I’m venting. Be forewarned. Because I’m a writer I tend to process with words and sometimes those words aren’t pretty. I promise I’m not trying to bring you down with me. I just need to let off some steam.
Because I REALLY hate what we’re going through right now.
I hate that I’m capable of a raging outbursts that my kids think are funny but which serve no great purpose for me except to blow off everything that’s been boiling inside.
I hate that my parents might find me curled up in the fetal position when they get here later tonight because the house is messy, the kids won’t listen and I don’t have enough left in me to care what anyone thinks.
I hate that going to the grocery store stresses me out and I used to enjoy it.
I hate that when a woman in front of me is one bad decision away from not being able to buy her food, instead of compassion for her situation I think, “Oh, God, please don’t let that ever be me.”
I hate that I yell at my kids for stupid stuff like spilling a small amount of milk while trying to be independent and pour themselves a glass. Have I become the sort of person who values less than a half a cup of milk more than my child’s intentions and feelings?
I hate that I’m not sleeping well at night. And I’m drinking too much coffee. And I’m escaping into novels so I don’t have to deal with reality for a few hours.
I hate that I can’t see how much I’m blessed because all I can think about is what I don’t have.
I hate that I pout when the pizza crust doesn’t turn out like I like it and that I’m more concerned with how my food tastes than being grateful that I have food to eat.
I hate that a small thing–like not being able to find my husband’s social security card the day he starts a new job–escalates into a big thing because my stress level is off the charts.
I hate that I want to throw all our stuff into the front yard with a big “FREE” sign and start over.
I hate that I sometimes regret having kids because it’s hard and I wonder if it’s worth it and then there’s the people I know who struggle to get pregnant or can’t have kids and I’m sickened by my selfishness.
I hate that I’m full of so much hate toward my circumstances, and even God sometimes, and I wonder if I really believe His promises or if He is my God only when times are good.
I hate that I can’t live in this moment and learn from it, that I just want to escape it.
And most of all, I hate that the truth hurts and yet it is still truth.
Truth like this from a Donald Miller talk my husband was listening to on a podcast: A good story contains lots and lots of conflict. My life is too painful to be meaningless.
And this, from Psalm 38:
Your hand presses hard upon me.
O Lord, You know all my desires, and my sighing is not hidden from you.
My strength has failed me.
In You, O Lord, have I fixed my hope; you will answer me, O Lord my God.
And these words from Psalm 37 that overtake my hate and my doubt yet still I wrestle with them:
Put your trust in the Lord and do good.
Dwell in the land and feed on its riches.
Take delight in the Lord and he shall give you your heart’s desire.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.
I might hate this, but I can’t escape it, and I can’t say what I’ll look like on the other side. Melted, refined, broken. Everything of value–gold, silver, diamonds–passes through some kind of testing and the end result is more beautiful than the start.
This, this, is my hope in the pressing times. That like a grape, crushed and squeezed and left to sit, my life will become something sweet and intoxicating. Like a caterpillar that dies to its former life of crawling on the ground and becomes something wholly new that soars.
I do not want this yet I must embrace it.
And today I will celebrate that even in the pain, I am alive.
That help is literally on the way. (My parents are coming for the weekend.)
That my husband is taking me to breakfast in the morning, and maybe to a movie this weekend. (Because generous friends have given us money to use “for fun.”)
That my kids will fall asleep tonight and all the stress of the day will evaporate.
That there is a God in heaven who hears and sees and that our lives will, in some small way, reveal Him to others.
That what I see and feel and hear are not all there is to life.
That God is always up to something.
And I am not in control.
And sometimes I just need the comfort of words.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26