Recently I was vexed, feeling like a burgeoning failure. I had been so convinced of the success of an exciting challenge that I’d initiated, that when it failed I was inconsolable. It was at that time that I understood the similar feelings of those whom I’d judged for their insubordination in blaming God for their failures. There I stood, anguished, pointing that same finger of blame.
It was frightening to be on the verge of giving up on everything that I’d believed in for most of my life. Granted, that was more in hindsight than when I was in the throes of my anger and disappointment. My husband attempted to comfort me, but I rejected it.
I wasn’t primarily angry, rather I was weary, to the point of being left with seemingly no fight in me. I was forlorn over my life of one failure after another having worn me down. I was done, just plain done.
Initially, with bulldog tenacity I had forged ahead with my splendid plan, undeterred by the lack of support and enthusiasm that I’d received from those I’d confided in. I felt unstoppable with my husband by my side, his fully supporting the challenge that I’d taken on. Not once did I think we wouldn’t receive the fruits of our labor. Nevertheless, we came face-to-face with a dead-end that we couldn’t comprehend. Having been denied little of what I’d sought after in life, I didn’t know how to respond to the empty finality of “no.”
Hadn’t I executed my plan with full assurance that I’d succeed? Didn’t it mean anything that I was courageously acting out my unswerving faith? Wasn’t I pursuing an honorable end? How dare I be denied what I’d worked countless, stressful hours for! As the news began to sink into my brain—that all my efforts had failed—twinges of hurt relentlessly pricked at my heart. I couldn’t stop what was happening to me and it was none less than infuriating.
When my husband suggested an alternative comeback plan, I ran from his arms, flinging myself across our bed in a tearful fit that began two full days of mourning. From an outsider’s view, my pain may have prompted tears of empathy, but I couldn’t help but to think of the piercing eyes of those who would stand mercilessly, arms crossed, taking in the sight of me as that of an overly dramatic soap opera queen! You know, the haters. Every negative situation that I could think of came to mind, effectively leading me to the conclusion that I was done with being a good and faithful Christian. Done! I didn’t feel worthy of anything. I wanted to be left alone to wallow in my disappointment.
Hopefully, my detailed disclosure relates to someone reading. There are times in life when feelings of unworthiness are overwhelming to the point of self-sabotage. This is not atypical of abuse survivors. Old thought patterns can emerge with fervor. Nonetheless, there is no failure in life that is worth giving up on your dreams! Moreover, there is no failure in life that warrants self-sabotage of your future.
When I’d received the bad news of my failed plan, instead of my typical response of a surrendered sigh and the declaration, “That just means God has a better plan and a bigger blessing in store for me,” I lost it. Nothing but a waterfall of tears and depleted feelings of unworthiness shrouded me. Nevertheless, this, I came to realize, would be in agreement with my abusers, therefore it was not an option.
As I listened to part of a video this morning, the guest discussed his mother having never left her abusive husband, even after the guest had become very wealthy and offered to put her in her own home, to meet all her financial needs for life! “She would never leave,” he shared. He stated that he came to understand that her reason for remaining in such a pitiful existence—whereas she clearly didn’t have to—was because she didn’t feel worthy of anything greater. Suddenly the lights came on for me.
Quitting is not an option! I’ve since repented of my rant and have asked God to forgive me for acting out so faithlessly during my feelings of irrelevancy. I felt so unworthy that I had implored God to take me home with him, to grant me permanent citizenship in heaven—far away from life’s challenges. Sure, my thoughts were worse than my speech, but thoughts are not hidden from God’s omniscience.
Today, God’s grace and mercy has brought my husband and me to his “expected end” for us, garnering an even better outcome than I’d doggedly attempted (Jeremiah 29:11, KJV). I’m grateful that I had the wherewithal to repent. I suspect things wouldn’t have turned around so quickly had I not. The truth is that God is the Lord of mercy, but he is also the God of judgment.
Never let someone else’s hurtful decision determine your outcome in life. In less than a week God literally “turned my mourning into joyful dancing!” He presented a plan more excellent than anything I could have come up with, and there’s been no stress associated with it (Psalm 30:11, NLT, 2015)!
“The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22, NLT).
We all are tempted to throw in the towel at times in life. These are the times when God will throw the towel back saying, “Wipe your face and get back to it!” The key is not to wallow in sorrow, languishing at the door of defeat. Rise up again and win!
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By M. J. Smith, Copyright ©, 2017, All rights reserved. This Website or any portion herein may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.