Within recent years I’ve really started to appreciate every moment in life, including my downfalls. I have learned that we can discover our gifts through our short-comings and the negative criticisms we receive from others.
Speaking from my own experiences, I can recall one time in particular when I was in elementary school. I was in fifth grade, nine to ten years of age, and my teacher had said a harsh remark to me when I asked him a question. I remember him saying in front of the entire class, “Ashley, you don’t speak too well. I think you have a problem. For now maybe you should just write everything and give it to me instead.” Besides being humiliated, I was extremely upset. So what did I do? I listened to him and wrote.
At the time, it seemed like the worst thing. As a child it brought my confidence down, but now I can only think of one thing—Genesis 50:20—it reads, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” That teacher gave me a negative comment, but because I started writing, I am published in print and online and within the past year started my own website and magazine. I may not be the best writer or even well-known, but that’s not the point. Through my writing I have received feedback from people saying I have inspired them, encouraged them, helped them through a hard time, and blessed them greatly. It was because of my short-coming that God blessed me to do greater things and in return, bless others.
As for my speaking, I have done several presentations. And, God is so good, I’ve been invited on more than one occasion to do poetry readings.
I am not telling you this to boast at all. I write in complete humility.
I am sharing my story to explain when people criticize you, when they put you down for the things you are doing, don’t get upset. Remember Gen. 50:20. God has a plan for you and this is part of it. Embrace these moments understanding God can turn negative things around so you can be prosperous and for Him to be glorified. That comment my teacher gave me may have been one of the best things someone has ever said to me. Had it not been for such a harsh critique at a young age, I may not have written to the extent that I do now.
Realize that somehow, someway, God is going to make your situation beautiful. It doesn’t matter who’s involved and how bad it is. He has a plan and what you are going through now will one day be used to prosper you and glorify Him.