Monday, July 24, 2006

Bitter or Better - make the choice

Explain the saying: The circumstances of life can make us better or bitter.

This is the question that popped out at me in my Bible journal. At first, I quickly dismissed it with a, “Well that’s easy” but upon further thought, it isn’t so easy.

I’ve had a lot of things happen in my life; things that could make one angry and hurt for a long time. And you know, for a while, long ago, it did make me bitter. I was acting out in destructive ways and hurting the one person that mattered the most – me.

Thankfully, I swallowed my pride and sought help before it was too late. With the help of friends and therapy, I let go of the pain. I let go of the anger. I let go of the expectations. I found myself, deep inside, just waiting for the right time to come out and live. What a difference life was when I chose the good, happy, uplifting side of things. Things, while not perfect, were easier. I had to learn to live in a non-chaotic world.

I met Jeff in 1990 on a blind date. I almost canceled two times, but thankfully, the friends that set us up wouldn’t allow it. I am grateful for their insight. In the beginning of our relationship, I had inner-fights with my mind; thinking this relationship was too good for me. It wasn’t loud enough. It wasn’t sad enough. Something was bound to go wrong. More work for Kim was needed. Thankfully, I continued to work on myself and Jeff was supportive.

When Jeff and I decided to get married, we both agreed on a church wedding. I grew up loosely understanding my Christian faith while Jeff was pretty much an agnostic. Together, we found our way. Praise God. To celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary, we were baptized, side by side. It is an afternoon I will never forget.

Our life together has been filled fun times, smiles and hugs. We are the proud parents of six amazing children. To the outsider, we have it ‘going on.’ And you know, for the most part, we do. That’s not to say that it has all come easy. That would be a lie. A happy, fulfilling marriage takes work and patience. Parenthood adds a new, sometimes awkward, dimension to a marriage. More hard work is needed.

As parents, we have faced awesome joy and tremendous pain. We have stared death in the face while fighting our way through the NICU nightmare with the boys. We have held hands with our girls, and let go when necessary (which is hard). We’ve made family choices that put us on the outside of society, and face the obstacles of those choices. We jump the hurdles together, stronger for the fight.

Do I know bitterness? You bet. I could have traveled down a vastly different path had I let that bitter pill make its way to my soul. Instead, I spit it out and chose happiness and faith. Thank you, God.

Life is new each day. Things won’t always go the way we want, but with His grace and the help of family, you persevere. Today, I make BETTER choices.


Blogger Mimi said...

Kim, I love this post, it speaks to the ups and downs that make us who we are, and the strength that we draw from our spouse and from God.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely a beautiful gives us all a little bit of hope.
What a perfect term "the bitter pill".

7:51 PM  
Blogger KKT said...

wow kim. i never would have guessed that you and your hubby weren't lifelong Christians! what a great post. so much better than mine the other day :P

i'm hanging onto a hope right now by the thinnest thread. your story just made that thread a little thicker!

7:23 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

This spoke straight to my heart. I know we all have a story - that's just a fact. And sometimes the past comes back to haunt you and the evil one wants it to take control. I struggle w. that and honestly, sometimes the bitterness comes back - but encouraging words like yours, from someone who can humbly share they've been there - wow, this touches me. Thank you Kim!

10:34 AM  

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