This post was written a couple of months ago when I was struggling so much with the place God has me.
Lately, I have been a ball of emotions. I feel like I am riding a roller coaster...going up, up, up only to free-fall down. Encouragement comes and then I find myself desperately trying to crawl out of a hole. Life looks up when Bubs and Little Man are manageable. But once their "issues" kick in, I find myself discouraged and wanting to hide. Can you relate?
And within my ball of emotions is anger. Anger towards my children and unexpecting people.
While trying to figure it all out, the Holy Spirit lead me to a big revelation. He helped me realize that my anger isn't toward my children or these other people. They are simply the outlet for my anger. My anger is at God.
I am mad at God. I am mad because He has wrecked my dreams.
You want to know something that makes me even more mad? My dreams are not bad. In accurately, my dreams are very honorable.
From a young age, my dream was to have the "Walton" family. I dreamed of sitting down to family devotions. Going camping. Serving neighbors and those in need. I envisioned our family of six sitting down to meals while everyone talked about their day and laughed over the memories. We loved to spend time together and I loved being a stay-at-home mom. In my mind, discipline was consistency and boundaries. While our kids would test these, I would hold the boundaries firm which would help them obey and feel safe.
The problem is that my dreams aren't matching up with God's plans for me and my family.
In actuality, we have two children with special needs. While they are on the opposite ends of the spectrum, the behaviors that they each struggle with have crushed my dreams. I can't talk to my son after school to find out about his day because he doesn't have the language processing skills to make sense of his day. We can't go camping because Little Man is a runner and has no impulse control. We can't have peaceful meals because of behavior issues. It doesn't matter how consistent and firm our boundaries are, the boys do not have control over their actions and senses.
I see other families who don't have challenging children. Their children don't push boundaries. They don't have hours of therapy each week eating into family time. They Facebook about how much they love playing family games and talking with their children about the happenings of the day.
And, I am mad at God. He has messed up my perfect world.
And this anger is teetering on bitterness.
It is the anger and bitterness that is robbing me of laughter, joy, and peace. It is causing me to feel defeated and depressed. It is keeping me from being a part of God's plan. And it is pressing me to reject God's grace in my life.
I read a thought by Nicole Unice in her book She's Got Issues concerning my emotions that hit me hard.
My pastor once told me that he believes every woman either becomes beautiful or bitter by the time she's forty. What he meant is that women either face their stuff or they don't. Women make choices either to do what is necessary to keep as much control as possible, or to work hard to understand what is in their control and what must be entrusted to God. If they face it they heal, they forgive--they tend to radiate an inner beauty that reflects Christ in them... If women don't face their struggles they become bitter --holding onto the issues and spewing them onto others like germs.I am standing at a fork in the road. I can choose to take the road most traveled - wallow in my situation. While this road looks smooth at the beginning, it will lead to full bitterness, misery, and defeat. Or, I can choose to take the road that looks hilly, rocky, and rough. But in the end leads to the center of peace and joy.
My head knows that God has placed me in the situation that He desires for me to be. I know that God has a beautiful plan for our family. I know that God's promises of hope, a future, and peace are all true. (Jer 29:11)
But my heart is struggling because I am exhausted and want to throw in the towel. I want instant success instead of running "with endurance the race God has set before us." (Hebrews 12:1)
Praise God that He is bridging the gap between my head and heart. I don't want to be bitter. I want to be beautiful because of the Lord. I want to stop trying to control what I don't have the ability to control. My hearts desire is to be "content [in]whatever the circumstances [because] I can do all things through him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:11, 13)
Will you join me on this journey?
UPDATE: Sonya shared a wonderful article "Welcome to Holland" concerning raising special kiddos. It is very short but should be read by all.
This is the first post on dealing with anger and bitterness. Tomorrow we will begin digging deeper into this issue so that we can become beautiful.
Are you dealing with anger and bitterness? Are these feelings appropriately directed?