The other day I heard some news that irritated me. Someone I knew had done something that seemed irresponsible. I knew, from years of experience, that this piece of information would sit and brew inside me until I told someone. After I spewed this toxic morsel out, however, I would feel better.
And who would I tell? My husband, as usual.
But then I thought, this information would really make him mad. Did I want to do that?
Suddenly I got a picture of myself over the years dumping complaint after complaint in this dear man’s lap—from little daily frustrations while raising my kids to blow by blow details of talking to tech support all day.
I imagined I’d whined to my husband about everything that ever went wrong in my perfectionist life.
My stomach churned as I saw the fallout of my issues poisoning him. Frustrating him. Dragging him down as he felt pressure to fix them.
But what could I do? I needed my emotional outlet, didn’t I?
Then I remembered my vow to do everything with God—turn everything over to him and let him lead. Instead of telling Bob or holding this information in and mulling it over and over, what if I deferred it right away to God and trusted him to handle the situation?
So I did.
My shoulders relaxed, the room brightened, and the burning desire to tell someone vanished.
Then I imagined how different my life would be if I turned every issue that irritated me right over to God.
How peaceful I would feel if I cut out all the time I spent stewing over problems.
A few days later someone inadvertently hurt my feelings. I took it straight to God. He turned my thinking around and helped me see how the situation had actually worked out for my good.
A couple hours later, at the end of an exhausting day when I could feel my hormones were low, someone else told me some potentially bad news that tore my heart. A minute or two later Bob walked in the door.
I tried not to tell him, but I was hurting so bad. I paused to think, and then rephrased the news as a prayer request for me. Would he pray for my breaking heart?
Bob came over, wrapped his arms around me, and prayed a sweet prayer over me. Then he playfully tried to make me smile. It warmed my heart.
Later, as I talked over this heartbreaking news with God and imagined what he could do with it for the greater good, I was able to turn it and the people involved over to him. My heart lightened.
A few days later, I heard a friend has been waiting weeks for a last ditch clinical trial to cure his cancer and relieve his pain. Another friend was exhausted from years of daily challenges in raising their handicapped child. On Sunday, our pastor could hardly mouth the words to tell us the teenage son of a dear pastor friend of his had died this week of a brain tumor.
My daily frustrations paled in comparison to these. For my emotional health, and my husband’s, I’m determined to stop whining about the small stuff and pass on all my irritations and hurts to God as soon as I’m aware of them.
After turning these things over to God, I do need to share some of them with my husband and friends. I’m praying for discernment and God’s leading to sort out which ones and how.
What are your thoughts about sharing frustrations and hurts?
photos courtesy of crestock.com