Losing the security blanket of pain

Have you ever met someone that every time that you have an encounter with her you can pretty much see the sadness, grief, or anger all over her face?  The type of person that has a negative vibe pouring out of them and it’s so powerful that it almost becomes contagious.
Are you that woman?  Do you see that person when you look in the mirror?  Does your family see that in you on a daily basis? Are they tiptoeing around you because there is a very good chance you will raise your voice at them or bring them down in some way?
Yep, that was me, mostly to the people inside my home, unfortunately, but it was me and still me, sometimes!  I’m proud to say it’s not as often as it used to be, but that attitude of cranky “poor me” definitely rears it’s ugly head every so often and it is not attractive!

It is perfectly natural to have feelings of sadness when we are hurt by gossip, physical or emotional abuse or a betrayal of some kind.  I believe that it’s o.k. to grieve for an extended period of time when we go through a divorce or the death of a loved one or even during the empty nest stage of our lives.  We can get very angry at God when things don’t go according to our plan.  If a loved one gets sick or we lose a job and can’t pay our bills, we get bitter and resentful and we tend to wear it, not only on the inside, but on the outside too!   It starts to become the face we wear day after day, it can even become our best friend or security blanket and it’s difficult to let it go. If you’ve seen this in yourself or someone else, you know, it’s not a pretty sight! No amount of beauty products can cover up the look of disdain and unhappiness on our face or even in our body language when we let these negative emotions become WHO we are!

I have so many memories of myself getting so frustrated and angry when my kids were little and they wouldn’t drink their bottle fast enough or get dressed quickly and I was in a hurry to get out the door.  I remember when my little 4 yr old girl was at dance class and she didn’t want to dance in front of the other girls and I would scream at her when we got in the car after class because I was embarrassed (ouch…that’s a painful memory).  Several years ago, I would be so tired from staying up too late or being out too late and drinking too much and I would yell at my kids from the moment we got up in the  morning until the moment they got to school.  If I wouldn’t have changed that, I don’t know what my relationship would look like with my kids today!
I didn’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone in the morning.  I had my own agenda, my own timing and I didn’t want anybody in my way.  My one girlfriend teases me to this day about how I would literally run away from her in the pre school parking lot so that I wouldn’t have to have a friendly conversation.  I was just awful!  Just thinking about the way I acted toward others makes me cringe.  I was happy, laughing and smiling one moment and sad and bitter the next.  It’s no wonder I was eventually mis-diagnosed with bi-polar disorder.  It, in fact, wasn’t bi-polar, it was simply a very lonely, bitter soul clinging on to the pain from my low self esteem, the huge mistakes I had made that hurt others, the deaths of my brothers, my marital problems, my financial situation and the lies I told myself about the person I was.  In my mind, I had excuse after excuse to behave this way.

I didn’t address my guilt, regret, shame or bitterness with anyone, really, and I definitely did not hand it over to The Lord, even though he was right there waiting for it all!
My comfort was to hold on to it and wear it as long as I could. I was trying to mask my truth but that truth really was out there for the people I love to see day in and day out.  It pains me so deeply to know that this was the person, the mother, the wife that I used to be.
BUT…I love the BUTS in my stories…I was redeemed!  I learned that I do not have to wear a face of anger, jealousy or sadness forever (and boy was my family thrilled)!  I truly thank God that I have forgiving people in my life and I’ve even learned to forgive myself.
I know now that it was o.k. to hold on to those feelings for a while, but eventually, we need to replace them with God’s grace and everlasting love and hope.  After addressing the emotions that were starting to define me and praying about them, writing about them and speaking about them, I began to feel a sense of relief.  A peacefulness started to come over me and take my heart over.  I started to understand that God is always going to throw road blocks up in front of me and that Satan is sometimes going to attack and get the best of me, that is inevitable.  But now I know that God’s purpose for my life is intentional and if I embrace the heartache as much as I do the joy, then I can wear appropriate emotions on the outside but they will never define me again.

Not all of us are in a faithful spot in our lives.  Maybe you don’t have a strong faith in God and you feel like you’re in a hole that you can’t seem dig your way out of.  Perhaps, you don’t know where to begin or how to start the process of putting the suffering behind you and truly strive to wake up every day literally wearing the glory of God on your face, in your voice and in every part of who you are.  It’s not always easy and it doesn’t all have to happen at once.  There is no magic remedy for being hurt and sad, but there is a new beginning for all of us to relieve ourselves of it!

You’re starting by reading my blog right now and possibly sharing it with another woman in your life that may need it also.  It is vital that we shepherd to one another and through Christ to filter our way through the suffering and make our way to peace, awareness and hope! We are not alone!
After that, perhaps you just download an inspirational app on your phone (ie. Jesus Calling) or you tune in to some Christian music on your way home from work, pick up a devotional at the book store.  Stop by your local church this weekend and see what God wants you to hear, find out what He’s just waiting to pour into your soul.  If none of that is in your comfort zone, just reach out to a faithful friend.  Reach out to someone that you admire and you know she has been through difficult times, but she has found victory in her life rather than being a victim to her circumstances.

We are all in this together!  There are still days when I’m not wearing my joy all over my face.  Every so often I let my sadness creep up and I take it out on others.  That is called being a human being and I know it’s o.k. What’s not o.k. is when we make that our identity and embrace it.  God wants more for us!  He wants you to see that you are beautiful and made in His image.  He wants us all to know that our painful experiences and our sins do not define us, it’s just all a part of our unique story on our journey to salvation!

“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