I had planned on using solitary time at home to catch up on my to-do list. But I ended up laying on my bed, staring at the ceiling instead. Telling God my list of grievances, and finding comfort under the blanket of self-pity.
I am over forty years old, but sometimes I still pray like a teenage girl. A very immature teenage girl. All wrapped up in my own perspective and ego and needs and wants. My prayers consumed by what I think is right. What I think is fair. What I think I deserve.
Sometimes as maturing adults we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to think noble, faith-filled thoughts despite our circumstances. Or at least appear that way to others.
But every life is marked by moments of exhaustion and frustration and weakness. And there is a process for transforming my heart into something that is useful to God and others when it has become weary.
So can I just throw it out there that perhaps an occasional pity-party is okay?
In fact I have actually found a good, grown-up pity-party to be quite helpful under two conditions:
- short-term aid.
- inviting God to attend.
Sometimes before I can receive “the peace that surpasses all understanding” or “the strength that enables me to overcome all things” or “joy in all circumstances”, I just need to just take a few moments to feel sorry for myself and wallow in my mess.
This is a dangerous place to linger for too long because it’s an awful place to get stuck.
And it is rarely helpful to invite a lot of people.
But for a brief moment, expressing my uncensored and unfiltered feelings to God – trusting that He will meet me in that unbecoming moment with compassion, not condemnation – deepens my intimacy with Him.
As mature adults, when we are hurting or scared or weary we are often too quick to throw out the powerful banner statements of the church and our faith. Even though I believe that the big promises of God are absolutely true, I am also learning that there is something powerful and healing in just sitting with God for a moment in the ugliness of my sadness and anger and fear.
Before I start pushing forward toward overcoming and victory and restoration, I need a few moments to let myself feel and express the injustice or hurt of a broken situation or a broken person – in the company of God.
Not to be fixed, but to be seen.
It is God’s unconditional love reconciles the teenage girl and the maturing woman that both live inside me.
God loves me just as I am. And He loves me too much to let me stay that way.
Celebrated at a pity-party.