This past week has been pretty hard for our family. Ty’s being slammed at work, Flint is fussier than usual, we’re starting the church search again, and we’re having very heavy criticism on how we’ve decided to parent.
It’s that last one that really drains us the most. Every night we pray for our family, we pray for Flint’s future, whatever it may hold, and we pray that God would give us wisdom in how we raise him. I believe that the way we’ve chosen to raise Flint is the best way for us: he’s on a schedule, he sleeps almost the whole night through, he doesn’t have a lot of toys, I constantly read to him, we use cloth diapers, etc. But when someone repeatedly comes to you and tells you that the things you are doing are wrong and even ungodly, just because it’s not how they did it, is super painful. No matter how much confidence I have in what we are doing, it still makes me feel like a really crappy mom.
So to say that I’ve cried a little bit in the past week would be an understatement. It would be so easy for me to hold this in my heart and let it boil. I mean, how unbelievably insensitive and rude to say that to someone! Everything in me wants to replay these conversations in my head and find their every little flaw and tear them down inside my mind. But I know that if I am constantly reliving these hurtful moments I’m only going to harbor bitterness against these friends. Was what they said right or kind in any way? No, but I need it erased from my mind. These people are a permanent fixture in our lives and it is essential to us that Flint has a relationship with them, so I can’t let bitterness take hold.
When you find yourself in a situation like this, where you hear yourself retelling the story or mulling it over in your mind before you go to bed, STOP! Yes, work through the issue. Talk to your spouse or a friend/parent about it. Figure out how to separate the truth from the lies in the situation and then LET IT GO. Maybe this is foolish, but I honestly pray that God would erase my mind of the memory. Not like I have a great memory in the first place, so it’s probably not that hard to erase it. 🙂 There are some situations that will always be with you. Like I will always remember the pain from when my father left our family, but I am so thankful that I don’t remember the little details. That I don’t harbor bitterness against him and that I can love him wholeheartedly without a little shadow in the back of my mind constantly whispering to me the hurtful things that were said or done. Forgiving and forgetting isn’t exactly realistic. But forgiving and choosing to let go is.
Every day you have a choice. Are you going to forgive this person again, because it IS a daily choice to make, or are you going to hold yourself higher than them and hold on tightly to their mistakes? If you choose the latter, you’re poisoning yourself.
Pray that God will let you see the big picture and not be clouded by hurtful circumstances.
Bitterness is a joy sucker. Don’t let it have a foothold in your life!