IWhen I read this tonight it trumped the other two posts I had been contemplating. This paragraph, from the book my small group is reading, spoke truth like a dagger to my heart.
"My pastor once told me that he believes every woman either becomes beautiful or bitter by the time she's forty. What he meant is that women either face their stuff or they don't. Women make choices either to do what is necessary to keep as much control as possible, or to work hard to understand what is in their control and what must be entrusted to God. If they face it they heal, they forgive--they tend to radiate an inner beauty that reflects Christ in them...If women don't face their struggles they become bitter--holding onto their issues and spewing them onto others like germs."
-Nicole Unice, She's Got Issues
I don't know about you, but this is so relevant to me as a woman just a couple of years away from that forty year old mark. Beautiful or bitter--which will it be?
I love that the word chosen here isn't 'perfect' or any other term that would connote mastery. The word beautiful doesn't even indicate any sort of competition with anyone else. It is simply a nod to growing, developing, healing, radiating/reflecting the glory of God...facing our stuff in the light of God's love, grace and mercy.
The alternative makes my face crinkle and my heart cringe--bitter, holding tightly, spewing germs. Will I be characterized by anger, unhappiness, discontent or peacefulness, growth, maturity and health? Better or bitter: that's the question.
Lord, I/we have plenty of excuses for why we feel frustrated/bitter/hurt. Life has thrown hurtful curve balls that make me want to hide in the perceived safety and security of my own self interests. It is terrifying to surrender our illusion of control--even to You. Will you give me courage? Courage to just let go and let You lead...
Thank you for the gift of your forgiveness and grace. Lord, take my bitterness and make me better. I think you in advance for the peace it will bring. All for YOUR Glory. Amen.