Roots and Seeds. And I Hate To Garden.

I have never viewed myself as a grudge holder.

I'm usually very good about moving past hurtful issues and chalking painful situations up to bad days or hormones or misunderstandings.  And I'm not one that will be outwardly rude or mean to someone that has wronged me.  I may avoid, but I'm not vocal.  And I only avoid because I'm a coward and despise confrontation...not because I think I'm paining the other person in anyway.

But yesterday I was slapped in the face with the fact that I've been holding a grudge for awhile now that has really begun to eat away at the outskirts of my heart.  And most probably the inskirts. I have become more guarded with my emotions.  I am turning more inward.  And I don't like it.  Because that isn't the me that I know.  And it isn't the me that my friends know either.

A situation came up in my personal life some time back that presented choices that had to be made.  Choices that were wrong to have ever been an issue.  Choices that forced my family to go in a direction that we shouldn't have been forced to go.  Feelings were hurt.  Horrendously hurtful things were said.  And confidences and trusts were placed in jeopardy.

And it made my heart ache.

Countless tears were used up on the whole scenario, and thoughts and feelings confounded my body.  Thoughts and feelings that were so foreign to me.

And then I moved on.

Or so I thought.

But I realized yesterday that I so had not moved on. In fact, I had moved back.

The mention of a name or a word spoken makes my stomach turn.  A picture or a reference to something familiar makes me tremble.

And why?

Because I feel betrayed. 

And betrayal, I've found, is most usually a one-sided ordeal.  The person who does the betraying doesn't even realize it half of the time and is somehow able to move on without so much as a look back.  And the person who has been injured is left wallowing in a whirlwind of still just trying to process what all exactly happened.

My bestie, Tiffani, relayed an amazing piece of wisdom to me just today as I was discussing my feelings over with her.  She said that she had heard someone say once that "allowing a root of bitterness to grow is like drinking poison and hoping that the other person would die."

Now, I'm not going all Juliet and drinking poison, so hold your hotline calls.

But, I do think that that is an astounding image of what it feels like. 

I am bitter.  I know that I am. 

And I also know that I'm the one that is suffering from it. 

I'm hurt.  And I'm angry.  And I'm tired.

But I know that I have to let it go.  To move on.  To trust the Lord to dig deep in my heart and weed out that root that has taken a strong hold.

I could tell you that I've done it.  That I'm starting today knowing that it will be different.  That my heart is healed and that there is no looking back.

But it isn't going to happen like that.

I can tell you that Jesus and I are going to struggle a little bit with this one.  I'm going to fight him tooth and nail to hold on to the bitterness.  Not because I want it.  But because it's hard.  I can tell you that things are going to probably happen that are going to make this release journey worse.  The Evil One is going to pop up and use things to try to get me to yank the gardening tools away from My Jesus; to try to get me to hang on to my seeds and roots with full force.  And most probably, he'll succeed a time or two.

But I'm going to try.

I'm going to trust the Lord with the journey.  Even though it is going to hurt.  A lot.

The betrayal didn't happen in a day.  So I know that the healing won't either.

But it's time.

Definitely time.


Tiffani said...

I love your honest heart, my sweet friend.

It will not be easy...speaking from experience you will wrestle. But guess what? Wrestling is exercise and exercise makes us stronger...so look at it like that and know that all is purposeful.

You are precious to me. When you hurt, I hurt. So just know that I'm praying you through this...I'm right here with you for quiet moments or talk it out moments.

I love you dearly.

Jessica said...

I wish you luck in letting go. It is so very hard to do. I have been struggling with a letting go situation for FOUR years! It stinks!

Cathy said...


I'm praying for you, friend. Every last word you wrote is EXACTLY how it is. Thanks for the reminder for all of us in our own situations.

So glad you have Tiff to lift you up and spur you on!

Get your mud boots on, but be ready for the beautiful growth that will come.

Mich said...

I feel your pain, first because i'm your sister and when you hurt, I hurt...second because i have been down this road myself before.

When the going gets too tough and the betrayal and anger set in, I always go back to Romans 12:17-21.

"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends but leave room for God's wrath...If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head..." (love the picture of that a little too much at times!!!)

In other words avenge with peace, kill with kindness. I hate to say it but some people find pleasure in having the last say and would love to know that you are eat up with it. Let it go, and let GOd take over.

I know, easier said than done, but something to aim for in the days ahead. Love you much and I'm here for you always.


Jim said...

I'm feeling with you on this one. I don't pretend to know all you're dealing with, but knowing my own "balancing act" with issues at times in ministry gives me some clues. Sis's reference to the Romans passage is good. With it, a conscious and consistent effort to lay the "persons.of.concern" in the lap of the Master "and leave them there" is the rule of thumb. Not easy, as you have already indicated, for we still have minds that remember and Satan is more than happy to bring such to the surface of our awareness. BUT, he is already defeated, so take heart.

You've a good heart, a caring attitude, and an openness that ministers to many with whom you communicate. His attacks come becaue of who you are and WHOSE you are! One well-known and well-used Psalm stands as a good reminder of all HIS PROVISIONS and BLESSINGS as you walk through this VALLEY of SHADOWS. You are the target of Psalm 23.

I love you, too!


Anonymous said...

You're taking steps. That's where it starts. It's tough work, but I know you'll persevere.

Lindsay said...

Amber... I so appreciate your honesty. I've walked where you are to a degree. Enough to know that this is most definitely a process. My process began with fully forgiving the individual and praying God's blessings on them and seeking out how I could demonstrate love NOT hate towards them. Not easy and the process goes on but definite progress.

lisa@littlesliceoflife said...

Walking that road with you, friend. So glad Tiff is such a wise friend! Much to mull over...

Jennifer said...

Love ya friend and praying muchly over this situation!!

Stephanie said...

Wow. You put to words what so many people are going through. Been there done that. So many christians make it sound like getting over bitterness is as easy as a snap. It's not! It takes a while. And a lot of praying!

Carpool Queen said...

I wrestled with bitterness towards one person for TEN YEARS. It wasn't worth the emotional energy, Amb. Not at all. You're doing the right thing.

Cathy said...

Hey you,

Forgot to leave this verse when I was on here last and it's one that is newly discovered by me and gives me chills and encourages me...hope it does you too.

"For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and (this is the key) WHILE BEING REVILED, HE DID NOT REVILE IN RETURN; WHILE SUFFERING, HE UTTERED NO THREATS, BUT KEPT ENTRUSTING HIMSELF TO HIM WHO JUDGES RIGHTEOUSLY." 1 Peter 2:21-23

Love ya.

Kellie said...

Girl i hate that you are having to learn this the hard way, but if you're anything like me, you'll learn the most by toil and sweat!

God has been speaking to me about my own bitterness, How glad we will be when we shake these chains and pick up the Yoke that is easy and light!

Nina Diane said...


New Every Morning said...

Here's an e-hug sent from NC!

Gretchen said...

Isn't it wonderful that our Jesus knows we'll struggle and get our knees bloodied, and yet, he's there to pick us up, comfort us, and gently show us how to repent and release.

I don't like seeing your pain, but knowing there's a purpose to this pruning encourages me to encourage you.

You rocketh. And I loveth you.

Elizabeth said...

That's a hard thing! You say a lot of great stuff in this post that, honestly, i needed to hear myself. And I love that you recognize that the hurt won't go away in a day. It takes time and a lot of work. Continue trusting the Lord with the journey. You'll make it!

Marla Taviano said...

I LOVE this post. That drinking poison quote is one of my faves. Except when I really hate it.

I'm going to come back and read this anytime I'm feeling bitter.