What to Do When You Become the Person Others Whisper About

Sitting in my office, I can hear the soft, rustling sounds emerging from a nearby room. My beloved husband, Leif, and our stellar office manager, Jessica, speaking in hushed tones.

Though I can’t hear specific words, I know what they are whispering about…


That low muffled tone has become all too familiar over the last year. I’ve become accustomed to being the person others whisper about.

Most of us develop the ability to instinctively know when others are talking about us at a young age. We lean into the conversation. Press our ear against the door. Become expert lip readers. Anything to make out the words others are saying.

Yet most of us experience that moment when we realize we’d rather not know.

Until the next time we hear the whispers. We strain to hear. To press in. To know.

That’s because for most of us those hushed syllables are infrequent.

But what do you do when you become the person others whisper about?

On more days that I want to remember, I’ve sat shivering in fear in sterile hospital rooms straining to hear the voices of nurses and doctors exchanging syllables outside my door. I’ve watched people at church go silent as I approach, then lean in to whisper as I walk away. I’ve entered rooms and passed through hallways where the topic of conversation was me.

That all sounds very self-centered…

Until you’re the one being whispered about.

Until you’re the one whose spouse is having an affair.

The one who has been served the divorce papers.

The one who has been evicted.

The one whose secret addiction has been found out.

The one who has been diagnosed.

The who has been laid-off.

The one who has to declare bankruptcy, lose your business, or lose your home.

The one whose church is shutting down.

The one whose kid has been placed on medication, suspended, or arrested.

The one whose life is falling apart.

That’s when you discover it’s not your imagination. They are whispering about you. And often what you hear may heal, but it may also hurt.

I sometimes wonder how many times Jesus heard people whispering about Him. A hundred? A thousand? Ten thousand?

John 7:12 says, “Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.” Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.”

What I’ve been discovering about being the one whispered about is something we all know deep down inside:

Sometimes it’s better not to lean in. Sometimes it’s better not to know. Sometimes it’s better to keep on walking. 

And sometimes the people whispering aren’t trying to hurt you, they’re doing everything they can to protect you. To fight for you. And with you.

So the next time you hear the whispering, know that you can walk away. Sometimes unknowing is a gift.

And the most important whisper you’ll ever hear, the only one worth straining to hear is from your Heavenly Father who loves you, who is with you, and who is for you. And over the last year and a half since my difficult diagnosis, I’ve learned that.

Joy emanates out of the abiding sense of God’s fierce love for us.

Joy emanates out of the abiding sense of God's fierce love for us.

The next time people whisper about you, lean in to God’s whisper instead.

Maybe you hear the whispers, too. You may be in the throes of a difficult season. Or have a friend facing heartbreaking circumstances. Even in this you can fight back with joy. Will you join me? Click here to pre-order and receive some awesome gifts.

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Expand your joy threshold by awakening to God’s fierce love for you in Margaret’s new book and Bible study, Fight Back With Joy: Regret Less. Celebrate More. Stare Down Your Greatest Fears. Click here to purchase your copy.