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Daily Ramblings | Trading Bitterness for Joy

**This particular blog post is written in reference to friendships and family relationships. This should not be applied to a spouse or your marriage. 

I'm not sure when it happened, but I recently realized that I have a bitter streak in me. One that I do not like. In fact, I despise it. It rears its head every now and then, and I can never seem to catch it before it happens. On the other hand, I'm not very good at avoiding situations which cause it to rise up either. The only way to get rid of it is to trade it in for something else, because I will inevitably be in this world until my Lord calls me home. I've tried to get rid of this bitterness before, but because I didn't fill the void it left, it just eased its way right back into my life.

Through out my life I've been a pretty strong girl. I didn't have a horrible childhood or rebellious tween years. Though, I did make a few mistakes in early adulthood. All in all, my life has been pretty well rounded. And even now, I couldn't ask for a better life -- I have an amazing husband and an adorable little boy. But that isn't to say that I haven't had my fair share of badly dealt cards.

In recent months I've found myself down and out. I've found myself not being me. I was lethargic, worrisome, angry, bitter, weak, quick to snap and stuck in a large rut when it came to my relationship with Christ. I could never pinpoint the reasoning as to why I felt the way I did. This wasn't me, at all, and I had to figure out what was going on. I was stuck. Click here to

There are things that happen in our lives that we can't change. And many of those things are, or include, human beings. They are, essentially, the only thing on this entire earth that can hurt your emotions. Material objects can't hurt your soul. Animals can bring your joy or sadness, but they can't intentionally hurt you. In many cases, people don't realize they are intentionally hurting someone until it has been done. And in some cases, they may never know how they've made someone feel.

What happens when someone hurts you, continuously? You turn the other cheek, right? But at some point, the answer becomes... "move on".

This answer has been something that's echo'd in my ear for the past 3 weeks. I've talked to my husband countless times about it, and each time I feel a little more peaceful. I've talked to God about it even more, and every time His voice is firm and steady, saying, "it's time to let go and go forward".

"Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them." Titus 3:10 NIV

It's time for me to leave behind the hurts and pains, to remove myself from situations and relationships that I cannot change. Otherwise, I won't grow in my own relationship with God, because I simply can't let go. My neighbor said to me a few weeks ago, "You can't save the world. No matter how hard you try, you can't fix everyone. You'll die trying." But someone did die to save the world; our Savior. I can't save the world. I can't even save an individual. But I can certainly place it in God's hands, do what He asks me to do, and then at some point it's time to move on. The funny thing is, all things work together for His good. And while I'm letting go of one relationship, He's already lining up another person for me to minister to. A friend who is searching, trying to find their place. Someone who is reaching out to me....for whatever reason that might be.

Some of us are seed planters, but it doesn't always mean we'll water those same seeds. Sometimes, it's time to move to the next friendship or family relationship and trust that God will complete the work that He has started in the relationship that you're letting go of. Sometimes we have to let go, simply for the fact that if we don't, it will completely hold us back from the things that God has in store for our lives.

"...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6 NIV

You see, we weren't put on this earth to be best friends with everyone. We weren't even put on this earth to have lifetime friendships. We were put on this earth to preach the gospel, to bring glory to His name, to 'go to the ends of the earth' and share the love of Christ. And if that creates long term friendships with like minded believers, so be it.

Today I'm trading my bitterness for joy, my weakness for strength, and my sorrows for a renewed spirit. Today I choose to embrace the peace that has been resting on my life for several weeks now. The peace that I needed to embrace and accept, even though I second guessed myself so many times. Without peace, I can't move forward. I'll only walk in the same place, like on a treadmill, for the rest of my life, never letting go of the people that I can't help. The people who need someone to water their seed, not just another seed planter. The sad fact is that I've worn my welcome out....I wore it out a long time ago. And because of my own fear of letting go, I hindered their relationship with Christ versus helping them grow it.

There comes a time when we must decrease in people's lives so that God can increase. Because the sad reality is that we may, at some point, become their stumbling block or crutch versus their encouragement and hope. Not because of anything that we're doing wrong, but simply for the fact that it is long overdue for us to move on and let them spread their wings.

Today I choose to let go of my bitterness; my bitterness against God, against myself, and against others. And I choose to fill that empty space with joy. Because the joy of the Lord is far more amazing than earthly joy and love that is tainted and conditional.

Today, I choose....and I choose to let go.
If you ever feel as though a friendship or family relationship is coming to an end, then I encourage you to pray about it fervently. What might be God's will for my life, may not be His will for yours. Each person has a different story. Many times we become weary of doing a good work. Do not confuse becoming weary with thinking it's time to end a relationship and move on. You will certainly be able to tell the difference through the conviction of the Holy Spirit and through much prayer if you put your emotions to the side. 

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