I was on the treadmill when my husband, who had been playing with the kids outside, walked upstairs and blurted, “I just accepted a job!”
“You did what?” I gawked stopping the treadmill. He had had several interviews, but I didn’t think we were at the accepting stage.
Jason had been so excited about this possibility and, having a hard time hearing on the phone, just ended up taking the job–before getting all the little details! He didn’t really mean to accept the job on the spot. It just happened. I actually thought that was hilarious! But as details started coming in that were different from what we had originally thought, I had concerns. My husband had made up his mind, however, and that was the end of it. It wasn’t that I thought he shouldn’t take the job, just that I thought we should consider everything first. I felt completely left out of the decision making process.
It hurt my feelings! I wallowed in those feelings, and I don’t recommend it! Wallowing is not helpful–at all!
And so one day he came home from his new job very discouraged. It was then that I realized exactly how bitter I had become over the whole thing. Instead of encouraging him, I let him have it. All of my pent up feelings came rushing out in angry words. There I stood in the middle of the kitchen surrounded by all of our children. When I ran out of words, I threw my dish towel on the counter and rushed out of the room proclaiming that I was going out to eat. Food makes everything better right? Ha!
Jason came into the room telling me that he and the children were going with me. “Give me five minutes.” I told him, “I’m so mad right now I could claw your eyes out!” Wow! Had I really just said that?
It’s amazing what can happen in 5 minutes when you come before the Lord! “…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34. How badly I had handled the situation. My mouth spewed evil because of the evil that I was nursing in my heart and not because of anything my husband did or didn’t do. Then I began to think: what if this was a reason that God allowed things to happen the way they did? What if it was to test me, to show me my own sinfulness? How badly I had failed!
I finished getting ready, and we all went to lunch and had a lovely time. In fact everyone was on their best behavior! Later that evening the kids were crafting around the table, and I took the time to apologize to everyone. “And wow you guys behaved perfectly at the restaurant!” I bragged.
“That’s because I thought you were getting a divorce,” said one of the kids.
“What? No we’re not getting a divorce! What would make you think that?”
“I’ve never seen you so mad at Daddy!”
Aww. To think that I had caused that pain and uncertainty in my child broke my heart again.
And so I’m reminded again that life is not about me. Decisions will be made that I don’t like. Bad things will happen. But I have a choice. I can live for God and others and find joy in the midst of circumstances or I can believe Satan’s lie and wallow in self-pity, living life for me and be angry and bitter. I pray the next time I make the right choice!
Making Our Life Matter says
What a great post. It really gives me food for thought! Have a nice week. I finally crawled out of my hole, and plan to get back into regular blogging!
Crystal Green says
Wow!! Thank you so much for sharing this. You stepped on my toes a bit with this post, but it was something I needed.
Oh. my. word! You followed me on Twitter & I have no idea how you found me. So, I checked your website and found this post. I can SO RELATE! I wrote about words this week too. And, sister, let me tell you…after 30 years of marriage, I STILL say things I shouldn’t say. But I so thankful we have a heavenly father and earthly husbands and kids that forgive. Hugs to you! Have a great weekend.
So true, so true!
You are right, holding on to the pain is not worth it. I am surprised I have not yet exploded about a few things with my husband… (Sometimes I think it would be better to get it out in the open though!)
For a long time where we live was a sore spot. I mean, he told me he was going to a land auction and the next thing I knew we were living right next to his parents!? But, I’ve gotten past it, mostly. 🙂
Your kids weren’t just being good because they thought y’all were getting a divorce. They were being good because they thought they could change the outcome of the situation, solely by their behavior.
(Been there, done that.)
Crystal @ Serving Joyfully says
I’ve been there, and God has brought that verse to my mind many times. How very often the words that come out of my mouth reflect so much sin sickness in my heart 🙁 How sad for your sweet little one as well. So often my kids say something innocent like that, and it just stops me in my tracks. God speaks to me through them so often.
Isn’t it amazing how much our children can make us realize the consequences of our own behavior? Sometimes, that can really be a helpful reminder. I hope things improve with your husband’s job.
I’ve been there–making that choice to hold on to bitterness until it explodes, not just in my husband’s face, but in everyone’s face–including my own. I’m glad you were able to realize what was happening in your heart and turned to God to help you recover and humbly apologize, Esther. It’s amazing the power a humble response can bring to those moments. Great post, as always, my friend!
I have those moments when I lash out- but then they pass.
Jen Stults says
We all have those moments, but good for you for taking the time to apologize to your family. You opened the doorway for conversation about feelings that your children wanted , needed, to share with you. Nothing is as convicting as a few words from a child in the midst of a disagreement. I’ve been there before! But I thank God for my children because they often convict me in ways that others cannot. 🙂
scott perkins says
Bitterness comes from unmet and/or false expectations. Not having our self made identity satisfied by our spouse. Hanging on – as you aptly pointed out. Thanks for the vulnerable post. http://choosetotrust.com/2013/07/what-is-the-gospel/
Judith at WholeHearted Home says
This is such an honest post. How helpful this is to all of us. Thanks for linking up over at WholeHearted Home. I always love finding your post to read.
Sheila at Longings End says
Thank you for your honesty, Esther. And I know what that feels like having been that way many years ago. And what it feels like to be left out of decisions. And it did lead to a divorce, I am sorry to say, and my children being hurt. How much better to take all our cares to Father first, trusting Him with the outcomes. As we grow closer to Him, our words become more gracious. You have a lovely family. Blessings to all…
God's Character says
This post is so honest and open. I am really touched by it. I recently stopped to realize the importnat of my influence on my family and I have begun to actively pray about it. I wrote a post about it called Someone is always following our Lead. It is so amazing to see you talking about this same thing here.
Great post! I love your transparency! We often hurt people so dear to us but knowing when we’re the one who committed the mistake and feel guilty about it, only means we humble ourselves. When bad and bitter days come, I always remind myself, “This too shall pass…”
Visiting you from the Happy Wives Club Link Up.
I’m sorry to say this but your husband was wrong. He should have talked to you first. In marriage you SHOULD be included in every decision. It wasn’t sinful to be upset about something like that. I agree that waiting and letting it explode out like it did isn’t good but did your husband even apologize to you? Did he even say he was sorry for makinga big decision life that without talking to you first?