Not too long ago I took my kids to an art program at the library. Usually the projects are simple and allow for quite a bit of creativity. But not this time… It was more like- Here’s the example. Now do it… My oldest struggled… his idea would not come out of his mind and on to the paper. To make matters worse, the material that was laid out did not work. They had these child safety scissors that barely cut paper, and he was unable to get these scissors to cut the paper that was laid out.
He was frustrated. He expressed it in words and by crumbling up his paper. I offered him the chance to take a step back and come back to it. Instead, he chose to sit it out completely. He grabbed his bag of books and sat on the couch outside the art room.
I could see him the whole time, stewing on his frustration. He had a book opened, but his eyes never looked at the page.
I wanted so badly to tell him that it’s not that bad. I wanted to tell him to try another approach. It was hard to watch my child be so frustrated, knowing I could help him, but also knowing he was not in a position to take advice.
Sadly, I have been there. I have been so frustrated that I was unwilling to accept advice. My poor husband… He can tell me what I need to hear, and I will completely shut him out. I’m frustrated. It’s not working. I want to just quit. But then my husband reminds me who I am, points me to my calling, shows me the way I should go. AND I am still too frustrated to take in his advice.
After a little while, I will come to him and tell him this amazing revelation I have had. And my husband… he says, “Hmm I wonder who told you that?” Obviously God gave me this revelation. My husband had nothing to do with it… well that’s what I tell myself in the moment anyways.
Timing. Timing is everything when your letting your emotions control situations. I strive so badly to not be run by my emotions, but I do not often win this battle. As Lysa Terkeurst puts it, “Emotions are indicators, not dictators.” This is such a good reminder, but I still fall short here… daily…
My most recent bout of frustration has actually come with this blog. I lack motivation. I’m not seeing results. It seems like I’m spinning circles and getting nowhere. I’m stuck in a vicious Tornado of Frustration… full of me’s and excuses.
My husband tried to gently point out to me that this was not something I can just quit without consulting the One who assigned this opportunity to me… He told me to get into my Bible and prayer…But I liked being in my “Tornado of Frustration.” I couldn’t see the light because I was too busy seeing my frustrations.
As I type this, I am not fully convinced that I have given up my frustrations. I see this dream that was given to me just slightly out of reach. I see all my efforts falling short. I know God can move mountains. I know that His will will be done. But I’m tired. I’ve convinced myself that I am ok with another rejection from a publisher. But the truth is, every single one hurts. Stuffing that emotion has actually only led deeper into the frustration. You see in the last month, I have had three publisher offer me partnerships… awesome a contract… NOPE… a contract in which they want me to pay for the publishing since I have no writing platform… It’s frustrating. The writing I was inspired to do is good enough to get published… the problem lies in the fact that I have no platform. Then I see this blog that has been amazing to witness God moving me to write… but I see my numbers going down… not up… I wonder if it’s even worth it at all.
I have to give up my frustrations. I was never meant to carry the burden on my own. It’s my pride that keeps me holding on. It’s my pride that will not accept advice, even when it makes perfect sense and is exactly what I need to hear.
I forget… I forget how much closer I have come to God as He has inspired each and every one of these blog posts. I forget that this is not about growing numbers. This is not about titles… This is not about sitting at Jesus’ right and left side, but about serving Him and His people while growing in obedience and trust. It’s about believing He is who He says He is. It’s not about the books. It’s not about growing this blog. It’s all about Him!
Lord, Help me overcome my frustrations. Show me your ways, make the path straight. Lead me in your righteousness. Open my heart to accept words of encouragement and advice. Help me see beyond on my circumstance and know that you are in control. Lord help me keep my pride in check. I want to bring glory to you… not glory to me. It’s all about you, Jesus! In Jesus name I pray.