I have had such a charmed life. I grew up in a family that loved me, protected me, had plenty of money, great vacations, and had very little in the way of hardship or obstacles. The sheen progressively wore off (as it does as we age into adulthood, and walk away from the innocence of childhood), and as it did I would get disappointed, thinking something was wrong/needed to be fixed because it wasn't 'perfect' or 'easy' like it used to be.
I heard a quote from Dr. Phil the other day (yes, I know, I'm about to quote Dr. Phil!) about anger. He said something like, anger comes from the feeling of something being unfair. (I know, I'm attempting to quote him and I don't even know exactly what he said. Sorry...). He also said it's an outward expression of hurt, fear and frustration.
I think, after some examination, I've realized that I have anger at the root of my frustration in life. I've been describing it as rebellion, but I think I should be calling it anger/frustration instead. I feel rebellious in it, because I'm sensing leading in some areas but I don't want to act on them because of this deep down feeling of 'it's not fair'.
So, after doing some prayer and psychologizing about my current state-of-heart, I landed on Romans 12. Where my bible heading reads 'how to behave.' Nice. :) So many verses in that chapter just jumped off the page to me... (I'm going to paraphrase) Do not conform but be transformed. Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought. Love must be sincere. Honor one another above yourselves.
I have spent too much time upset with some things that have not turned out as rosy as I thought they were supposed to. (And reflecting on those passages in Romans 12) Instead of being transformed (in the depths of my mind), I've been conformed into what I grew up thinking that family, happiness, health, and life were 'supposed' to look like. Instead of thinking of myself as a disciple/daughter of God, I've thought of myself as someone who 'deserves' such and such... :( I've realized that love MUST be sincere for it to be love... and I've not honored others above myself, but instead I've whined about the injustice of having to spend my time and energy on things that were not my choice, but were 'given' to me or happened to me/my family.
At the heart of it, the ugly truth is that I've been angry at God because I've expected my life to 'look' and 'feel' a certain way, and instead He's making it look the way He wants it to look (and we live in a fallen world, where disease, death, and stuff happens). The irony is that I've ASKED Him to make it look the way He wants it to look, but I get angry because 'it's not fair' that it has to be different than I expected, or more demanding than I anticipated (ha! it makes me laugh at myself to even type it- but friends, it's the ugly truth!). In my attempts to 'fix' it and make it look more like my life when I was a kid, I'm only frustrating myself and probably making myself more internally focused and self-centered! yucky truth.
So, I'm grateful for some perspective. At my breaking point/or point of true self-realization on this issue earlier this week, I spoke to the Lord from my heart and said "Lord, you must be so disappointed in me." To which I heard in my heart that he replied "No, Sarah, YOU are disappointed in you." And He reminded me that His grace is there for me, whether I walk in it or not. His love for me is there, whether I believe it or not.
Now to continue walking it out. Our God is so persistent. This theme has been reoccurring in my life for a while now... He's going to keep bringing up the subject until I surrender to Him fully in this area of my thinking. Gotta love how many scriptures are out there that take the focus off of us and point it back to Him. That is the cure, you know...