By Michelle Krol
God's Brave Women - Michelle's Story
I cannot pinpoint the exact moment I started to pick up the lies and carry them around with me. Some the size of pebbles, others the size of boulders, none were intended for me to take with me all these years. My hands and pockets were getting full. I collected lies like they were truth—if there were a shadow of possibility within each one. If someone who l loved said it, if it sounded familiar, if I had thought it of myself, even just for a moment, I would hold onto it. These became subconscious criteria—if the lie could be true, then it must be true. And if it were true it was something to hold onto. I value truth like oxygen. Still, I wondered why it was getting harder to breathe.
And then came the year of uprooting. It followed a year of silence. A year that gutted me.
In the year of silence I said little to anyone outside of our home. It was both strange and awful. I love words but they stayed stuck—in my mouth, in my head. I could never quite get them out. Silence was never something I was known for. As a child my parents would tell me I never stopped talking, always curious, always trying to make others laugh. Full of wonder with a dash of what my grandmother would affectionately refer to as shenanigans—something to keep my goodness humble. I always had something to say. As an adult, I enjoyed gathering and connection, bringing women together, encouraging them, and opening our home. I talked loud, laughed loud, loved fully… until I didn’t.
"I had experienced deep betrayal in two close friendships, while one of my sons walked a similar relentless and excruciating path. We loved our community, but we were not willing to trade our truth or ourselves for it."
I had experienced deep betrayal in two close friendships, while one of my sons walked a similar relentless and excruciating path. We loved our community, but we were not willing to trade our truth or ourselves for it. And some people tried to manipulate our position to their advantage or dismiss it all-together. Something was wrong with us, they reassured themselves. Even though these same people had shared their stories of betrayal, pain, heartache with us and were met with understanding and confidentiality, kindness and grace. We were safe for people, but they were not safe for us. And even in our silence we heard things that we said and did that were fabricated and distorted. How could we say such things if we hadn’t said anything at all? It was hard to be misunderstood and not defend ourselves. Everything fell on deaf ears, some told us they were speaking for God when their words sounded so opposite of anything we discern He would say. And so, we decided not to waste our words.
The wounds are still fresh, the disease still spreads, and the story is not all mine to tell. What I can say is I know we will never regret standing by our son or speaking our truth. We can live with not being well-liked, but we cannot live without our truth, without our air.
"It was in this year of silence that the girl who once took pride in how she could use her words for good, didn’t use her words at all. She chose a quiet stillness, to let God fight for her and her people as He promised."
It was in this year of silence that the girl who once took pride in how she could use her words for good, didn’t use her words at all. She chose a quiet stillness, to let God fight for her and her people as He promised. But God, He didn’t fight that battle the way she thought she wanted—exposing the lies, restoring position and community, instead He turned toward her, took her face in His hands, and reminded her of who she was in Him. He asked her to look only at Him, to see her family only is His light, and to let everything else fade away.
“Every plant not planted by my Heavenly Father will be uprooted.” (Matthew 15:13)
And so began the year of uprooting any other identity that had been placed upon me other than as a child of God. It came with the gift of discernment. I had always had this inner compass of seeing truth, but this discernment was birthed from a place of quiet. A space of leaning into God and praying for His truth to be known in my heart, and the hearts of my husband and boys, more than anything else. For God to give us the strength to endure pain and heartache, judgment and being misunderstood, and to not cause further pain. To be comfortable with silence when needed but to not grow bitter. And the brave work of healing began by letting wise voices into our lives and allowing grace to seep into every wound.
"Friend, I wonder what lies we all pickup and hold onto more tightly than the precious words God says about us."
Friend, I wonder what lies we all pickup and hold onto more tightly than the precious words God says about us. I think about you, our children, our families and what we come to believe as truth and how it keeps us held down, imprisoned. God’s words bring life, growth, beauty, and freedom.
May we allow ourselves to bravely lean into God and His strength as we allow the divine gardener of our souls to cultivate the soil of our hearts. May we allow Him to uproot what brings decay to our lives and to sprinkle the waters of grace over the seeds of goodness He plants. And may we find people and community who care for our hearts with truth spoken in love. May we be brave enough to walk fully loved and rooted in Christ.
Brave Woman Manifesto
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story!
And by the way...
You are Brave!
No matter what you are facing, God has made you in His image, which means you are full of His strength and power. I would love to connect with you more and give you a FREE gift - the BRAVE WOMAN MANIFESTO: Five Things to Tell Yourself When Life Gets Hard. Click HERE to sign up for my monthly newsletter and you’ll receive the FREE Manifesto, as well as recent blog posts, updated resources and personal details delivered only to my lovely email tribe.
AS A BONUS… Subscribers will also be the first to receive news regarding the BRAVE WOMEN BIBLE STUDY coming out later this year and a sample chapter! *insert happy dance here* Sign up for more info on the study’s release and availability!
Michelle lives a wildly beautiful, unexpected life as mom to a crew of boys. Her oldest son prayed big for a sibling, and God answered big with a set of quadruplets! Overnight they switched to zone defense and a spilling-over-full life. She is married to a good guy who likes to build her things and keeps her heart light. Home with her crew is a sweet town in the far west suburbs of Chicago.
Michelle’s heart is for encouraging women to build and cultivate a deeply rooted life and home. A life of identity rooted in Christ. Follow along at michellekrol.com or on Instagram @michellekrolwrites. Be encouraged and find helpful tools in her online community, A Rooted Home, on Facebook.