Bitterness of the Soul

Anger seems to be such a default response in me.  Consequently, I deal with depression, fear, anxiety, addiction.  They go hand in hand.  I constantly battle with bitterness.

I am no longer charming, or young.  I never was tall or good looking.  I’ve never been able to “sell” myself.  I have ear rings and a tattoo mainly for one reason.  I wanted to shout to the world, “accept me for me, not for what you want me to be.”  And have, for most of my life, dealt with the subsequent rejection that ensued.  See, I was the black sheep of my family, always in trouble.  In church, I was the one who asked too many questions, raised too many doubts, didn’t take things by faith.  In school, I didn’t accept authority just because of their position.  Respect was something you earned from me.  Friendship, trust, were things that were not given to many.  What seems so laughable to me is that I was accepted by many, part of many groups,  but always as one on the fringes.  I was a jock but not one that excelled, in the clique but not.   I was a brain but of lesser intelligence.  I was a druggie that no one ever saw take drugs.   I was on the fringes but too close to the cliques to be a real part of the fringe element too.  Friends with everyone but friends with no one all at the same time.

So much bitterness has come from this, and I think I was not alone in this.  I turn that bitterness on God.  Every lost opportunity, every chance that I didn’t take, was because He wouldn’t let me in.  “Yes, you can be a Christian, but I can’t really use you for anything great.  You just don’t fit the mold.”

Now, the reality is that many who are in leadership are looking for a type.  Young, charismatic, super-talented, years of experience wrapped up in someone who just graduated.  I had been told that, even at the age of 30, I was too old.  Now, some 21 years later, I am done for sure and no one will even listen to me.  I have been told that, should I take a more public role, it would actually hurt the efforts to attract the younger crowd.  Statistics are quoted, there is documented evidence.

And with all that, I can’t walk away.

See, the God that I serve doesn’t look on the outside.  He looks at my heart.  He sees past all the anger and fear and calls me to walk with Him.  And He isn’t done with me yet.  Amazingly, He is still in the business of using me even though I fight Him so much.  He knows my issues and has decided that I shouldn’t be tossed, I have a purpose in His kingdom.  I can’t fathom this because I have actually made a pretty concerted effort to get Him to reject me too.  Bitterness does that.

He just continues to love me, to heal my brokenness, to hold me to Himself.

I don’t think I’m alone in this.  I have a feeling that there are many, many people who feel the way I do.

Bitterness be gone.  I’m choosing to trust….and rest.


3 thoughts on “Bitterness of the Soul

  1. You are not alone. Hugz, luv, and many blessings! Bitterness be gone in the name of Jesus! Lord help him to keep his struggling hands at his side as you take control and move him ever so close to you. Let him not fret over his life journey or over this world we find ourselves in. Instead, let him find the simply joy of being still and knowing you’re God…the great I am. The one who has over come the world! The same one that can help him overcome his frailties. The one who freely grants us peace and rest. God, please, let him claim this for his self. Help him find his true worth in you, by letting your spirit take root and bloom inside of him. Give him divine discernment to see his self the way you see him. I ask all these blessing in Jesus name. Amen.

  2. Wow! There is so much in this one, Matthew. First, I guess, I want to tell you that maybe you were the ‘black sheep’ in the family, but our family was so screwed up that, for me now, I choose to look at you as just reacting to all that was there that none of us handled in good ways, just the best ways we knew how to at the time. I have good memories of you doing heroic things for me and, yet realize that, even in those heroic things, there was bitterness and anger. But see, Matthew, I know that if I can look back and say, which I do, that you were such a great brother; so many times your intentions were good and I loved the talks we used to have, etc, etc–if I can look back with great love and tenderness towards you, imagine how God looks at you!! That’s the exciting thing!

    As for people quoting statistics, etc to tell you you are too old to serve now–statistics can be manipulated to mean what the person quoting them wants to believe. For instance, I’m told by well-meaning pastors and Christians that 75% of children who accept Jesus when they are young will reject Him when they get older, so what’s the point of working with children? It’s a wasted effort. And, Matthew, as far as the age thing, I’ll be 54 in less then 2 weeks. I’m definitely too old to just be starting working with children. But God doesn’t look at statistics or age. Somehow He has something for you–maybe you’re already doing it, but it’s not how you pictured it, so it doesn’t feel like it could be right. I’ve been going through a horrific time out here where it looks like I could lose so much ministry that I’ve been working on for the last couple of years. How can that be what God wants?! And I struggle, too, with trusting Him. “Was this all a cruel joke–to let me work and love kids for the last 2 years and then just take it all away?” But God IS faithful!! He WILL provide a way through this. I KNOW this to be true! In my devotions today, I was reading a book by Amy Carmichael called ‘Candles in the Dark’–really good. She was talking about Gideon and his ‘whys’ and she said in parenthesis, “Why is one person allowed to do such serious harm to His work”, which struck me so powerfully. The ‘whys’ are not answered, but she goes on to say,”So I will trust that the greatest of all miracles will be wrought once more. The humanly impossible will become the divinely possible, to the greater praise of His glory. The exceeding greatness of His power to you who believe will be made manifest. But you will need a very quiet mind, a restful mind; so I will ask for this, as well as strength of body, that you will go peacefully from one thing to the next–LED BY HIS GENTLENESS.”
    A restful mind is hard for me–perhaps for you, too, but I will pray this for you as you seek Him. I love you, Matthew. Thanks for the courage to share what may not always be well-accepted to share. Thank you for your heart!

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