A Bitter Heart

I heard something today that spoke straight into my heart. (Except I chose to suppress it because I can be so stubborn and closed off at times…) It went something like:

You are not obligated to be the same person you were five minutes ago.

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit hardened in that I don’t like listening to correction or criticism. I talk down to myself all the time and second-guess my motivations. I’ve become so judgmental and closed off, only feigning vulnerability. It irks me to see particular people happy when I’m not. I feel as if I’ve become a bitter, spiteful old woman–needy, hypersensitive, annoyed at nothing, at everything.

I’m so wretched. Even as I write this and see the poor state I’m in, I don’t want to change. It’s difficult to describe… I’m sick of hearing people talk about God and how loving and good He’s been in their lives when I cannot see Him moving in my life. It’s been a dry and barren season and I have ceased seeking Him. I’m not hungry anymore! I’m full of myself–too full, in fact, that I’ve begun to feel empty. Tired. Drained.

A bitter heart is hardened so that any sort of criticism–even ones given out of love–will rub it the wrong way. A bitter heart refuses to cheer up, clamping its lips shut when a grin      begins to emerge. A bitter heart is the saddest kind… there is no room for love. A bitter heart only cares for itself, and it doesn’t know how to care for it well. It cannot see good and refuses to acknowledge its own wrongdoing. It refuses to change. So it grows old and weary and ever more twisted… God, help me! Help me to surrender my pride. Because surely, it is this stiff-necked vanity that keeps me from admitting I am wrong to sulk and pity myself, wrong to wallow around. My contempt is unjustified because I, too, have been ransomed by grace.

If you are teaching me patience or humility or faith, dear God, have your way in me. Let me not be hardened any longer. I wasn’t made for anything else but to love You and be loved by You.

And let me remind myself… that if You, the Lord of all lords and King of all kings loved me enough to lay down Your life for me… if You still love me the same, God, I believe You can touch this heart of stone to make it Your own. Have Your way.

You must increase, I must decrease… oh the pain of absolute surrender… thank You that You see me fit to be humbled. Thank You. Your love knows no end. And in every season, You are still God; I have a reason to sing. I have a reason to sing.




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