In this month of thanksgiving, I have struggled more than ever with bitterness, which has all but consumed my joy. I've not blogged a lot because of this battle. I even refrained from my monthly Faith Deployed submission. I am learning that I still have yet to reach the ability to love others the way God would have me to ... scratch that ... the way God commands me to, and I am learning how truly deceitful sin can be. I am learning to get on my knees a little more and thank God for what I have and pray for those who I'd rather heap burning coals upon (see my battles?!). And I'm staying awake a lot at night praying that I would find my peace and my rest and my joy in Christ and not in others around me or from what I think others ought to be towards me. I don't know if you've ever really been in this kind of place before. If not, I hope you never are. I have struggled so much with be defensive and protective of myself and our little family.
So much can get under my skin without my even knowing it ... until it is too late and I explode from all the bitterness that I've harbored.
While in SC over Thanksgiving it occurred to me that there are a lot of things that I may never be able to change. I realized that I need to let go of so much hurt that I've kept inside for way too long. My head hurts. My heart hurts and my family is suffering from the exhaustion it has caused me.
I think I still have some dreams somewhere:), but they are being suffocated by the bitterness that has taken over. It is my prayer that I can forgive those who have offended me, and that I can hand over those battles to God wholeheartedly. It is my prayer that I can move forward from things I cannot change and rejoice in the blessings around me. I didn't have a perfect Thanksgiving week, but it was definitely not without a lot of sweetness. Why I have been struggling with focusing on the good? Well, I know it is because of sin, but it is still baffling all the same.
So as the month of November comes to a close and we enter into December, a month of celebration of the greatest gift of all, this verse will be on my mind and in my heart.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.