i’m not sure what event in the sequence of frustrating events it was that cracked my character. maybe it was my husband, the pastor, forgetting to tell me he had to go back into work two hours early, or my compassionate 2 year old being… well, un-compassionate, the house like a game of jenga- push something just the wrong way and it would all comes crashing down, being interrupted a gazillion times that my tea turned cold, or falling from 1st to 5th place in our family march madness brackets (i hate losing, totally embarrassing, but true. what happened UNC!). i felt the frustration fuming, i’d fold clothes, fill the dish washer, my blood pulsing with irritation, my mind rampant with reasons to justify my passive aggressive performance. so many expectations, so high, so unmet, so far to fall.
i sat, back heated by the fire and sipped on my chilled tea. i knew i didn’t want to be this way, feel this way, or act this way. i knew it was me being bratty, being selfish, being centered on only me. but i couldn’t change it, i couldn’t stop, i couldn’t force myself to snap out of being me. i drank my tea determined to comfort my discomfort. it was bitter, the way tea gets if the bag sits and steeps too long, and i saw… flowers. yes, delicate flowers painted at the bottom of my tea cup and i stare in surprise. how does one find beauty beneath the bitter? beneath the feelings of failure and frustration, how can beauty be found? how can such horrible feelings co-exist with beauty? yet, does. because bitterness is an opening, an opportunity, an invitation to relate to the One that is beauty.
i glance at the memory verse written on our chalk board, “the Lord causes His miracles to be remembered. He is kind and tender.” Psalm 111:14
and i do this. i remember. the way the basketball players cut a piece of the net, to remember victory. or the way my dear friend releases balloons to the heavens, to remember her baby girl’s birthday and how she now spends it forever with Jesus.
i remember how i wanted to walk away from my faith. i went to a cabin in the woods for 3 weeks. alone. He was faithful and refused to let me walk.
i remember how i needed $1,000 to pay for school. i received a $1,000 scholarship that very week. i never even applied.
i remember when the doctor said it could be difficult to have children because of my condition. i have 3.
i remember a 2:00 am prayer that changed everything.
the memory of these miracles meets me here. i never expected God to answer my prayers. but He did. and He does. and i am drawn through my bitterness, the deeper i enter, the more i delight.