Maybe some days I just want to be angry about the things that have happened to me that I didn’t deserve. The ugly things. The things that broke my heart again. The times I was disrespected. Misunderstood. Ignored.

Forget the past, I’m talking about what happened today. Every day I can pick out a laundry list of offenses and unfair burdens that other, more privileged people don’t seem to have to suffer.

I am entitled to my anger, my bitterness, my disappointment and fear and shame. Sometimes I go ahead and treat myself to those emotions, taking bites of them and savoring like they were succulent desserts. It’s a comfortable trip through the buffet line and my plate is huge.

There’s a problem with such a rich diet though. It leaves me with terrible indigestion. My body fills with bile and gallstones block the passage of goodness in my life. My just desserts end up ruining my spiritual figure.

Did you read a self help book that told you to make a list of your blessings so you can be grateful for them? Take that list and tear it up and throw it away. Now start thanking God for the shit storm you just had to walk through. Tell him you are grateful for the hard places and the struggles and the tears. If it doesn’t feel good the first time you say it, say it again and again until it starts to feel different.

Until the bitterness and the bile starts to drain out and I fill up with peace and strength and grace.

And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purposes.

You intended to harm me but God intended it for good.

I give thanks in ALL circumstances.

I consider it pure joy whenever I face trials of many kinds.

Did I think these were just platitudes? Do I cling to my righteous indignation, enjoying my victimhood and hoping others will feel sorry for me while I simultaneously spout Scripture telling me to do the opposite?

No more, Tina. Take a lesson from Alanis Morissette about being thankful in all circumstances.

Because here’s the thing. What am I learning from my difficulties that will prove invaluable to me? Isn’t that what I should be focusing on instead of feeling sorry for myself?

Image courtesy of Nick Schumacher

Written by Tina Gasperson

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