One source describes bitterness as being “angry, hurt, or resentful because of one’s bad experiences.” Another defines it as, “resulting from or expressive of severe grief, anguish, or disappointment.” Maya Angelou even goes as far as comparing bitterness to cancer because it eats away at you.
I think we all struggle with bitterness at some point in life whether we are bitter at a person or with a situation or just life in general. Let me tell ya, this past week I was extremely bitter. Not at God or any person, but my crappy situation!! Bitterness steals your joy, your contentment, your peace. Finally, yesterday I was tired of it! I thought this is not who I am. I am a joyful, positive person and I am done with this bitterness. Layne wouldn’t want this situation to take away those important traits of who I am. So..I wrote in my prayer journal why I am bitter. I wrote over 5 pages!! That’s a lot of bitterness, people. Then I prayed that I give all those things I am bitter about to God because that is a lot to carry on my own. I felt so much lighter and at peace once I did that. There’s too many to share, but here’s a few:
“I’m bitter because I had a happy future planned with Layne- our dream wedding, where we would build our house, our cattle operation, our kids’ names, taking them to church every Sunday and Wednesday, future vacations with Holly and Aaron, everything.. and now I will never get that, at least not with Layne. I’m bitter because everyone’s lives have picked up and moved on, but I am stuck at a weird place trying to figure out how to move forward and sort through my emotions of sorrow and loneliness. I’m bitter that Layne isn’t here to comfort me and make me feel better, or to watch Netflix and get late-night snacks, or to travel or try new restaurants with me… Most of all, I’m bitter because my best friend is gone and I was promised forever with him!!”
I challenge you to think of some things you are bitter about. What bitterness do you need to give up to God, so you can experience peace and joy? If that is something you feel you need to do, here is the prayer I prayed: “Lord, I give up all my bitterness to you. I am DONE being bitter! I can be sad or upset, but no more bitterness. Give me joy, peace, and contentment that only you can give! Amen.”
*I then started looking up verses about bitterness that lead me to Job. This week I will be writing about Job, and how we can use our struggles to honor God.*