Yesterday I explained how anger and bitterness were trying to take root in my heart. But I explained that I wanted to be free of these feelings so that God could use me.
To begin tearing down the emotion of bitterness, I turned to the dictionary and Google. Then I tweaked my findings to fit my situation.
What is bitterness?
– self-induced misery
– anger, grudges, resentment
– resentment that has been held onto
– negative emotions against others and my circumstances
– retaining resentment and hurt
– not letting go of negative feelings
What does bitterness do when allowed to take root?
– robs me of peace, harmony, and joy
– opens a door for Satan to control
– leads to a lose of friendships, relationships
– forces out true biblical love
– defeats and ruins lives
– affect your health
In my search, I found a t-shirt that says…
Bitterness: Drinking poison and waiting for someone else to die.
I don’t know who to accredit this quote but it is true. Bitterness keeps the focus on the other person while it is really killing you.
While I struggle with being mad at God, I am rejecting what He wants to give me – joy, love, grace. I am focusing on the negative and missing out on the blessing of being a mom to four littles. All because I am holding on to a dream that isn’t attainable. A dream that is selfish and not compatible with God’s bigger plan.
How to Move from Bitter to Better
There are seven things that I am specifically doing to help me get my life in perspective.
1. Start every morning focused on God.
I can not change myself. Only God can work from the inside out. Morning devotions are changing my life. By starting my mornings in the Bible and with prayer, I am daily reminded who God is, how God feels about me, and what God wants to do through me. Just like Peter walking on the water (Matthew 14:22-33), when I focus my eyes on Christ, the swirling waves are no longer my concern. During this time I also journal and work on scripture memory. This helps me personalize and process what the Holy Spirit is telling me. (For more information on how to have a quiet time, read my free ebook “A Quiet Time, Worth the Time.”)
2. A Godly Mentor
One or two times a month, I meet with an amazing woman just to talk. She has four grown children and an elementary-aged son (surprise!). I have great respect for her as a wife, mother, and godly woman. During this time, I ask her questions and she gives me encouragement and suggestions. She provides me with insight of raising children as a mom who has been there. I use her as my sounding board to talk through my emotions, my frustrations, and daily life. I praise God for Lisa and this time we have together.
I blogged about this a couple of weeks ago in the post called “What My Husband Was Correct On.” And exercise was the item my husband was correct on. As I have been working out several times a week, my attitude and energy level is better. The non-athlete in me doesn’t understand this correlations but it is true. Exercise has made a huge difference.
Two years ago I made an amazing discovery. I wasn’t laughing anymore. Somewhere between the discipline, training, and mundane mommy tasks, I lost my love of being a Mommy and a wife. While I have made strides, I want to see more of the funny in life. I want to focus on the glass half full. I want to see the beauty that surrounds me instead of all that is wrong in my life. I am learning to laugh.
5. Give to Others
The enemy’s goal is to isolate me so that I feel alone and overwhelmed. Like I am the only mother who is tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed. It is when I am helping others that I realize the many blessings I have been given. The time devoted to others takes the focus off my pity party and sharing God’s love with others.
6. Say Yes to the Best, Say No to the Rest
At one of our first meetings, my mentor told me this wise piece of advice. She said, “Heidi, in your stage of life and the situation which God has you, you can’t say ‘yes’ to things that are okay. You can’t even say ‘yes’ to things that are good. You must only say ‘yes’ to the best.” Sound simple but this has been hard because there are so amazing opportunities out there. But not every opportunity is the best at this moment of our lives.
It sounds so simple but this is so profound. Pause. Taking a moment to step outside of the situation to see God’s hand. To see the situation with eyes of reality. To decipher whether the issue is major or minor in long-term effects.
“Every woman either becomes beautiful or bitter by the time she’s forty.” I am not quite to the big 4-0 but I hope that by the time I am, inner beauty will be radiating.