I got angry. Life things, pandemic things, living things piled up and I got angry. Life and living are different when you are in a season where death is very real.
I was not angry at any person. I was angry at the situation/situations.
and then I got bitter.
I was not bitter at any person. I was bitter at life.
Everything was piling up and I felt so out of control. I lived in this space for a day. A full day. A full day of anger and bitterness. And then I surrendered. But that was one horrible day. All the days have been less than great lately, but this day was horrible. It was horrible because my heart was full of emotions that do not give me hope or life. I allowed anger to take over me. I allowed anger to harden my heart for one awful day. Have you been there too?
I could not stand myself that day. So now, not only was I dealing with the previously stated pile of things, I had added my raw and unsavory emotions to the pile. This did not help things. At all.
In Romans 7:18-19, Paul states:
For I have the desire to do what is good but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.
Ugh. Man, Paul speaks right to my heart. I do not like that my emotions take over me like this. I know that this is not the way to handle situations. I know there is a better way, but my word, it feels all so much. And I lose, a lot.
Have you been there? You know your reaction is not reflecting the person who are striving to be, but there is hurt in your heart and you just spew it out.
Fortunately, I have been in the practice of spending time with God every. single. day. He knows my heart and there is nothing I can hide from Him. And His word reminded me to suffer well.
…but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.Romans 5:3
Oh Paul, there you go again bringing some serious truth. Life between two gardens will have suffering. This is a fundamental truth of life. But, it is in the suffering, when we suffer well, that grows our perseverance.
Our perseverance strengthens our character.
Our strengthened character will bring hope.
Everything is a mess and there is hope. Hope. Hope for the next steps. Hope for the greater plan. Hope for tomorrow. Hope.
I needed this reminder. I needed this truth to speak right to my heart. If you need this too, I pray you feel the peace that comes in the hope that is brought through our suffering.
Suffering well does not mean that you act like everything is fine.
Suffering well does not mean that you ignore the situation.
Suffering well does not mean that you try to fix it all and be your own superhero.
Suffering well means you lean into the lessons that are coming in this season and allow yourself to feel the feels of it all.
Some of those feels are anger. But you have to move on. I have to move on. I have to show my children and myself that living in the anger hardens your heart and stops you from learning the lessons.
Yes. Suffering is such a bummer. But, the gift of perseverance, character, and hope will make the suffering worth it.
Lean in. Grab a blanket. Hot coffee. Lots of books. Maybe a dog. Warm candles. Whatever gives you a feel of cozy and feel the feels.
Unstaged picture of my favorite space to lean in and feel all the feels.