Monday, November 12, 2012

Birthday Surprise. It's Denise!

Hello there. Today's guest blogger is none other than my cousin Denise. She's no stranger to the Birthday Surprise tradition, and you can read her post "Trials and Adoration" here. Denise is one of the few people that I can trust and say is a woman of her word. May her story inspire and encourage you to choose contentment over bitterness.
[photo credit]

Bitterness and Contentment
It was 3:30 am again. I had to be up for work in a couple of hours and my head was throbbing, I was wide awake and I was losing all hope of falling asleep again. Laying there, staring into the darkness of my bedroom, thoughts began to swim through my head, and then, the tears came, burning my tired eyes. This was starting to become a daily thing. I couldn't stand it anymore. My life had been turned upside down and it felt like it had all happened overnight. Was this really happening? Was I still dreaming? Please God, let me fall back to sleep so I can wake up and this nightmare can be over.

Except it wasn't a nightmare, it was very real. I had lost my mother, and my father was marrying a much younger woman, even younger than I. Too many things were happening around me that I could not control. And every time I thought one trial had finished, another one immediately took its place. Everything was spinning out of control and I couldn't make it stop. The truth was, I couldn't stop it, not any of it. This was my new life and I was going to have to live with it, or stay miserable, stressed out, broken and wounded. The good news is that there was a way out and I knew it. I realized that the one who saved me, the one who had been there for me through everything, was still there. My God, who loved me dearly, was waiting with His arms wide open. He would be my comfort, my strength, my sanity.

Everything happened so fast, I should have been grieving but instead I was dealing with things beyond my control. There were times when my emotions took hold of me and I could barely breathe. I realized that if I let my emotions continue to control me, I wouldn't be able to breathe again.

More than any other emotions, what took over me the most was bitterness and anger. I think what shocked me was how quickly it all had happened. I didn't understand why or how it was happening, I just wanted someone to make it stop. However, deep down, I knew that all of this would be used for God’s glory. 

I felt like I couldn't trust anyone else on this earth. My real father was my God. He loved me more than anything. Isaiah 43:1-4, became my passage during this time.

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.” ~Isaiah 43:1-4

I have a God who loves me and I couldn’t be more content in that thought. He loves me dearly. He can get me through anything. He was more real to me than He ever had been. He did not want me to be bitter and resentful. By holding onto my emotions and feeling bitter towards those around me, I was only hurting myself. No one else was losing sleep over this except me. But most of all it was hurting my testimony. How could I show the love of Christ and be an example to others if all they saw in me was sadness and anger. This is not the way God wants me to feel. It wasn’t easy but by staying in the word of God and keeping an open relationship with Him, everything became better. He spoke to me and comforted me tremendously. I was His daughter, His princess.  I was able to sleep at night and my bitterness slowly melted away. I was able to face things I never thought I would be able to face before and I was able to come home at night and actually enjoy being there. My situation did not change but my attitude toward it did.

We need to be content in all our circumstances. They are there to mold us and make us stronger. I heard a pastor use this analogy this week, he mentioned that when he was a child, his mother would bake and she would have all the ingredients laid out on the counter. He proceeded to try each one, the sugar, the oil, the flour, etc. He said he remembers trying each ingredient one by one. Individually, they tasted horrible, they were not appetizing at all. But when his mother put the ingredients together and baked them, they were delicious. When we look at each of our circumstances individually, they seem horrible, they are not good, but when you look at your life as a whole, these are the things that have made you who you are today, they have made something good.

In the end, I learned that I need to praise God no matter what, whether I am up or down. He loves me and knows what is best for me, even if I don’t understand it. He suffered for me, more than anything I will ever go through on this earth. If there is a situation that you are in that you feel you can’t control, surrender it to God, let Him handle it. If there is a person that you need to forgive, pray for them. You will be surprised at how much your attitude and heart changes toward a person when you are asking for God to work in them. Most of all, never stop worshiping Jesus. He loves you.

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” ~ Colossians 3:12-15

No comments:

follow me