Bucking Bitter Betty

from giphy.com

I just heard a great podcast by the Sheologians called Bitter Betty. It got me to thinking about a time in my life that was incredibly difficult. It was right before Thanksgiving, and we had just been unexpectedly forced to come back from England, the place we thought we’d be for several years following our time in Korea. I was about 6 months pregnant with our 7th child. When our family arrived back in the United States, we were disappointed, scared, and feeling abandoned, to name a few things. The future was very uncertain, with no initial solid job prospect for my husband since it was in the middle of the school year, and who hires principals in the middle of the school year? I think I can safely say, we were in a tough spot.

Just to set everyone’s minds at rest, the LORD provided for our family in truly amazing ways, but it definitely took time and it was not an easy road that we had to walk. The experience didn’t jade me like it could have, however when anyone would talk about how awesome and wonderful their life was after they came to Christ, I wanted to drop kick them (no worries, I have no idea how to do that, but you get the point). With Jesus, we can have peace and joy, but He never promised an easy, challenge-free road. And if anyone tells you otherwise, please feel free to drop kick them. Ahem. I really wish it were that simple.

Anyway, seeing as we were back to the States before Christmas, you can imagine how stressful that entire situation would be. We had very (very) little cash and nothing coming in. So Christmas was obviously going to be tight. I’ll never forget someone complaining to me about how this person had so many people to buy for, it was so stressful since they had so little time! In that moment, my drop kicking fantasy went into play, and I wanted to reach over and strangle that person (see above GIF to catch a glimpse of my inner thought life at that moment). My thoughts were, “Do you have any idea what STRESSFUL is?” Instead, the LORD helped me to plaster a smile on my face and respond with a simple, “Um hmmm.”

So what does this all have to do with the Sheologian podcast?? I was confronted with my own bitterness that I had been rationalizing as completely understandable. The problem is, that my inner response to this person was far from godly. In my own head, I was one-upping her on the Christmas stress-factor, instead of truly sympathizing with her about having a lot to do. I also wasn’t showing any faith towards God in that moment, choosing not to trust Him about the situation He allowed our family to be in. Instead, I allowed myself to be angry and bitter which manifested itself by my silly drop kicking fantasy. I had a smile on the outside but a raised fist on the inside. I did not have the warm fuzzies in my heart about being back in the States. Granted, there was a whole lot going on and of course, it was understandable how I was feeling. I could definitely have blamed it on hormones. But after I listened to that podcast I realized I was just chalking up my response as a “respectable sin.” Unfortunately, the situation doesn’t matter. My response is what matters.

I don’t want to be a Bitter Betty. Who does? But I think a step in the right direction for avoiding bitterness is first of all, recognizing when we tend to start “going there” and calling it out for what it truly is – sin. And second, asking God for a content heart. Every few seconds. Because that’s what it may take. Just continually asking Him to give you eyes that see His hand in the situation and a heart that trusts even when we can’t see. It’s one of the hardest things to do, but as we all know, anything that’s worth it is something that is hard to do. It costs us. But the price is well worth it.

I hope that we can walk boldly, together, holding each other accountable to counter-cultural contentment. Jesus is there, in the middle of the gray and difficult, ready to bring us through it one way or the other. I just want to give Him my hand and a trusting heart, and set an example for my children to follow. Life doesn’t exempt my kids, or anyone for that matter, from trials. And having a good example on how to handle a tough situation is a priceless gift we can give to them and those around us. It may not cost us greenbacks, but like I said above, yes, it will cost us. I just want to willingly and obediently submit to whatever the will of God may be. He’s worth it.

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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