Less Bitter, More Glitter!
We’re about to get real, y’all! Several months ago the Lord pointed out how negative and nasty my mind had become. I was turning into a bitter and cynical mess of a person who worried over every little detail. I made mole hills into mountains and truthfully let things that did not matter eat me alive. I worried over things I couldn’t control and criticized everything that crossed my path. I was no longer counting my blessings and had lost all my joy, but how? And how didn’t I realize I had a shovel in my hand digging this pit?
Most of my life I have been a make it work, it’ll be fine, life is all about the little joys type of person. I saw the best in people and was hopeful in all situations. I was thankful for all of the little mercies that the Lord provided and I laughed all the time. And yet, here I stood, as broody and unhappy as could be and I didn’t realize what I had become until the Lord got a hold of me.
Not only did I not realize what I had become, looking back I couldn’t tell you when this slippery slope started. There wasn’t any major, catastrophic event that led to this moment. In fact, I realized, like with any bad habit, it started as just a little seed of an issue. I was unhappy with some situations at work, which festered into being unhappy with work as a whole, which grew into frustration with people at church and friends and family and the person in line at the grocery store and the kid on the scooter two doors down. I let my emotions dictate my reality and I let a bad five minutes become a bad day and a bad day become a bad month until I was stuck in the downward spiral of angsty bleakness.
I let others feed into my feelings and Lord knows I fed into theirs. I liked that they reinforced my opinions and I began looking for the issues in my world. I expected people to fail me or disappoint in some way and when you are looking that hard people will definitely live up to those expectations. I allowed my feelings to dig me into a pit of pity…a pit of why MEs?
I started to blame my attitude and feelings on my circumstances which is just a load of bull because let me tell you my circumstances were (and are) just fine. In fact, compared to other moments of my life I was cruising along an easy path and yet this is probably the most ridiculous my attitude has been since my teenager years.
So how did the Lord get my attention, you ask? It was through a man which is ironic because I felt many of my so-called problems stemmed from my singleness. I would like to tell you that this was the man of my dreams who waltzed into my life and change my view of self but that is more like a novel and less like reality.
In truth, the Lord allowed my path to cross with a very attractive and more importantly, very godly man. A man who has a lot of the qualities I find appealing but has probably never given me a second thought.
So naturally, I was having a little pity party with God asking him why he hasn’t provided someone as wonderful as Mr. X and why I have to wait and why all these other people have lived these terribly disobedient lives and they are rewarded with a husband (or two) and children and a nice house and a fancy car and here I am waiting patiently for nothing. (Side note: This shows how truly warped my sense of sin is because I deserve NOTHING and who am I to question God on how he blesses me? Comparison will kill you!)
I ran my mouth for a good hour before going to bed that night and fell asleep quite content that the Lord would surely see my point of view and rectify the situation. I went to work the next morning without a single thought to the previous night’s temper tantrum and with the same crappy outlook. However, smack dab in the middle of my marketing lecture the Lord hit me with one thought, “Mr. X doesn’t deserve you.”
Now, I have heard similar words of wisdom from the Father before but this time it nearly took my breath away because I knew this was not my Daddy comforting me by saying, “I’m saving you for someone better. This man doesn’t deserve someone as fabulous as you.” But rather the Lord was saying that this man didn’t deserve to be STUCK with someone like me. This is a good and godly man who deserves a Proverbs 31 woman and you sure aren’t acting like one.
I saw myself as I truly was and I realized I wouldn’t want to date me OR be friends with me OR have to deal with me at work. I had somehow become the very thing I used to hate. I knew I wanted to be in God’s will but I was real unhappy about what his will actually contained. I had also subconsciously decided that I would act appropriately when I got the stuff I wanted. He kindly pointed out that if I was wanting to attract a godly husband who would help build a godly marriage and raise godly kids I should probably get my act together and start acting like a godly woman.
A husband, job, house, car or experiences will not make you content because the hole you are trying to fill is not shaped like anything but the Father’s presence. Does he bless us with these amazing things? Sometimes, but they are blessings on top of the many joys the Lord has already provided by being our Father. (Psalm 8:4)
So what changed? Nothing and everything. All of my angsty “issues” are still there. Same job, house, car and singleness. I didn’t have a “Congratulations on figuring it out! Here’s your prize!” moment where all my desires were magically fulfilled but in reality everything has changed.
I begged the Lord to throw me a rope because the pit was too deep to escape on my own and you know, being the loving Father he is, he did just that! He changed my heart attitude and the desires for my life. He started waking me up around 5:30 every morning which is a nice hour earlier than I’ve EVER gotten up for work. After a week of that you decide to start being more productive with your time. (You’re also too tired at night to scroll through social media being jealous of what others have that you want.) I am deeper in the word than I’ve been in ages and my prayer time is more intentional. He has flooded my days with little joys and “aha moments” that may have been there all along but I was too sullen to notice. He has put people in my life to hold me accountable for my attitude and visa versa. Do I still want all of these things? Yes, I do but I can now lift up Daniel 3:18 in truth and confidence. “If not, he’s still good.”
So, now I’m working to sprinkle glitter wherever I go because ultimately I am a reflection of Christ to the world around me regardless of how I feel and I need to be an accurate reflection!
Have you ever tried to have a life altering, in-depth conversation with the Lord in the midst of lecturing a room of teenagers? It’s real difficult!
Thanks Mr. X for unknowingly letting the Lord use your life to speak truth to people, most especially me! Proof that the testimony you began building thirty years ago can impact people far beyond your wildest understandings.