Let It Go!

Is it hard to ignore a wrong done against you? Do you feel you have been treated unfairly? Are you tempted to retaliate? Let it go. We all get our feelings hurt, but harboring that pain only leads to more scars. We cannot undo harmful things done by others; we can choose to use it to build character and strength within. Yes, it hurts, but let it go.

Do you feel you are about to explode, ready to blow your top? Would that make things better? No, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, that harms you. Let it go. The book of Proverbs is more beneficial than anger management. If tried and tested the counsel of Proverbs helps you to overcome frustration and anger. “A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression (Proverbs 19:11 NAS).” Let Him take control. Reject anger; let it go.

FIRED UP!

Angry. So angry. Not at anyone in particular, or even at God. I was just furious at life and how it was turning out.

My childhood dreams didn’t include gut-wrenching endless pain. I never set out to be crippled. My bucket list never came close to this.

Few people seemed to grasp the severity of my illness. Everyone seemed so carefree and happy. While my peers shopped for adorable Easter outfits for their children, I was at home gasping for my next breath.

Offense came easily. Patronizing comments bothered me the most: “Do you have good days and bad days?” No, every second of every minute is hell. Or, even worse, the benign noncommittal, “I’ll pray for you.” Please don’t tell me that. I need your HELP. I need my house cleaned. I need dinner on the table. I need my laundry folded and put away. I need someone to play with my kids.

Like I said, I was angry.

My only escape was in the Lord. He knows me. The mess in my heart wasn’t a secret to Him.

Countless times I cried out for relief. Lord, I HATE this! Please help me. Give me one hour without pain. I’m begging you for mercy.

Other days, when I was able, I drank in Scripture:

“O my Comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me.”
Jeremiah 8:18

Or,

For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me.
I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin…
O Lord, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God.
Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior.”
Psalm 38:17-22
And,
I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”
Psalm 40:1-2

His words were like an old friend, who spoke what I felt but couldn’t quite say. God continues to strip my heart of rage. Layer by layer, bit by bit, He pulls back hurt feelings, displaced dreams, and wounded pride. Occasionally a temper tantrum rears its ugly head, which the Lord patiently excises while reminding me I’m a work in progress.

Has anger got a grip on you, too?
    CRITICISM                  bitterness           FrUStrAtIOn              RAGE        disappointment

When anger takes center stage, life becomes miserable after awhile. If you’re like me, it’s exhausting carrying such a heavy load. I can only take so much.

Although I can’t offer a magic pill to make everything perfect,  I can point you to the One who is perfect:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
Weary one, have you come to the Lord lately?
I’m not so angry anymore. Certainly, it’s not self-effort that got me here, just a day-by-day working of Christ.
He has given me rest.
Would you like rest for your soul, too?
Carrie Cooper @ comfortedbyGod.blogspot.com

Getting Distracted By Life

Depression. Ambition.  Loneliness. Bitterness.  Busyness.

All of these things have something in common. And that is that the focus of each one of these is on ourselves. We are centered and thinking about our own situation, feelings, environment, and mood.  Life can do that to us.

I’ve found out a little secret.  Something that keeps me from being too prideful, helps me get over being depressed or lonely and something that keeps my priorities right. That “something” is vision.

You see, when I have a God-given vision or purpose, then it gives my life and each one of my daily moments a true purpose. It gets me excited about something, it keeps me moving, it focuses me on something greater than myself. It works – every time.

I think we let life distract us from what we are truly here for.  We let our drive for paying off those bills, or going to that next big attraction or adventure, or making sure we’re taking all the right pills and medications – keep us from giving and living within our true meaning and purpose. We let all that “stuff” be the ruling force in our lives instead of letting God be the ruling force in our lives.
When I am doing something for the Lord, whether it’s teaching Ladies Bible Study, focusing on an upcoming missions trip, working on my ministry, doing community service – whatever it is that He has laid on my heart – I get excited about living! I get motivated to eat right, exercise, my attitude is improved, my health seems to fair illnesses better, I forget about the lack of close friendships or the dreams unreached in my life – and I just LIVE for Him. All those things dissipate and it feels like I’m living out my true calling for that moment or period in time.

You see, we all need a “Holy-vison” or a “Holy-calling.” We need something higher than ourselves that God has asked us to do. For each one of us, that calling or vision may be different. But I’m betting that each one asks us to step outside of our comfort zone a little bit and reach out into some area of life that needs reaching.
Start praying today and ask God for Him to show you what God-given task you can devote yourself to. Look for those opportunities that He has placed before you to give your heart and soul to. Watch how quickly you will forget about the worries of the world and all the other things that used to crowd your heart and mind.

There is something BIGGER than ourselves and we can be apart of it.
~ Dionna Sanchez is the Founder of Emphasis On Moms at http://www.EmphasisOnMoms.com.  She also maintains her own blog to encourage women at http://beautyinthestorm.blogspot.com

Letting Go of Bitterness

Ephesians 4:31

Get rid of all bitterness.

Bitterness is such a touchy subject. It’s not like you can feel free to point out to someone you love that they are showcasing a bitter heart. Because usually someone who has bitterness in their heart isn’t very open to hearing points of view that differ with theirs! It’s like they are caught in a web, yet content to stay there.

We’ve all dealt with bitterness in our hearts at one time or another. Some of us are blessed enough to have escaped the long-term effects a bitter heart can have on a person. Others aren’t so lucky. They still waddle in their hurt, pain, and in whatever they have lost. They may want to escape, but they don’t know how. It’s like in a strange way, the hurt has become a friend. At least it’s something they are familiar with! Breaking free from that – well, it can be uncomfortable!

I’ve had a bitter heart before. I may well tread near having one again – I hope not though. Do you know what I learned from having a bitter heart? Not much. I learned that it cost me, though. It cost me joy, time, and it cost me freedom. Freedom from what it was that made me bitter in the first place. The more you try to bury something that has hurt you so deeply, the deeper it entangles your heart. I learned that once you become bitter, it takes a long time – sometimes years to break free and heal from that. But healing is possible.

God commanded us to get rid of all bitterness. That’s a tough pill to swallow when your heart wants to hold on to it with every fiber of your being. Maybe you were really wronged. Maybe someone you loved was really wrong. You can’t go back – you can’t change what happened. Something or someone may be lost forever. It’s done. But all that bitterness will do is rob you and destroy you. It will rob those close to you as well because they will feel and sense the effects of your bitter heart. You can’t contain a bitter heart; it spills over into many areas of life.

I often think of the Amish. A few years ago some students were shot at an Amish school. Maybe you remember it? It was a horrible incident. But do you know what the Amish did? They forgave the gunman. And they did it fairly soon after the incident, if I remember correctly. I remember feeling astonished and amazed at the huge steps their hearts could take as they were burying their sweet sons and daughters. And I was humbled by it because I knew that they were demonstrating how God would want each of us to respond.

You see, ultimately, God is judge. It is up to Him to hold others accountable. It’s up to Him to punish, discipline, and forgive. So by us letting go of our bitterness, we are not necessarily saying that what someone did was okay, or even that they will get away with it. Because they will have to be accountable to God for what happened. And that should be good enough for us… that is if we truly trust God. Do you trust Him with your heart and your life?

No one ever said that letting go of bitterness would be easy. It’s not. It’s dang tough sometimes. All we want to do is hang onto it and what little pride we may feel that we have left. But we need to trust God; that He knows what He’s doing with our life. And we need to allow ourselves to break free from the deep wounds that life gives us. We may never forget – and that’s okay. What we go through in life is what makes us who we are. But we can embrace and hold close to our hearts what has happened to us without letting it destroy us. All bitterness ever does is destroy. It’s good to remember that before you find yourself in the throes of it. Be prepared to find the courage to let it go. Only then will your heart truly have the chance to heal and be free.

~ Dionna Sanchez

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