About the Author

Robin is the author of For All Who Wander, her relatable memoir about wrestling with doubt that reads much like a conversation with a friend. She's as Southern as sugar-shocked tea, married to her college sweetheart, and has three children. An empty nester with a full life, she's determined to...

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  1. Robin,

    Thank you for sharing this story. I’ve been every woman in this scenario at one time or another–the one who’s been left out, the one who’s participated in the leaving out, and the one who’s observed someone else being left out. And it all pains me.

    There are plenty of stories I wish I could go back and rewrite. I’m so thankful we serve a God who always allows rewrites. Because a new story awaits.

    Because Our Words Are His,
    Denise

    • Hi Denise I like your comment. At one time or another as a woman I also have being in this positions. I also feel hurt after confrontations and arguments.
      But you know my attitude changed completely, I started listening more because our views may differ on an issue., I ask myself “do i have something to learn?” and then finally, I love that person so if the situation is not so important I let it be.

      I want to enjoy peace in all my relationships. Thank God he gives us wisdom when we ask him.

      Thanks so much Robin and God Bless.
      http://purposefulandmeaningful.blogspot.com/

    • Denise,

      God is incredibly gracious and patient and kind, isn’t he? To reveal our own planks but to allow that wounding to refine and shape us to conform more closely to his image. The way he redeems circumstance and self astounds me.

      Sometimes I’m edgy because I can’t believe “everyone” doesn’t share my same perspective…and then I remember there’s chocolate, strawberry and vanilla for very good reasons :).

      Ifeoma,

      Peace in relationships…yes, THAT is blessing! 🙂

  2. Robin,
    I love how you are so real…and please know you don’t walk alone. It’s hard living with Christ’s convictions while still draped in human skin. I have struggled with this too – many times. God may have convicted my heart, but it might be my heart alone. While I waste time pointing at others who are not feeling the same convictions, I may be missing an opportunity to extend love and grace. The fact that you felt convicted and the others didn’t, to me, shows your caring and tender heart toward others…something God wants to use in glorious ways to love the unlovable and the cast out. You are a blessing!!

    My word for 2015, in line with your message today, is “Grace”. God has poured out His grace on me and I am challenged to measure out grace instead of pointing fingers in blame and judgment. Your post today was further reassurance of my designated journey. Glad to know I’m not alone…
    Blessings and ((hugs)),
    Bev

  3. Ooooo, Bev, a post to confirm what you’re already sensing!! GRACE is such a powerful word, no, a power-filled word! How affecting for it to be your word for the year. Beautiful.

    One of my guiding convictions has become “Seek to understand before you seek to be understood,” modified to fit most any circumstance. It changes everything, too…. When you slip off your own shoes and try on another pair, amazing how different the landscape looks.

  4. Wow! This went straight to my heart! I have judged others because they weren’t convicted on a certain issue like me. Lord Jesus,change and soften my heart! Amen.

    • It has become a constant prayer of mine, Marianne. It’s exciting to see that I’m not the only one who needed this word preached to me :).

  5. So, not 15 minutes ago, I found myself in a similar situation, having a strikingly similar conversation which ended without any satisfactory resolution. Why? Because I was expecting the other players to share my convictions. Then I read your post. God is so good. I don’t know why that continues to surprise me.

    Thanks for your willingness to share your experiences!

    Peace, Kristen

    • Kristen,

      It was SO hard to write, but after the conversation with my sister-in-love, I KNEW I was supposed to. And HOW COOL is an experience that happened to me MONTHS ago was what you needed to hear this morning??? I LOVE IT WHEN GOD BLOWS MY MIND!! 🙂

  6. This hit me right between the eyes this morning first thing. Thank you, thank you!!! God has been working in my life on just these things and then up pops your post…isn’t God good to gently remind us from all avenues of love that there is room for change (LOVE).

    • Sharon,

      YES, God is good and gracious and an amazing timer :). Of course, sometimes we don’t like His time but eventually we can see the wisdom and goodness of it.

  7. Robin,

    My word for this year is gentle. I’ve listened to the Father for sometime over the last couple of months speaking to my soul that is time to learn to be gentle with myself so that I may learn to be gentle with others. This devotion spoke deeply to mr this morning. Thank you. Blessings sister for your honesty and obedience to share in a very real way!

    • Kelly,

      It’s so real it hurts :/. But I trust God’s allowance of the experience to change me…change us.

      We can be SO hard on ourselves! I love what you’re hearing in regards to self-care; heart-care. As God works in you through LEARNING what gentleness means, it HAS to touch others. So lovely.

  8. This is so good! Funny how sometimes certain posts on this site just hit home 100%!! I don’t have a specific word this year but I did tell my family that THIS is the year I am “going to talk less”….they all laughed so hard it was hilarious so than I had to explain myself better…..

    Meaning….I am a big “talker” but a “not so good doer”. I talk about getting in shape, I talk about eating better, I talk about yelling at my kids less and letting them make their own decisions more (even though it may be the wrong ones) so I tell them what I think is best ~ but is it really?, I want them to be more independent but I still hover and direct.

    So……I am going to take a step back and let them make their decisions whether good or bad, I am going to find ME. I am not the 6 days a week exerciser like some, I do not eat healthy 99.9% of the time like some and its OK….Time to “do” stuff for ME and like ME as ME….whatever that may be.

    • Kathy,

      I think you would REALLY like my post I linked to above (at the end of this one). In talking about resolutions (and One Words) I talk about doing (whatever it is) even one day is better than not doing it at all…. 🙂

  9. My Sister and I have had this discussion many times but I always come away feeling she is justifying her own unwillingness to “stand in the gap”. Perhaps it is because discerning the Truth, which is absolute, gets mired in our humanity. I must be cautious to, yes, act on “my” convictions, but must acknowledge there is that absolute.

      • It often helps for me to remember that for many, convictions are mere preferences. And, yes, those we love most are specifically the ones we think should know better. I grew up with a load of hypocrisy, a minister’s daughter caught between the narcissism of my father and church members who were more concerned about “outward showing” rather than inward love. I was adult before I could be comforted by the “grace” of Christ that was too often hidden beneath the traditions of men. It is a relief to live and free fall in Christ’s love, especially when faced with situations like this you presented.

  10. Hi Robin,
    I just love your post. My hubby and I often struggle with this issue. We find ourselves passionately working with the youth at our church and it drives us crazy that other parents don’t feel the same way. Hubby also attends a men’s prayer group and it really bothers him that people will line up to get on the list, but very few are willing to come and pray. We have been discussing at length lately, to keep our eyes focused on God and listen for His calling to us and stop concerning ourselves with whether or not other people come along with us. It’s not easy, but I truly feel if we are God-focused, a lot of the other stuff just falls away. Thanks for sharing.
    Wendy 🙂

    • Wendy,

      Nailed it!! When it’s about God as opposed to US (through our convictions), the other stuff fades!! I’ve done similar things as you, and it takes growing up to understand that God isn’t interested in my petty judgments. I mean, I’ve KNOWN that longer than I’ve believed it (based on how I’ve behaved) 😉 :).

  11. Robin,
    What a thought provoking post! One more reminder that God is in charge, and we are not. He speaks to each of us individually- and no matter how it feels at the time, it’s a blessing if we are able to choose to be obedient.
    This new year I did want to find a word for 2015, and at first I thought it was ‘serve,’ ( I think because family were still here visiting for the holidays..) but the Lord dropped an unexpected word in my heart: Elevate. Elevate my thoughts, elevate my words, elevate my actions, so that it all reflects the Lord’s influence in my life everyday. Definitely depending on Him to carry it out!
    Blessings to you!

  12. This is a lesson that I need to be reminded of again and again. Ouch & Oy! My word for this year -present as in BE PRESENT. I love the messages rendering of Isa 43:16 those words might as well have been bold & highlighted for me. I am easily distracted and so need to learn to be PRESENT.
    Thanks for this reminder!

    • LuAnn,

      🙂

      Presence is a gift; particularly in this age of distraction. You’re going to bless those in your live and you fully engage with them….because of Him xo.

  13. Wow! I loved reading this as I got to work today. Often I find myself frustrated with others and their lack of “conviction” – meaning action. I NEVER considered that they weren’t convicted as I was. A true heart opening experience. Thank you!!

  14. What a great reminder that God is working in each of us INDIVIDUALLY and we’re all at different levels of progress. I know personally that I act/think/believe differently than I did 5 years ago and that every good change wrought in me is only by the grace and workings of God… I am believing by faith that He works to change me everyday more into his likeness; therefore, I must believe the same is true for every believer and offer grace to others (or more often myself) when our experiences don’t align. We’re all on the same road…just moving at different speeds.

  15. Perspective changes everything!!!! Providence: God’s hand in all things is the word I chose. . .and I love this message. I often feel convicted in my judgement of others’ wrongdoings and so wish I could remain focused on my own. I wonder just how can I become more forgiving and actively chose to inspire better character in others. . .truth and love. Our bible study this week was just that: Love is truth!!!! It’s amazing the way the Lord will drive home a message if we are paying attention. I always believe when I find a theme in my life, or a message that feels esp. made just for me. . .it’s because both myself and the messenger are indeed connected to thee One!!!!! Thank you. . .Thank God!!!!! 🙂

  16. Robin, thank you for sharing with such transparency. As a recovering people-pleaser, I’ve been disappointed many times in how I’ve handled a situation, or shut someone out because the people I was with did it, for one reason or another. I know I’ve disappointed Jesus by staying silent when I should have spoken up. All in the name of people-pleasing.

    Thank you for sharing the liberating lesson you learned. I loved how you described/defined the things that convict us as individuals. God uses our stories to teach us, and then to minister to others–with truth, love and encouragement. The convictions I hold are MINE. Not necessarily yours. Thanks for sharing this lesson. It’s one I need to remember.

    • Jeanne,

      Interesting…I refer to myself as a recovering people-pleaser, too :). Old habits die hard, don’t they?

      With every part of my heart I HOPE I’ll LISTEN and follow through when I’m in similar circumstances; my desire is to be a woman of God who loves without bounds (not to discount appropriate boundaries 🙂 ).

      So thankful to know this was encouraging to you!

  17. I can truly relate to this because I nearly let a family rift steal my joy this past fall and Christmas season. I have a relative who has been considered the black sheep of the family for years due to a life long drug problem. I dedicated 6 months, along with others, assisting him through a terrible accident that he nearly did not survive. He said it was his wake up call; God told him it was his last chance to get straightened out. Sadly after he got out of the hospital rehab he went back home and got into trouble once again, in the process burning all his bridges with family and friends. He wound up at a half way house. I was so upset with him and the fact that he denied most of what happened. I thought how can he ever get right with the Lord and the ones he wronged if he won’t even acknowledge his mistakes. I let these emotions get the best of me and took on a “holier than thou attitude” in the process. It disrupted every area of my until I was the miserable one. Finally with the conviction of the Holy Spirit I repented of my judgmental attitude and allowed God to correct my negative thinking. It still pops up every now and then when I’m least expecting it but with the Lord’s help I’m working on it and am so praying I won’t forget the lesson anytime soon and allow God to do the convicting in the future. God bless you for your willingness to share your story.

  18. This is why I adore you and this is why I am blessed to know your heart. Thank you for being so honest. I have lived every role and the reminder that you give brings such freedom in Christ.
    Love you so.
    XOXO

  19. Oh My Word! What perfect timing. Your words are encouragement and support for a struggle that recently has brought me to tears. You know the one…..I love you. I love him. I love her. but you don’t want anything to do with him/her, so you forego any social situations-spiritual, social or otherwise-because he/she will be there. REALLY? I thought we were called to love one another, serve one another. WWJD? Thank you for sharing and lightening my heart and soul!

  20. Wow, thank you so much for this article!! I have often found myself “discerning” (judging) others for acting in ways in which I felt were contradicting to God’s Word, only to feel like I am judging then feeling bad about this, being confused, and unable to get out of this cycle. The truths in this article are just incredibly helpful and ones that I will be taking with me! You are absolutely right – how freeing!

    Thanks again and God bless!

  21. I think we have all experienced all of these situations at one time or another, probably many times depending on your age. We have the promise that we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. Love conquers all. I Cor. 15:1 Says make love your aim. I am frequently praying, fill my heart with love and goodness.

  22. Second time reading this post and I read through the comments prayerfully, God bless you all!
    My story: after the fire when all our stuff wasn’t burned and we told each other it could have been, so use the pretty things instead of saving them unused for some day, a friend asked to borrow teapots for a birthday party for her daughter who’s in college. She returned my best one with a broken lid that she had glued together quite well. No worries, I told her, and explained my conviction. Grace covered. But then years later she told me she’s given her things to be borrowed much more freely because of my example.
    It hadn’t been her conviction but my living mine out gave her a stronger picture and conviction than just a thought.
    My one word?
    I read back in the fall of someone who didn’t finish hers and was going to keep it another year. I surely didn’t post a lot about how God was showing us GRACE last year, so I thought maybe I should keep it another year. Or spend the week between Christmas and New Year reflecting on 2014 the year of grace.
    But this morning, reading prayerfully and coughing (a cold) while getting my tea, I realized it’s sabbath. The year started with advent, started with my birthday in December (well celebrated 4 times!), started with January 1, and starts on Monday with a fresh semester at the college and our homeschool. I’m 49, and for the Israelites, every seventh year was to be a sabbath year for the land. Then the fiftieth is the year of Jubilee when people are returned to their ancestral land, freed from debts or slavery (usually debt related), and I don’t think we have any record of it ever being obeyed. It struck me again how Joseph returning to Bethlehem was Rome unwittingly making God’s people do his will. But that may be next year’s word: jubilee. This year, continuing grace, my word is SABBATH. Rest in the Lord your God, delight in him, look for him to provide, keep him always first in my heart.
    Today is sabbath (Saturday) so I greet you with sabbath peace (Shabbat shalom)!

  23. Thank you for sharing this! Yes and yes and yes! I encountered this truth from the opposite direction a year or two ago: not that something might be my particular conviction, but that someone else’s conviction doesn’t necessarily apply to me in that moment.

    I love look at both sides of the coin, here, and seeing the whole. Thank you so much!

  24. Thanks for this lesson. I’ll try to remember- my conviction is MY conviction, and I should not judge others because they are not likewise convicted.

  25. Thank you SO much for this post. I struggle with this issue sometimes and you have simplified the answer today. It’s like I already knew this but just never heard it put quite this way and it makes it all so clear. So glad you shared it so others (especially me!) could be blessed by it!

  26. Robin, this is really powerful. And ouchy, I have to admit.

    You know what I’ve been guilty of, in addition to the conviction-expectation you described? Being involved in a situation like this and then using it as a measuring stick, i.e. keeping a self-righteous “I need to find friends who clearly share my convictions” attitude. Oh, my word. Dear Lord, forgive me.

    I LOVE your sister-in-law’s message! The idea that God would love me enough to convict just my heart on a particular point is a beautiful thought. In other words, with the conviction, God is entrusting me with a bit of knowledge or wisdom, giving me the opportunity to use it well. Using it well will always mean using it with grace for everyone involved.

    Thank you for writing this, my friend. I appreciate you.

  27. I love this! And, no, you certainly aren’t the only one who has thought her convictions were for everyone. I think a whole lot of sermons, Bible studies and lessons come from someone’s personal convictions. Thanks for your honesty in writing this. I needed it:|

  28. Robin,

    I just absolutely love your writing and your convictions. You always have a sweet spirit about you , but are full of God’s grace and mercy and a little fun.

    “The things that convict you are a gift from God to change, challenge, refine, and inspire you.” God convicted me last year through a series of trials that I need to pray more. Situations would crop up and then I would pray hard for a while–the falter. Oh I might pray a time or two at dinner, but not earnestly all the time. I know that my convictions are not everyone’s. My words for this year are peace and contentment. Peace for a quieter year with dad’s health issues and contentment to learn that God will answer prayers in His perfect timing!

    Blessings 🙂

  29. Dear Robin, Oh, Thank you for your sharing of a revelation that I have been waiting for! Your words are a gift of conviction for me! Thank you! My one word for 2015 is TRUST; and since I chose that word, God has given me to many things to trust him about and the Word from the Bible to increase my desire to Trust Him. God is good.
    Bless you,
    Debbie