I remember a time in my life when even the smallest things would cause me to brood—fume, stew, mope—I could feel my heart pump faster and faster. My teeth would clench. My jaw would pulse. I would stomp around and slam things. It may have been a word or even a look that I took wrong and I would fly into a rage…brooding over “whatever” had taken place.
Can you imagine how happy my life was? Can you just feel the joy I had? No? No. I was miserable. MISERABLE. And I made everyone around me that way too…I blamed THEM for my feelings/actions/behavior.
Recently I had a conversation. We were discussing someone we both knew. I currently have a relationship this person—they had a relationship with them YEARS ago. I was saying how blessed I am for the relationship that has formed. Their reply was quite a long list of all of the negative things that had occurred years and years ago. After the conversation, my impression of my new friend hadn’t changed. But, I did feel sad for the one speaking with me because they were still harboring hurt and disappointment from decades ago. Brooding.
I bet you’re thinking this person also has a joyful happy life, right? Probably not.
“Don’t stop and brood. Brooding induces self-pity, which always develops and enlarges the pain. Sorrows have a tendency to breed bitterness and resentment. When we’re hurt, we are tempted to complain, fuss and get angry. But, when we put our faith in God, God’s love and grace begin to flow through our troubled life bringing quiet, ease of mind and peace.”
God has worked on my bitterness and anger. I think that at the root of brooding is unforgiveness. Either we have things in our own life we can’t forgive ourselves for OR we have been unwilling to forgive others.
Some of you have been through some very nasty things. You may feel that it’s your “right” to not forgive. But, who are you hurting in your unforgiveness? Really, you are hurting yourself.
When I think of the ultimate forgiveness (in human form) my mind goes back to a woman I learned about as a little girl. Her name was Corrie ten Boom. Corrie and her family helped save nearly 800 Jewish lives. She and her family were captured and imprisoned by the Nazis at the notorious Ravensbruck concentration camp.
The things she endured herself and witnessed were horrific.
Yet, she has written books with many words on forgiveness and healing.
“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” –The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom
“Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings…It’s something we make inside ourselves.” –The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom
“Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.” – Clippings From My Notebook, Corrie ten Boom
Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
When am I the weakest? When I’m hurt and angry. That is when I need to rely on God’s GRACE.
Psalm 37:8 (TLB)
Stop your anger! Turn off your wrath. Don’t fret and worry—it only leads to harm.
Lisa Bull sees her life as a journey along God’s divine plan. While considering herself an expert on nothing, she enjoys laughing and has made “choosing joy” her motto. Lisa has experienced God’s unfailing love and grace in her life and wants nothing more than for others to enjoy that same gift in their lives.
Lisa is the daughter and granddaughter of ministers. She has multiple relatives in ministry on both sides of her father’s family including several pastors, pastor’s wives, and missionaries. In fact, ministry in her maternal grandmother’s family can be traced back several generations. She loves being a wife and mother of two terrific young men.