This week I struggled, I was so mad at myself for the resurgence of anger overcoming me and just seeping into every aspect of my life. It didn’t help that my two-year-old was sick for most the week, aka GROUCHY. I can do feverish, lethargic, sweet baby, sick kid, I struggle with the grouchy, mean, demanding, sick, kid. One thing led to another and before you knew it I was right back to the place I never wanted to be again, so consumed with anger for my circumstances, so speechless at what had been done to me, so helpless at the direction life was quickly moving, demanding why and feeling so utterly betrayed by the one man who for 13 years had meant the world to me.
“Why do I feel all this again?!” I demanded of God in prayer from my pit of self pity.
His answer was simple, “You’ve been here before then you know the way out.”
You see God has provided for me a life line. When a I slip into questioning and hurting and finally get so overwhelmed I remember Him and ask for help here is how He does it… through his Word. It was a big Ah-ha moment for me when I realized a couple of months ago just how powerful memorizing scripture instead of dwelling on my anger could be. So here is my journey this week wallowing in scripture:
There were a couple of key verses that really struck me. The first came when I was sending scripture to a family member who was facing big change in his life, I quoted: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ” Jeremiah 29:11 I could relate to the discarded feeling my family member felt.. but I pondered the Lords plans for my life.. what does a hope and a future look like for me? My faith in that right now is paper-thin.. but it’s there.
The next scripture I came across was: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1-2
This was the first time I’ve ever paid attention to the beginning of that verse… surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses… Well, I can relate to that.. my story attracts looky loos.. most with honest and good intentions but at times I feel like the train wreck folks can’t turn away from. These aren’t my close friends.. trust me, my friends have had more than their fair share of my ouch; they aren’t there to watch, they are the first responders getting dirty with me and my pain allowing me to cry on their shoulder, take me out, to just BE with me. But I AM being watched, on Facebook, at School pick-up, and even at church some. It’s not a bad thing, I certainly don’t think so and clearly neither does Paul as he writes in Hebrews essentially, “Look we’re being watched so lets walk the path set before us with perseverance. ” This might be a source of why I spent the better half of the week angry at myself for feeling angry again.
“Look God, I’m being WATCHED.. let’s get going with the healing already!!”
Here is the next scripture I was struck by.. this one like a brick. We read the 13th chapter of Matthew this week, It was Jesus’s explanation for the parable of the Sower:
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
I felt so much like the person whose seed fell among the thorns this week.. the worries and pain of life were choking out the word.. I felt unfruitful, utterly.
“See God I need to heal so I can be fruitful!!”
But quickly it occurred to me that I could be fruitful right where I am, still hurting and working through anger.. I didn’t have to wait, I shouldn’t wait, NOW was the time God was going to use me, people were watching and it’s was time I strapped on my “perseverance shoes.” This hurting heart could coexist with a serving soul.. maybe even enhance it!
I don’t have the strength to get through this, alone I am puny, throbbing, angry, and without direction. I have been given WAY more than I can handle, but I can do all things in Christ who give me strength. Philippians 4:13 God knows the plans for me.. remember his Hope and a Future? Well the next verse in Jeremiah often get’s left off so I’ll repeat Jeremiah 29:11 and include 12.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
To answer the question I asked God at the beginning of the week, why do I have to hurt again or be angry again? The answer is because it draws me closer to him in the end. The more I embrace the reality that is His plan for me the more I call on Him, depend on Him and pray to Him. I don’t have much to offer others who watch this train wreck other than a love story of eternal consequences. I will run with perseverance the path marked out for us, I will embrace God’s plan for my life even though I don’t understand it, I will be the good soil, even in my weaknesses knowing that God can use me right where I am, not because of who I am but because of who HE is.
Is all the pain gone? have I shrugged off all my anger? Not at all, which means I have ample excuse to pray, and listen to my Maker as I work towrds my goal of forgiveness. Hallelujah for being right where I need to be.