Guarding, Maintaining, Fulfilling…

I knew when I posted my previous post not everyone would agree with it. I knew that there would be many people who would misread or misjudge the heart of my blog. I thought I was ready for it. I had seen so many stones thrown at people in my life, I felt tough enough to take it……..ummm…yea….I wasn’t ready. Each time I received an alert for a new comment, I wondered would this be it. Would this be the moment when someone chimed in and began to critique my heart?

 

I am not the smartest person; my blogs aren’t birthed from my intellect. I am not the most spiritual person; my blogs aren’t sermons. I write from my heart. I literally sit in bed and ask God to help me connect to my readers, heart to heart.  When I started reading my criticism I immediately felt defensive, felt like my heart and character were being brought into question. One of the posts asked was I cowardly, because I had deleted negative posts. I couldn’t lie…I was.

 

It was one thing to see bullets flying at a certain targets in my life but these bullets were pointed at me, grazing my spirit, causing me pain. When you write from your heart, and your writing becomes the target it stings a little. To be honest, I felt like giving up. Felt justified in being afraid to hide my heart from the world. I would betray my gift to protect myself.

 

I reached out to people who deal with criticism often and asked them how they handled it, I received message after message telling me to not quit writing. Still there was no comfort, and then I realized that those people who came to criticize me were on assignment. They were trying to show me something, determined to teach me a lesson. They thought they were teaching me how wrong I was in my beliefs but they weren’t, they were testing my strength.

 

If God gives you a gift that not just reaches but changes the lives of people, how will you respond to your critics? Will you give in to their admonishment or be rooted in the truth of who He called you to be?

 

Dictionary.com defines betray:~to be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling –

 

Instantly, I wondered how many people had abandoned the gift God gave them because of people who didn’t believe in them. I wrote this blog for you. For those afraid to step out on faith…those who have voiced their dreams to an audience who mocked their heart. I learned a valuable lesson, one I’d like to share with you today. Do not betray your gift. If God planted that seed inside of you, it is your duty to guard, maintain, and fulfill that gift to the best of your ability.

 

Let no man judge what you are capable of doing, for if God put it in you he will give you strength to carry it out. Pray that God teaches you how to love those who criticize your effort as much as those who praise it. It will be impossible to satisfy everyone, you cannot conform to every person’s thoughts and ideas of who you should be.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor 15:58)

 

As sure are those (who will undoubtedly criticize this piece as well) are that there work is for the Lord, be that confident in the voice He gave you.  I know from where I write. I know that my intentions are pure, throw darts all you may, I will answer to God, not man. If there be any wrong in my heart, He (not you) can handle me. Don’t like it? Don’t read it.

 

We all have a place in the Body of Christ, not everyone is called to be a general, some are called to be nurses that help heal the broken, others are called to be soldiers to fight against the “world”. Be careful to not let a general mentality take hold of you, when God has called you to be a soldier. The generals who were sent my way have an approach that works for some people, although it doesn’t work for me. I will not betray my place in the Body of Christ to conform to theirs. I wish them much peace and many blessings as they carry out what God has called them to do but, I think we will find that we were all working towards the same goal, even if we didn’t understand the mentality of the other.

 

Who told you, you are to be a soldier when God called you to be a nurse? Who scared you into betraying your gift? What happened that made you believe that your voice was not worthy to be heard? Are you betraying your gift? Betraying the God who gave it to you?  God if you see fit to bless me with this talent, let it be used to glorify Your name throughout. I will not be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling my gift, if You put it in me, I will use it to serve You.

 

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Comments

  1. Keep guarding,maintaining,and fulfilling your gift #thatisall

  2. Sue Thode says:

    You go-girl! You are an inspiration; not only to me – but many, many others!! Keep writing because we want to keep reading! I’m all the way over in New Zealand, sitting in bed reading God’s heart, through your heart, to my heart and I just love that!!!

    Keep on KEEPING IT “REAL”!! Blessings! Luv Sue 🙂

  3. adriannejj says:

    Continue to be a blessing. I read the other post and I thought it was so timely and you were saying a lot of what I was thinking. I understand how you feel about criticism. I had a very dear friend tell me that my words that send out now weekly weren’t authentic because of the life I used to live. I couldn’t make her understand that being anointed or gifted or whatever she chose to call it didn’t make me better than her or the next person. It simply meant that I was chosen to be a mouthpiece and with that gift comes much responsibility and much struggle in areas in my life, that at one point in time, I wasn’t ready to battle. I stopped sharing what God had laid on my heart for about a year. I felt like I wasn’t worthy of sharing anything if I wasn’t spotless or living a life that could pass the white glove test. Now I know better and I’m determined to do better. Pastor Tims was one of the first televangelist that I used to make sure I was tuned in to at home because he help stir up the gifting in me. I understand how difficult it is to give up something that is satisfying to your flesh (if that indeed was the cause of his death).

    Keep sharing your thoughts. You don’t need eloquence to share what God has laid on your heart, you just need a healthy desire to help others the way that we all ought to. Stay strong and continue to be a blessing.

  4. Have you been reading my personal notes to God? Thank you so much for writing this!!!!

  5. Hey my friend another great piece…again you have touched my heart with that transperency again. Please don’t stop…you are truly ministering to me…keeping my head some what sound..thank you

  6. “Father may you continue to build the heart of your daughter as she continues to guard the gift that you have placed within her in order to maintain her call and to fulfill the mission of shedding the light of your love through her writing” in Jesus name I pray Amen.

  7. Guard,maintain,and fulfill. Wow, lady Sara your post immediately made me think of David and his feat with goliath. Stones,rocks,peebles,are painful when thrown at you aren’t they?I feel for the poor women of the old testament and even some today in various cultures who have been put to death by stoning. Geezh “I feel the pain ” just by imagining such a cruel act of ignorance. Remember, “sticks and stones may hurt my bones but names will never hurt me”? Yea well whoever made that up must have been deaf, cause all that stuff hurts!!! especially the name calling bit…. trust me. Boy, I’d rather drink poision from a bitter cup and die if I had the choice. But facts are you don’t have a choice as to how your words of LIGHT will fall into the DARK places of your readers mind and subsequently their heart. Remember big sister, (yes I am nearly 50,000 yrs old smile but in this 2nd half I have resigned myself to learning some things through the eyes/heart/pain/and voices of the younger generation) but lady Sara rememember that opposition in some form is a excellent source of Spiritual protein. It aides in the proper development of what I want to call guts which equates to building a strong heart. A strong heart is needed because it serves as a Guard for your truly precious heart while you Maintain your flow and Fulfil your mission.(soldier)!!! In the end the stones do the dirty work but the greatest harm has already been done well before the stones were ever released.Light seems to have that effect which is good because then everybody can “SEE” the truth for themselves. Keep up the awesome work and like David keep your smooth style of writing,your eloquent execution of words,and your rare purity of heart and golaith will be eventually be laid to rest.

    • I HEARD YOU LOUD AND CLEAR.YOU ARE TELLING THE TRUTH. MAKE ME THINK OF DAVID AND FEAT GODAITH.STONE.ROCK. PEEBLES.ARE PAINFUL WHEN THEY ARE THROWN AT YOU SO I CAN REPONED TO THAT NOBODY SHOULD JUGDED YOU BUT GOD IN THE END THE STONES DO THE DIRTY WORK BUT THE GREATEST HARM HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE WELL BEFORD THE STONES WERE EVER RELEASED.LIGHT SEEMS TO HAVE EFFECT WHICH IS GOOD BECAUSE THEN EVERYBODY WORK AND LIKE DAVID KEEP YOUR SMOOTH STYLE OF WRITING.SARAH I LOVE YOUR POEM YOU SAID A MOUTH FULL.GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU.DO NOT LET THIS PEOPLE GET TO YOU.GOD GOT YOUR BACK

  8. I applaud you for your honesty in the matters of your heart. It’s not easy to put yourself out there, but you do it when God leads. I’m sure your readers appreciate it, I know I do. Keep investing in the gift God gave you. He’s proud.

  9. well done, well said you have a follower in me even if you do step on my toes, truth is light love you much for your transparency

  10. Keep on writing Lady Henson. You are an inspiration to many and a voice that can’t be silenced. God bless…:)

  11. Thank you!!!!

  12. Oops. I omitted the word POSTS in my second sentence. It should read: Kudos to you for your very insightful and inspiring posts! Thanks again!

  13. Young lady, this 70 year old agrees with you! Kudos to you for your very insightful! I’ll be a regular reader for your posts from now on! Thank you!

  14. Sarah aka Braveheart: Love covers a multitude of sin. Those of us who truly desire to not only have the mind of Christ, but also the Heart of Christ will have all of that judgmental and accusatory disposition burned out of us by the trials of life. Blessed are the merciful for THEY shall obtain mercy. RIP Pastor Tims. God bless his family and church family.

    • Gina,

      This is such a great comment. I wish I could favorite it! My favorite part: “Those of us who truly desire to not only have the mind of Christ, but also the Heart of Christ will have all of that judgmental and accusatory disposition burned out of us by the trials of life.” I thank you so much.

      Sarah

  15. Thank you Sarah for being so transparent and allowing us to have access to what God places on your heart i know its something you treasure. And as i read your blog I thought you know God put the same gift in me to write so many years ago and many of my closet friends and spiritual mentors have told me i needed to blog and I didnt. And as i read your blog about the criticism you’ve received after your last blog I thought this is actually the reason why i havent….and it hit me…I was Afraid. And I KNOW God has not given us the spirit of Fear but Power, Love and a Sound Mind. So i thought if Sarah Henson who is the daughter of Bishop Jakes and the wife of an NFL player can trust God enough to put her heart on her sleeve and write what God gives her…who am I not too…LOL no one knows me!!
    So I finally created a wordpress account and will write my first blog today and after so many people around me have been suggesting I do this for awhile….it was your transparency, your ability to touch our hearts and souls, and your words that inspired me….so Thank YOU!!!! Thank you for being obedient…even when it hurt….

  16. Sonya Goins says:

    It is so refreshing that you have a blog. I thank you for being so honest and so upfront about your feelings when ppl criticize your blog. This truly is helping me to move forward into a purpose that I am scared to do, but I do know that God does not give us the spirit of fear, but of a sound mind. This blog is helping me to dig deeper and seek God more about what my purpose is. (still kind confuse.) I love how you explain about not holding any anger against your critics and just love them and pray for them anyway, because they are on an assignment too. and their assignment is to help make you stronger, even though they meant it for evil, God is using it for his good. Thanks for putting it this way. Well I could go on and on, but I just wanted to let you know don’t quick, because you are helping me to grow stronger and step out on faith and follow Jesus who has the desire of my heart to do better and be great for the kingdom of God. I hope that last part makes sense! Anyway, could you be my writing teacher???? 🙂 God bless and look forward to reading more of your blogs….. This is such a GREAT thing!

  17. Windy Williams says:

    Lady Sarah, I must say that I am definitely touched and inspired by your writing. What has come from your heart has definitely touched my heart. I must tell you something that I heard from a wise “young” Man of God today who you just happen to know, “STAND FAST!” (Gal 5:1) Our Big Brother and Savior Jesus Christ was often criticized as well as Peter, Paul, David, and so many others, yet they still had to say what God placed on their hearts. And yes, they all had their individual faults. You have encouraged me to continue doing what God has called me to do in spite of my insecurities and shortcomings, yet I know I have to press on toward the mark for the prize of the higher calling. Keep on keeping on and stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has set you free…with your head high looking unto the Author and Finisher of our faith.
    In Him

  18. Thank you so much! I appreciate this blog. You have allowed the Lord to use you. Continue being you cause you are a blessing to the Kingdom.

  19. Lil sis again I love this. I was just talking to my brother in law about how some Christians don’t walk in love. The greatest commandment and the community could increase if we just do that. So many times we try and down others but we do not look @ our own closet before we do so. A few weeks ago I was sitting thinking about my music and how I had some insecurities but the Holy Spirit reminded me of somethings. It is God’s gift and talent and if you give it back to Him, He will increase His gift. I was floored but it’s just like you were saying, if you don’t like it don’t read it. Look at some the greats Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Bishop IV Hilliard, Mary Mary, Mary J, Jill Scott, T.D. Jakes, and many more that are not loved by everyone but they are impacting the world and maximizing the gift God put in them. Can’t wait till the next. Thanks!

    Always with Love

  20. Once,again I love it!

  21. Sarah,
    Well done… I feel so honored to read the work of a woman that you use her gift for the edification of the body! When you write from your heart the negative criticism from individuals who want to tear you down does penetrate where the gift came from. One major key to continue to succeed is surrounding yourself with people that genuinely have your best interest at heart. Your “true” support system will love you regardless, build you, and constructively criticize you all for your growth! Your sacrifices are reaching across racial, cultural, denominational, era, & gender barriers for the glory of God! Your compliance to not to betray your gift is a foundation for others to accept their rightful position in the body Christ! Your obedience to use your gift is connecting others with their destiny! Baby girl, your next is NOW!

  22. This piece is POWERFUL. It spoke VOLUMES to me, as I am about to launch my first book, which happens to be my autobiography. Just like you, I cross-questioned myself on my talents, on whether it “made sense” to publish my story. I almost cancelled the project, but I know deep within me that this book is for at least ONE person out there. Just as you said, I am also determined to walk in the gifts that God has given to me. I do not ever want to betray Him. And I have no plans on being anyone else except who God made me to be.

    May God give you the strength as you write. Your writing is changing lives. Believe me, sis…..

  23. Awesome admonishment to stay true to Gods call and and assignment . Obey God. Thank u.

  24. Lady Sarah, you have encouraged me today…………………….
    As I sit here reading your blog I had to stop and think of where I am in life today. As a single mother, the oldest of my siblings, and all the ups n downs I have been through over the past 41 years. I have always had stones throned at me since childhood but as I grew older each stone made me the person I am today. I thank the Lord so much for giving me my 3 children becuz had it not been for my children I don’t think I would be where I am today. I had always allowed criticism and what others thought of me to affect me but, today I stand boldly to the enemy and tell him he cannot steal my joy, my peace, my strength, nor my gifts. But today I am not the same person I was yesterday. Be encouraged and know that the battles are not yours its the Lords. He will fight every battle for you and I. Please don’t stop writing this is your way of expressing, releasing and being a blessing to those that want to receive, and for those that don’t or won’t its just not for them. Remember Its your GIFT, not theirs…………………………………………

    Love in Christ!
    Lady E~

  25. Bridgette says:

    Once again I applaud you. You should not have to have any ill feelings about what you posted previously. You should not have any feelings except the feelings that were in your heart that caused you to write the blog. Everybody is not going to agree with you and that us fine. Those were your feelings and if people don’t like it that’s on them. They have the opportunity to express themselves the same way that you did. They should not criticize or even try to critique your feelings. I hope this just encourages you to keep doing what you are doing. They have to have something or someone to attempt to start a war with. I suppose they think because you are young that you were going to back down. You know who got your back. Good job young lady!!

  26. Sarah, you have a gift and need to keep writing. I did not agree with your entire blog but that does not mean that I did not learn something from you. You are being prepared for something much bigger than a blog. The defense mentality puts you into a “victim”mode and that you are not!!

    It is so good to learn this while you are young – so thank God for the experience.

    • Shirley,

      Thank you for reading and encouraging me. I know I’m not a victim I’m sorry if it reads that way. My goal was to first show my reader first how it affected me then explain how I chose to not betray my gift.

      I will not betray my gift and I can handle criticism that helps me tear down to rebuild. I do take issue with those who just want to tear me down. I feel like you respectfully helped me, I appreciate that.

      Thank you,
      Sarah

  27. Thank you God for using Sarah to send these words to me my soul. Sarah please keep sharing your blogs because you just saved someone’s life with this message.

    God Bless you and your family.

  28. Great post! Honest, truthful, real and most of all from the heart! Love it, thanks to Pastor Bridgett Hilliard for sharing! Be blessed sis and keep writing!

  29. Great Job Sarah.. As you Cxan see from the comments your blogs are needed. Continue to allow God to use you. Many times people criticize from a position of their own pain and insecurities. I am often reminded that in life we will have to endure persecution. I have a classic statement that I live by ‘persecution is only effective to the degree you need acceptance from those who persecute you’-Bishop I V Hilliard. I know at your young age persecution is not something you would want to deal with however II Tin 3:11-12 tells us it’s a part of the Chritian life and our confidence is God promises if we endure He will deliver us our of them all. Be encouraged keep blessing us with your gift!

  30. First I will say thank you. Thank you for experiencing the test, being open an honest about, how you have chosen to provide the process of being steadfast, and encouragement to be diligent for your assignment.

    I needed to read this post this morning for a situation I am currently experiencing at the moment. I have been through many of the points you mentioned not to be weary on; letting no man judge what you are capable of doing, loving those who criticize you and love you, and being confident in the voice He gave me.

    It is refreshing to know who the ultimate source is for situations as such; God.

    You consistently articulate great encouragement to all of us, and create thoughts to help provoke change in us to move towards those things that are good for us.

    Thank you!

  31. Brittany Eady says:

    Wow, this really helped me! God, my God! I’m in tears because there are times when I want to give up because WORDS DO HURT! I want to meet you……#I’mDone

  32. LeTasha S. Robinson says:

    Stones will come because you speak the truth. If you were speaking lies it wouldn’t be anything to come against because you are pleasing their flesh but when conviction comes! You may not have been trying to preach but if you were sitting in a judgmental spirit and then read what you wrote then yes they were going to try to stone you but I thank God that it hadn’t deterred you. That you got up and continued to do what God has called you to do. Continue to Go forth in this because know that for every person that has threw a stone there is someone out there that has truly been touched by your blog it could have stopped a person from committing suicide, stopped a person from backsliding, and then that fire on that person went and told someone else. The enemy is not happy but God is being Glorified! Stay encouraged my sister for you are doing a wonderful work and thank you for being honest!

  33. Well, Sarah take heed t,,, oo your Fathers sermons..such as the one called “Keep Walking”. You cannot answer your critics. Let your heart and Faith in Jesus be your guide. I’m about to turn 39 do I am much older than you, and I’m still being strengthen and learning. I told a friend about your blog and she responded a 22 can’t tell me anything, but if you hear a word that encourages then it can be from a 12 year old. Lifes a teacher, so like Bishop Jakes sermon says Keep Walking….through the cheer’s and boo’s.

  34. MsBukonla says:

    Oh wow! Lady, welcome the criticism. It will only make you stronger. The critiques are better than praise-singers cos they point out your flaws in a sharp light and you can work at them, determined to be better. I am not an ardent Christian but your blog makes me feel closer to God. You make being a Christian easy. Bless you

  35. pvarsenec says:

    Hey sis, it’s me again. I am up, can’t sleep, have so much on my mind and heart. Then your blog popped up in the midst of my wrestling. I am so weary my sister. Sometimes if it weren’t for my kids, I am about done with earth. I am ready to go with the Lord. Imagine no more pain, no more strife, no more tears… Just peace. Wow… What a day of rejoicing that wil be. To finally see the face of Jesus… To behold Him… He will make every wrong right, every bad good… Your blog especially spoke to me tonight. I so appreciate your transparency. I know for myself it takes courage to be transparent. It’s not easy to share your heart especially when it is not received properly. I am one of those people who just stopped pursuing my dreams. I just couldn’t handle the scrutiny and criticisms. Truth be told, I still can’t it, so much so that I allow my fears and anxieties to cripple me. I sing, I trained classically for years,I also studied writing in college and was accepted to a professional acting school. But I wound up doing absolutely nothing with it based on my critics amongst other things. Today when my pastor asks me to get up and sing, my throat closes up and I can’t sing. It’s terrible. The other day I went to support my friend at TBN, and I was singing but didn’t anyone was hearing me because the music was loud. But the person standing next to me commented that I have a beautiful voice and asked if I sing anywhere. I said no. The person looked perplexed. Then as I was leaving, I bumped into another friend who says she missed my blog and why haven’t I have been writing. I told her I am busy writing book reviews now. But she told me to write my blogs again. But again, it’s the whole thing of putting myself out there to be rejected or criticized. I guess that is why I want you to fight and not give up because I don’t want what happened to me to happen to you. Thank you for sharing your heart. I love you in the Lord.

    • Annette Nsubuga says:

      No one likes criticism but unfortunately in the absence of criticism one may not improve their skill. There is such thing as positive criticism which should be embraced because it is intended to help one sharpen one’s skills.
      I have learnt to step back and assess the criticism directed to me to determine the good I can draw from it (criticism). Sometimes the criticism given is intended to demean, disrespect and discourage in such cases I do not respect such criticism with a response or emotion…
      Some peoplen will always find something wrong with everything….. just know that as far as those people are concerned you will never be good enough. Do not allow such people to detract you.

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