In the book of Ruth, at the beginning of the story, Naomi (Ruth's mother-in-law) tells her friends "Don't call me Naomi. Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter." (Ruth 1:19-20)
She goes on to state that the Lord took her away full and brought her back empty.
Lately, I've felt as if I need to say the same thing to people. "Call me Mara, for I am bitter."
I have been fighting bitterness and anger about things both serious and silly. As regular readers of the blog will know, in August I was fighting depression. Now I'm fighting anger (which is actually a symptom of depression).
It is easy to blame on pregnancy hormones, but I do not appreciate the way I've been letting it rule my life. And I know my family does not appreciate they way it has been ruling my conversations with them.
Naomi's husband had moved her to a strange land, had raised her sons to look to other gods, and had accepted daughter-in-laws that worshiped gods other than her own. When her husband and sons were all dead, her daughter-in-laws returned to their families and their own ways, except Ruth. Ruth stayed with Naomi and accepted God. I think Naomi had a good reason to feel bitter, even with the blessing of Ruth. And if you read the whole story, you know that Naomi and Ruth are richly rewarded in the end.
Mr. Curly moved us to SD almost 3 years ago. That is the only part of the story that matches Naomi's. We are raising our children to love and follow God. I pray that they find a spouse in life who honors God the same as we do. And I haven't lost one family member.
I do not blame God for my bitterness.
But I do cry out daily to Him to take it away. When I go on mental rants about unimportant matters (some of them that occurred months ago), I hear a quiet voice reminding me not to keep score. When I'm angry about some situation life has handed me, I am reminded of those who struggle for basic bread and water.
I do worry about these depressed, angry emotions I have been struggling with the past few months. Those who know me will tell you that this is not me. I am generally a happy person, finding good in most things in life.
When Ruth married Boaz, they had a son, whom Naomi named Obed. Obed means "servant (or worshipper) of God." Naomi cared for Obed as if he were her own, and she was redeemed from her bitterness. (Ruth 4:13-17)
I am excited about my new baby. I am excited to add a child to our family. But I will not wait for this baby to overcome my bitterness. I will strive to be a servant, or worshipper, of God right now, each day, and gain back the joy I know He gives.
For more weekly Taming of the Frizz, see here.