As I sit and hold my face in my hands because I got news that did not surprise me, but disappointed me nonetheless, all I could think of was, "my best was not enough."
But before I could play, "Poor Ole Me" on the violin, I perked up and reminded myself that I cannot control the actions and behaviors of others, and their sins and actions are not on me.
Before long, the little guy in red sits on the other shoulder and snickers, "Maybe not, but they are a reflection of you."
And this, after a day where nothing came together from the moment my alarm sounded, and continued with forgetting my lunch and not having cash or my debit card on me. In my rush to get home, I get stuck behind every bad driver and when I finally reach my sanctuary, I only find complete and utter chaos.
I didn't have one minute to myself throughout the day and had no time to decompress before I started the night shift at Cafe Fogle. I put my head in my hands again and questioned why-is-everyone-so-annoying-when-will-it-ever-end?
Someone please tell me I am not the only one to have mini meltdowns. Please. Please?!?!?
So, in traditional style, I go into Military Mom mode and start shrieking orders. One of the children laughs at me (my response in another blog post sometime far, far in the future) while the other one stands frozen wondering where her loving mother is.
My husband, one of three of the calmest people on the earth (the other two being his brothers), just looks at me and says, "Babe."
It is my cue to take my few minutes - he's got this. And because he is an amazing hubby, I kiss him on the cheek, make promises for later and settle into my room to talk to Jesus.
I prayed, because I knew I was having one, huge Pity Party. I knew that I needed Kingdom-sized help because my selfishness was getting in the way of my purpose. I had people to love. Amazing people. My family.
In my prayer time, God showed me two things: 1) There is one common denominator in all of the above scenarios – my feelings and 2) Slow down - and that includes slowing my anger and not letting it run my life.
Pity Parties are usually triggered by a root planted in our hearts. Everyone's is different. Mine is usually anger. I am so quick to anger.
I do not have a “natural” tendency towards gentleness, nor do I have a still heart. Instead, I pull up my bootstraps, slop on the lipstick, put on my defensive amour and dare anyone to challenge me that I am not capable of something - and that's usually before I roll out of bed. It doesn't start out as anger, just an innate desire to accomplish great things. As an introvert, those 'things' are usually just solitary in nature. That doesn't always fare well when I have to interact with others on a daily basis.
But I want to share with you what I learned (and am still learning). Embracing solitude is not the same as embracing loneliness. Holding myself to exacting standards and reacting to them when I don't meet them is not always anger.
But if I lash out at others and think ill of them in my heart, or when I think of people only as obstacles to what I really want to get done, I know it's time for another major reality, heart and ego check.
Look at two versions of Psalm 4:4:
KJV: Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.
MESSAGE: Complain if you must, but don’t lash out. Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking. Build your case before God and await his verdict.
God understands our anger. He doesn't say to hide it in secret places. He asks us to be honest with Him about where we are with our hearts. Whether you feel anger at a low velocity or feel it at an immeasurable level is immaterial! Whether you're passive-aggressive or leave no room for interpretation of your anger, God knows your heart, wants you to reveal it to him so he can love you back to peace.
God asks us to “commune” with our heart, to search for the root of its cause and change our ways. As introverts, how can we not love God for loving us this way? Get on your comfy PJ's and rest your head in the quiet and peace of bedtime and lay it all out there for Him.
God is our help and our strength in all matters. He is the Good News that will be before us and with us. We can choose to divert our anger and allow the power of Jesus Christ to change our hearts and arouse in us a new heart. If you allow Him, he can change the energy that comes from anxiousness and turn it into a burning passion for Him and for others. We need only ask.
Jesus has already paid the price and made the sacrifice for our sins. There is nothing left for us to do but invite him in.
In our times of solitude, we can whisper, "Jesus."
This week, I encourage you to Read Romans 5. In our time of solitude, we can ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in our understanding and reveal something in our heart that will be changed by this passage. We were put into the dark by one man and saved by another.
The root of my Pity Party is anger - finding the root of your pity party can be the start of a renewed spirit. If you too find yourself in a constant state of me, me, me, find your trigger and start talking to Jesus.
Father, we thank you for your mercy despite our undeserving nature and actions. We pray today that you would reveal in our hearts places where our selfishness might take root and replace it with gentleness, kindness and self-control. We thank you for your Son who has already paid the price for us and it is in his name we pray. Amen!
All verses are linked to Bible Gateway, an online bible resources that allows you to study a verse in multiple versions, or search by topic and keyword. You can also sign up to get devotionals or verses each day.
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