I understand that when you read the title of this post, you probably thought, that is not me. I want you to know that I can see the truth. You are hurting inside. You are confused about your life, and you do not know how to express it properly. I am sure things did not work out as you planned. Your life was supposed to go this way, and it just didn’t happen. You are not happy, and frequently it shows.
My guess about your situation is that you once had big dreams. You were a sports star, homecoming royalty, popular and everyone thought you were the most likely to succeed. You set the bar high for yourself and rightfully so because everyone saw your potential. People knew that one day you would conquer the world and be rich or famous or both.
Somewhere along the way, things took a wrong turn. One of several things might have happened to you. A sports injury ended your career and left you sidelined from your dreams. Maybe a poor decision led to a series of unfortunate events that left you labeled with ugly terms. Perhaps you threw yourself into your dreams, and you simply failed.
In the wake of devastation, you turned to God. You realized your need for forgiveness. You came to understand and accept grace as you tried to rebuild your life. It was a wonderfully defining moment that saved you from deep despair.
And yet, something is still not right. You harbor bitter feelings of disappointment in yourself. There is a deeply hidden pain when you look in the mirror. You are sure everyone else is judging you and saying to themselves how much of a failure you really are. The frustration you feel about yourself is projected on other people. Without realizing it, you have become this bitter and angry person.
You feel separate from other people. No one seems to want to draw close to you anymore, and you are convinced it is their problem. The anger becomes your entrenched attitude toward everything and occasion blowup is becoming more frequent.
If this is you, can I make a couple of statements for you to think about today?
First, let me assure you that no one feels about you the way that you think of yourself. In fact, most people do not think about you at all. They are fighting their own internal battles. The majority of people see you as a wonderful person with issues, just like themselves.
Second, let me remind you that God forgives you. He not only forgives you, but he is also rewriting your story toward a better ending. God has better dreams for your life than you ever had. Cling to grace every day.
Third, your current anger is doing more damage than you realize. In your frustration, you are hurting people who love you. You have the power to stop the pain for them. Do a daily attitude check and resist the ugly emotions that fill your head.
Finally, I hope you will allow this season of your life to be a time of growth. Don’t run away from people who care about you. Don’t lock all these emotions inside and allow them to fill your future. Let these difficult feelings bring you closer to God, push you toward grace and become a kinder and gentler person.
As your pastor, I know you are struggling. Although you would never articulate it to me or to anyone else for that matter, we all know what is going on inside of you. We are afraid to say something because we feel like you will blow up and it will make matters worse. The people around you care about you, and we want to help, please let us.
You are God’s precious child no matter how you feel about yourself today.