There was a time when I complained a lot. Every conversation was seasoned with complaints. My facebook wall was full of statuses complaining. And I enjoyed comments replying to my statuses by those who would commiserate with my misery. It made me feel a whole lot better. I loved the sympathy and the attention. But did it help me? Not one little bit. I realised that I was living in a world that I was creating with my words. I wasn't choosing my words wisely and as a result, my world was small, dark and about me. It not only affected me, but those I surrounded myself with.
I am not condoning for one one minute that we should all put on fake smiley happy faces and pretend everything is OK when it's not. I did that for too many years. I have now learned how important it is to be transparent with God and with others. When I need to, I confide in a select few, not the whole of facebook. I confide in those that I can trust with my heart, when life is hard. Those that will listen and understand me, but not let me stay where I am. Those that will not commiserate with me in my misery, but encourage me and support me and point me to Him when I need it.
I journal and I talk to Him about how I am feeling. God is not easily offended or disappointed in me when I tell him that I am disgruntled or dissatisfied. In fact, He is delighted that I tell Him. He died for the opportunity to be as close as the air I breathe. He longs to be with me and treasures those times when I reveal myself to Him- warts and all. If I stop long enough to listen, He will whisper gently into my spirit encouragement and if I allow Him, will give me strength to get through whatever I am facing.
There is a scene in the movie 'Bridget Jone's Diary 2:The Edge of Reason' where Bridget is in a jail cell in Thailand with dozens of other Thai women. She starts complaining about how she was 'ill-treated' in her eyes by a man. The Thai women all commiserate with her and share horrific stories of being beaten etc from men. One of the women turns to her and asks, "what did your man do to you?" and she has a pivotal moment when she realises that compared to these women, she really has nothing to complain about. This put it all in perspective for Bridget and embarrassed that her complaint paled in comparison to theirs, she lied and answered something to the effect of, "yes, he did all those type of things."
Complaining made my world very small. Perspective changes that. Having a heart of gratitude opened up my eyes to the beauty that surrounds me every day, that I easily miss when I was focused on my own small world. When I stopped complaining and started seeing the good around me, it opened up my world. It let His light in. I could then see others and their circumstances and how there were those that were far worse off then I was. It not only affected me, but those I surrounded myself with.
Complaining says to God, "I don't like what You're doing in my life right now, and if I were You, I'd do it differently." stay clear from it. ~ John Bevere
When we are in a place where life is hard, this is where the rubber hits the road, so to speak, and our faith kicks in. Faith = trust. Can we trust Him in the valley and not complain? That is the challenge isn't it? When I was pregnant with my second child and my husband lost his job, I had a lot to complain about. And complain I did. Did it help me? I don't think so. I believe a lot of my own complaining contributed to my depression that I suffered shortly after the birth of my second child.
Life is hard. This is fact. But it is how you respond to it that matters. When I learned to trust Him and worship Him in the valley as well as the mountain top because HE IS - everything changed. When I started to seek Him for who is is, not for what He could do for me - everything changed. When I started to worship Him despite the fact that I had ill-health, suffered from depression, had 3 small children with no support network- everything changed. I dared to trust Him. I started to swap my complaining for gratitude. I looked around me and saw what I had, not what I didn't have - and this made all the difference. It not only affected me, but those I surrounded myself with.
Still taking lessons from the King,