Bitterness and Beattitudes

These past weeks have been a period of great angst, but greater still reflection for me. Nearly three weeks ago, I watched my children say goodbye to one set of their grandparents, yet again, and my heart broke.

What was once an adventure for a young bride and groom, scuttling off to California to work his way through a venture in theology, has become so much more over the course of these most recent six years. The two are now five, and the new three may just not understand why we are so far from their papas, Mimi and Nonna.

As I stood, tears streaming down my face I allowed the hurt to transform to just one little seed. Though seeds mostly bring new life, this one is destined to choke out all that is good and lovely if it is not dealt with.

Nine years ago, days before packing up a truck and loading our little car to the brim, full of new appliances, linens, dishes and promise, a lovely lady said to me “Lindsey, do not let the seed of bitterness take root. May your spirit always remain sweet.”

Frustration mounts.

Yelling ensues.

Seed burrows.

I water it with my tears.

And then I pick up a book and I am struck with the realization that this bitterness has no place in a heart — in my heart, my life. A life I gave to God nearly three decades ago. A heart I yield to his leading at the commencement of each day. For one whose God has over the years shown nothing but goodness and kindness, albeit sometimes draped in mortal confusion, bitterness has no place here.

And what of it?

If I allow it to nestle itself in the fertile soil of my heart, what do the children who I righteously take it on for get out of life, out of me?

We were never told that our earthly life would be free from disappointment; it is what we do with our daily dose that matters.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

Blessed are those who mourn, because they will be comforted.

Blessed are the gentle, because they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, because they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, because they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, because they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, because they will be called sons of God.”

(Matthew 5:3-9 HCSB)

And I’m poor and yet blessed
Mourning and yet at peace in the palm of His hands
Longing for gentleness to spill from my lips
Ever hungry
And I reach to become filled more with mercy
I push the bitterness aside, for purity
Praying His peace would fill our home and that it would begin in me.

In the midst of the dailies, the striving and the curse of Adam and Eve that is upon us, I focus on the promise through the lens of thanks.

11. the saints proclaiming His praises
12. serving cupcakes on the porch to my kids and their friends
13. naked baby soaking my pants as he listens to the bathtub fill
14. setting the coffee pot for morning
15. the promise of English muffins with peanut butter
16. the house that remains clean for all of five minutes, because I am blessed to have four precious lives that live with me
17. a flower bed overfilled with sprouts because the kids helped us plant
18. tall, nonfat, haf-caf, extra-hot, upside down caramel machiatos on Tuesday morning and the barista who enjoys my superfluous use of adjectives while ordering
19. friends to sip coffee with
20. parents who raised me to know Jesus
21. living close enough to one sister to occasionally meet for lunch
22. a God who helps me see and acknowledge bitterness before it becomes so ingrained in my heart that I struggle to rid myself of it
23. a community of friends I may never meet who are also giving thanks

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4 thoughts on “Bitterness and Beattitudes

  1. Love you, Linds. Praying with you. One of the things that I so look forward to is that in heaven there are no more goodbye's. One of these days we'll all be together forever, worshipping and loving God, and there will be no tears. We'll just get to be together with nothing but goodness pouring out of our hearts, in community with all the saints from all the ages, and with all those that we didn't get to spend enough time with here on earth.

    I always have to fight the bitterness about such things, as well… all my life actually. So thankful that we don't let it sit and blacken our hearts, and seep into all the areas of our life like rotten coffee permeating everything. He's made us new creations that fight to little by little look more and more like Him. White as snow, as when He forgave us of all our sins on the cross.

    I'm so thankful that we have the righteousness of Christ. Its like dish soap that gets onto the dirty greasy dish and pushes the grease away. Slowly all our greasiness is going. Slowly but surely.

  2. I too look forward to Heaven where there will be no more goodbyes, no more crying or tears to dim our eyes. I am thankful for the grace the Lord gives us to make it through lonely or tough times.

  3. Hi Lindsey,

    This is Hannah Hoskins (Takacs) from FRCS circa 1997 :). I know we've not connected in years, however, I just wanted to let you know that I follow your blog and am inspired by your transparency.

    Thank you for sharing your hear so honestly.

    Hannah

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