It was January when I realized I’d been carrying a deep seated bitterness I didn’t even know I had. Offense, more or less. It was March when I first voiced it, April when I first prayed about it, and it was the beginning of May when I looked in the mirror and realized I’m just as beaten up and broken as the ones I’d been holding unwarranted bitterness and offense towards.
See, it wasn’t the kind of bitterness people saw. Not the kind you could see on social media. It was the kind that was nearly undetectable and buried beneath a big grin. I mean, give a girl enough distractions and a few date nights and she’ll ignore the distress in her own heart and even begin to believe everything’s peachy keen.
Except maybe it isn’t. Maybe there’s a searing brokenness staring each one of us in our souls that we overlook because we believe the lie that we’re supposed to be the good example, supposed to find the answers instead of looking to the One who is the answer, and supposed to be some expected version of ourselves that we dream up in our mind.
The last couple of months have been difficult for me, my family and ministry. We have experienced an onslaught of attacks which have caused much heartbreak. During this season, there have been countless opportunities for me to become offended at misunderstood circumstances, deceitful actions of others, and words uttered out of pain and frustration. There have been times where I have given into that temptation and harbored resentment and anger at the very people I love and have been called to serve with.
But can I just say this? Life is hard. It’s brutally difficult and some days it just wrecks you. And then it wrecks you ten times over when you do a hard look in the mirror when you realize half your bitterness stems from the log in your own eye and the other half from all the ways your unspoken expectations don’t play out in spoken reality.
Listen. Offense is a trap; a snare set by the devil to distract us from what really matters, and boy are we stepping on almost every trap the devil is setting right now.
The truth this:
HURT IS INEVITABLE, BUT OFFENSE IS OPTIONAL.
So, I guess I’m just here to tell you that if you’re struggling, it’s okay to need help—and you’re not alone. I’m not the soft spoken, grace giving person I’d like to be. All too often I become the hardened bulldog, the accusatory person, the woman that makes herself out to be a martyr when she’s done one more load of laundry than she had planned, and rarely the woman I want to be.
A few days ago, Pastor Andrew asked me if I had ever heard this quote:
“HOLDING ONTO ANGER IS LIKE DRINKING POISON AND EXPECTING THE OTHER PERSON TO DIE”.
Guys! Ain’t that the truth. You’re the one who ends up feeling sick. So, if thats you, maybe it’s time to let go of your right to be offended? So if you're having a hard time seeing eye to eye in your relationships, if old so-and-so won't hear you out, or if you're discouraged or offended, don't let it ruin your joy or your relationships. Because we can't prove anything to a hardened heart. But we can pray for it. Choose Jesus. Even when that's at the expense of being "right".
Because even when I’m not the gal I want to be, Jesus is always the guy I need him to be, cupping my face with gentle hands, daring me not to stay there in my bitter brokenness but beckoning me into something beyond it: something selfless, soulful, supernatural. Something that dares me to remember He is more. There is more.
And here, when I feel less than, I can still live & love with passion & purpose. I can still stand up and I stand taller when I fall on my knees and prayer.
Lord, only You can take all the anger, pain, frustration, bitterness and hurt and replace it with Your passions and desires. I ask you to teach me how to act with love, joy, patience and grace. Come and show me how to preserve what my anger, bitterness and offense tries to destroy.
Because that’s like nails on a chalkboard to the ears of Satan. And I want to deafen His bitter voice in my heart one wild, radical, loving step at a time.#KingdomKid