I hadn’t overlooked something important.
Upon noticing the sender’s name I thought, “how strange, I haven’t talked to her in years!” I opened the message and, surprisingly, a picture of myself stared right back at me. “Ugh. Another one of those scams,” I thought. I moved on, and then felt this inkling to re-visit the message and take a closer look.
Hm. It seemed that it was not a scam. It was legitimately a photo of myself plastered on a popular webpage suggesting I had made remarks about disliking my child and, also, including a false insinuation regarding my husband’s faithfulness.
What’s worse? This website oozed with mommy-shaming.
Mess with me all you want, but the bear in me will, indeed, come out if you mess with my kids or my husband. And if you shame moms who are struggling with their mental health (sic’em).
^ This is the click bait photo (so if you were to share the article on social media, this is the icon that would appear in your post), but this is also the photo used for the headline of the article.
I sat for a minute and practiced every form of grounding and relaxation exercise I could think of.
“Okay. It’s okay. This can be the price of this sort of ministry,” I thought to myself, “I won’t be reactive. I’ll sit with this for a while before responding.”
I wrestled with this feeling of powerlessness, and also this fear that me and Ryan’s ministry and reputation could be compromised. After all, not all of my readers know me personally.
“Don’t you know I’m bigger than this flimsy website?” I heard the Lord ask, “I am your defender. I overcome the world.”
I had never encountered this before. The need to know God as my defender. As the defender of my precious children and my husband.
It’s so easy to try and cling to something that I willingly surrendered when I gave my life over to Jesus. When I surrendered my life to Him, I surrendered the rights to my reputation. The rights to my comfort. The rights to my conveniences. He owns these areas of my life, now. And as I allow Him to oversee these pieces, I actually experience greater freedom, and more peace.
This circumstance has brought me to my knees in a different way. It has taught me a new way of trusting God to do what He says he will do as my defender and as a shield around me.
I have written the website, Babygaga, a letter requesting that the article be revised and that my photo be removed. But, more importantly, I’ve asked that they consider featuring my series on Perinatal Mental Health from LivingUncovered.com.
I do believe God could turn this to good. I believe that this particular article can be redeemed as we educate the readers of this site on maternal mental health.
My goal in sharing this is not to correct the lie about my thoughts or my marriage that is out there. Many of my readers follow this blog closely, so even if they do not know me personally, they bear witness to my journey and would hopefully know my truth.
But, for the sake of my children potentially coming across anything false like this one day, and to address the greater lie that abounds at the root of this article: that mothers who struggle with mental health are vile, I would like to see a change made to this article. I desperately hunger to see a change in the way we approach struggling mothers in our society. So, please, advocate. Educate. And Love.
Don’t spread shame. And don’t re-circulate articles that do so.
Please join me in advocating for more gracious and educated coverage of mothers on babygaga.com, and if you feel so led, please encourage them to share my series on perinatal mental health as a springboard for education and conversation.
Here is an e-mail address where you can send a note. email@example.com
And here is the contact form for general inquiries
“But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”
2 Thessalonians 3:3
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
“The Lord is a shield around me; my glory and the lifter of my head.”