One week later, I’m still affected by the party I attended last week.
When we hear the word “party,” we normally think of fun times, laughter, games, lots of good food, music and general lightheartedness.
This party, however, was none of those things. This party came with an onslaught of anger, tears, heartache, headache, grumbling and, sadly, thoughts of wondering and asking the question “Why do we even have to be on this earth?” This party — dreaded for many, all too often for many, and all too believable for many. The party I speak of is the Pity Party.
If you’ve ever attended one of these, they suck. Bottom line, no fluffy words…they just suck! Suck the life out of you, suck the joy out of the people around you, suck the truth of Christ right out of you–so much so, that you may end up in a hot mess of tears. That’s my experience anyway. If not yours, that’s great because when the Pity Party traps me in its lies, I’m dancing with it, engaging in it and quite honestly refusing to boldly say “NO!” to it. Until it gets too unbearable and I’m given just a glimmer of reason.
Its a strange thing. I don’t get invited to these parties very often, but when I find myself there, certainly, I am not wearing the crown jewels of Christ. Rather, its the filthy rags of sin.
This particular party, last week, I cannot align any specific thing or circumstance to it. And that’s how they usually come to me, seemingly out of nowhere; wreaking havoc in what I think is my usual good-natured self. It was just there and as foul words flowed from my face and frustrations were abundant, I yet didn’t recognize what was happening. At that point of the morning, I had already made my husband feel small and we had bickered about nothing (at my lead in the matter). When he asked what was up, I just unapologetically scoffed “I don’t know! I’m just cranky.”
This is where writing more than a week later shows me again and again just how deep my sin runs. And I’m still affected by it because I do hate that I hurt someone I love–especially my Father. Yes, I know He knows how horrible we are, but that doesn’t make it better in an instant. And yes, I know I am forgiven, but I do carry the heartache of my brokenness; the brokenness of each one of us. Every cell of my being is rich and laden with such foulness. Father, forgive me.
After offending the only person in my path, I got in the shower, and that’s when the tear storm started. “Poor me. Why me? Why do I have to deal with ______? Why can’t I ______? How come ______?” On and on with the pathetic questions of wondering why my soul hurts and why the earthly things popping into my questions can’t be as I see them. Doesn’t God know that I could do better kingdom work if all those blanks were as I see them? Yep….Gasp! Pretty much that’s when He bent down, soothed my mind and prompted me that I really needed more of Him right now. Gosh, he is so good! Saving me from myself. Man…I’m so undeserving but oh so thankful!
In that moment, thankfully, I saw the glimmer and trusted God. I got dressed, sat on my bed and waited. And I think that’s what we need to do more often –be quiet and wait. Me forcing myself to read the Bible for some revelation wasn’t going to happen unless God prompted me to do so. In the time on my bed, I was reminded of this book I have called “The Power of a Praying Woman” by Stormie Omartian. It had been some time since I had picked it up, but on that day. I was lead to Chapter 2 “Lord, Cleanse Me and Make My Heart Right Before You.”
This book is what I would call topical in that there are several topics covered with a few pages of thought and Scripture followed by a prayer. I find that often times I don’t pray for myself, but to give thanks to God and to pray for others. Sure, I ask for my matters of the heart, but often I’m not praying OVER myself. In this situation, as I was reading the prayer of repentance aloud, it hit me that this was like having a dear friend pray over me. I was wound so tight, that I couldn’t gain clarity in my thoughts and as my spirit heard the soothing words I was reading aloud, they washed over me and released the contempt and pity that had been having its party within me.
People who exalt Jesus drop crumbs and nuggets that sometimes I don’t even know I’ve taken in. We won’t remember all things we hear or read, but when the nuggets we are given along our journeys resurface, we’re reminded of God’s everlasting goodness.
Just like that, after reading the prayer a couple times, I was reminded of teacher John Piper once sharing about how David would talk to his soul. I remembered hearing his message and being so joyfully moved that we indeed have the Word of God, the history of God and the gift of God to help our human flesh by praising Him, by remembering his redemption again and again and by anchoring to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God!
“…None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:10-12
“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good…” Psalm 136:1
“Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” Psalm 103:1-2