Life Will Either Make You Bitter or Better. Choose Better.

About 10 months after we adopted, my husband came home from work to find me in a heap on the kitchen floor.  My eyes were swollen from tears, and the kids had ransacked the house as I held my knees next to a pile of legos.

“I can not do this” I bawled.  “It’s too much.  We’ve ruined our family.”

And he pushed aside a toy truck, and crunched through some Cheerios and sat next to me in the mess.

For a long time he didn’t say a word.  He held my body, and as I cried, he cried too.

I don’t even know what the kids ate for dinner that night.  But I can tell you what happened after we dried our eyes.  My husband sat there with me on the floor and we made a plan.

It wasn’t a huge life plan that was long and drawn out. It was literally a plan of what the next 24 hours were going to look like.  

He stayed home from work the next day and I went to meet with my mentor (who happens to also be my mama:)

As I recounted the story to her of how I had literally lost it on the kitchen floor, she sat back and marveled at the fact that I had made it 10 months without a breakdown.  Then she said something to me that I will never forget...

Christina, when Brandon got home from work and saw you on the floor, did he yell at you for the messy house and tell you to get up and feed the kids?

“Well, no.  He put everything down and walked over and sat with me.”

Please tell me that you can see how powerful that is?

This is exactly what Christ does for us over and over again.  He sees us in our mess.  He knows that we are on the verge of losing our mind, and what does he do?  Does he yell at us and tell us that we were made for more than that?  And that we should get off our butts and get some work done?

No!  Our God crunches through the Cheerios and sits down with us in our mess.  We do not have to wait till we are cleaned up and polished to go to him.  

He wants us messy.  

He loves us in our mess.

The reason that my mother is my mentor, is because she is literally one of the best humans I know.

She has endured more pain and heartache than anyone should ever have to, and I have had a front row seat to watch her wade through the muck for as long as it took to come through each story victoriously.  

As we sat there talking about the mess that my life felt like, she reminded me of the saying that her mother taught her and all of us as we were growing up.

Life will either make you bitter or better. Choose better.

You see, when life happens to us, (and it always does), two things happen:

  1. You will change (that is inevitable)
  2. You will choose how you will change

We can either allow our life circumstances to turn ourselves bitter over time, or we can allow them to make us better.

Pain is unavoidable.  How we react to pain is what will define our lives.

I didn’t leave my mom’s house knowing that my day to day life was going to get any easier.  

But, I did leave with renewed hope, knowing that next time I found myself on the floor in a heap, I wouldn’t be alone.  Jesus would be there waiting for me in my mess.

 

Are you brave enough to look at yourself in the mirror without any make-up?  What about post a picture without any filters?  Who is the real you?  Do you like her?

What happens when you don’t like who you see?  That day on the floor of my kitchen I wasn’t even strong enough to look into the mirror. I was so far past that, that all I could do was hold my own knees on my kitchen floor.  

My goal for you today is to read this with a renewed hope of how to rock your bare face and really love that lady staring back at you in the mirror.  Not because you are capable, but because God is capable in you.  This is the good news!!  He doesn’t expect you to do it on your own.

I've got three "A" words to help you start looking at yourself differently today.

1- Admit weakness.

This can mean simply saying it out loud, it can also mean that you need have a conversation with someone is your life and ask for help.

I am not asking you to fix anything yet, just simply to “go there.”

"I cannot bring homemade cupcakes for the harvest party, I do not have that margin right now."

(One thing about getting older is I have noticed that I am much more confident in the things that I am not good at.  It helps me to know where I am weak, and it gives me a new found joy when God brings someone into my life who is good at things I am awful at.)

2- Abandon Comparison.

Comparison will kick you in the teeth and hijack your dreams every time

When I fall into the comparison pit, I am left feeling fearful, inadequate, and lacking confidence.  

When I start comparing myself, it means it is time to start knowing my truth.  If I don’t have any truths that I am feeling particular awesome at, sometimes I just need to know that God created me for a reason, and He has it all worked out. I write verses on 3x5 cards and leave it everywhere.

This is one I have been using lately:

For I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for ME to do. Ephesians 2:10

3- Accept love.  

Just as you are.  Do you even know how much He loves you?  Even if you never did one more thing, Our Father in Heaven will never stop loving you.  He loved you before you knew who He was, and He will continue to love you for all of eternity.

God doesn’t leave us alone in our pain.  While everyone else crosses the street to avoid it, God was the first example and continues to be the best example of literally crossing the street to come into contact with our pain.  He loves you messy.