It’s been a weird week or so. Do you know what I mean?
I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s been a little off.
I think I know part of the reason and it’s quite surprising to me. Particularly because I thought I was kinda past all this stuff.
You know all healed up and such.
But lately, I’m spittin’ mad…angry…frustrated….even a little bit bitter.
And even more than all of those…I’m surprised.
I thought I was over all those awful emotions.
I thought I was past that place
…outta that pit.
But I think there is still some climbing, crawling and running that needs to happen.
Still some growing
I’ve had friends tell me that I need to not use my husband’s adultery, abandonment, and our subsequent divorce as such a huge reference point in my life.
My answer has always been, “????????”
‘Cause it’s pretty much feels like one of the biggest things to happen in my life…and it’s the most recent biggest thing…and it impacted so much and so many and so deeply.
You know those big events like salvation, marriage, children…those things you build upon.
They are all the beginning of something wonderful.
Divorce, it’s just the end.
There isn’t much to build upon there…
in fact, what IS there, is nothing you’d want to build upon anyway, right?
Sadness, regret, anger, betrayal, crisis, etc.
Someone recently said to me, “Divorce can be the beginning of something better.”
I guess so.
But it isn’t because divorce is a great beginning; it’s what God can do afterwards.
But after what?
After divorce? After a while? After the stages of grief have all been cycled through…again?
Please don’t get me wrong I’m not asking that in a rotten way…I’m pondering.
I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. Psalm 119:15
I guess I should tell you a bit more about my situation…well, my thoughts on my situation.
Those feelings of anger, frustration and bitterness are toward my ex-husband…and he absolutely deserves it BUT it isn’t right and it isn’t good and it isn’t what I want to be feeling.
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. Proverbs 14:29
I forgave him for what he did to me, to our children and to our family. And although I know forgiveness is a process (sometimes a long process), I thought I had finished the process. I thought I was on the other side.
There have been many things to forgive since the original hurt, and those things have indeed been forgiven.
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?
As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22
But, honestly, I’ve been thinking all along that much of what I’ve struggled with in the past 5 plus years has been anger and frustration at those continued dumb things the man does.
Now, I’m not so sure.
Maybe I underestimated the whole forgiveness thing. Maybe I didn’t understand completely how forgiveness needs to be a “completely” thing.
Forgiveness is definitely something I have offered and done. I know I have…without a doubt.
I guess this is where the whole faith thing comes in.
The thing with forgiveness is…well, it doesn’t necessarily make all the hurt go away. I forgave and I still hurt. ..a lot.
And maybe that hurt won’t ever completely go away…it’s pretty deep…but does that mean I haven’t really forgiven?
And if I have forgiven, can I still feel angry at the offending person?
Yes, yes I can.
But should I?
I don’t believe so.
The best thing I can do for ME is forgive and move forward.
The answer is to let go of the anger, frustration, and bitterness.
And I’m thinking I need to go read the chapter on anger and bitterness in my book, because maybe I can remind myself of how I got through this before… I wish I was kidding.
I definitely don’t want to feel fussy forever.
I want to be able to move forward without anger and bitterness. I want to not give that burden to my children. I just want to give my burdens to the Lord – He can handle them.
Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you, He will never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22
Part of being in this funky place has been that I haven’t been able to hide from my children my thoughts and feelings about their dad. I apologized to my oldest daughter the other night.
She said, “Yeah, it’s been weird. But it’s ok Mom.”
Well, I guess I can take one positive think from that – I have done pretty well with it for over 5 years!
But I don’t want to be a mom who weighs down my children with my baggage.
So what am I going to do about it?
1st I’m going to pray. (I’m noticing a theme in my life – pray first!!!)
Pray for God to give me His perspective on things.
What is His perspective on things? Well, one thing that has helped in the past is to see my husband as a broken, sinful man in need of a Savior…just like I’m a sinful woman in need of my Savior. To recognize where he is…and that like David in Psalm 51, his sin is against God. God will handle it. I don’t need to.
Pray for God to give me the strength to control my tongue..
Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it. 1 Peter 3:10-11
Oh golly, is this gonna be a big prayer request! I’ve struggled so much lately with my comments and my facial expressions. I can’t seem to keep my thoughts to myself…my angry thoughts that is. And the sad part is that those angry thoughts don’t serve any purpose but to wound innocent people around me, particularly my children.
That’s the dumb part about anger and bitterness – it really doesn’t impact the offender very much, if at all. It just hurts you…and me. It just hurts the people we most want to protect from further hurt. Our beautiful children.
So, friends, I’m gonna do something about this angry, bitter woman I see sometimes in the mirror.
She is not welcome anymore.
I don’t think I can just make a decision in this post and change myself instantaneously, but I can start the process…golly another process…maybe I should rephrase that…I can pray and ask the Holy Spirit to start the process in me.
I know that only God can make this better in me. I know that only God can change the hurt, anger, and bitterness into something much better.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion – to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. Isaiah 61:1-3
My part…my part is to pray, to seek Him, to read His love letter to me, to counsel with friends, and to fight for a better attitude.
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually. Psalm 105:4
I lift my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore. Psalm 121