When expectations are unmet, anger and discontentment can sneak into our lives. The next step is to play the blame game; however, owning that we missed the mark and lost can be the first step to recovery.
My mom's antique vase from her grandmother came tumbling down and shattered on the floor- it was as if the vase fell in slow motion. I could not believe my eyes as I looked around, as the fragmented pieces of glass sprawled across the floor. Only my little sister had seen what happened. Running downstairs, I proceeded to tell my mom that my sister broke the vase; after all, she started the pillow fight!
It wasn't very long ago when someone who struggled with alcoholism shared with me what had helped in their addiction recovery. The person's brow creased as they explained their expectations about how life would go. When those expectations were not met, they became angry; they weren't mad at the situation, but at the people around them; it was everyone else's fault that they were not happy. Being angry led them to numb their feelings with alcohol.
Although alcohol is not my struggle, I struggle with becoming angry and blaming. I think all of us are in recovery from something. Because we are all in recovery, we all "throw pillows," or, in biblical terms, we sin. What is your pillow?
I had expectations that I was going to graduate from college and get a full-time job within the career field that I had studied. When that didn't happen, I found myself angry and at home with my parents. My goals were my "pillow". I put my career pretty high on my priority list. I didn't talk about it with God, because to be honest, I was angry at him too. I pointed at everyone else around me as the problem. There was a list of shattered vases and another list of others to blame.
Only when a friend of mine brought this to my attention was I able to see how blaming others had turned into a problem. As James 1:20 says, "human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires." Anger has so many different roots. Once we identify where the anger is coming from, usually a sin in our lives, we can start growing again.
In the end, I told my mom that I lied and that it had been my pillow that hit the vase. Because it was so long ago, I don't remember what happened next, but I do know that I felt much better. Confessing that we are not okay and the one messing up can be healing. Acknowledging our weaknesses can mend so many broken relationships and send us on the road to recovery. What pillow is God telling you to own?
Hannah Lynn hosts Moody Radio’s That’s Real and is an engineer for Karl and Crew mornings. She grew up as a homeschooler on a tree farm, plays the harp (ask her about harp camp), drives a Prius (don’t judge), and started a fashion blog while a student at Moody Bible Institute (yes, that’s possible). Hannah loves to tell people about Jesus—as a seven-year-old she witnessed to her ballet teacher, then she started a Young Life club while in high school. Now she mentors teens with her husband, John, who serves as a youth pastor.
That’s Real with Hannah Lynn gives a one-minute dose of encouragement and advice to young adults who want to love and live God’s Word. Her fast-paced mix of storytelling and Bible truth helps create understanding between young believers and anyone who wants to follow Jesus one day at a time.