Frustration. It’s a debilitating state of mind that had been the enemy of our family as I was growing up.
My father displayed his frustration and dissatisfaction daily through a seemingly constant barrage of huffing and sighing and other non-verbal indicators aimed at no one in particular, but clearly communicating his level of frustration in our home.
I grew to hate those sounds. They made my insides cringe. Today, these sounds remind me of the tension I felt as a little girl in the wake of all the huffing and sighing, and the frequent yelling, complaining, and angry outbursts that followed these warning signs.
Run and hide. Stay out of the way. Don’t ask for anything. Don’t make a sound. It’s all your fault.
My inner dialogue deceived me. I thought this climate of frustration in a home was normal. This enemy was a guaranteed daily presence in our house and we were expected to bow to it. I was not welcome in his frustration. I added to his frustration, or at least this is was what I was convinced of.
Fast forward a few years, and as an adult, annoyances would build up in me until they exploded in frustration. And anger. I was unable to cope with trivial situations or moments that peppered my daily life. I lashed out and hurt my family because of my inability to process in a reasonable manner.
Who had I become? I often displayed the behavior of an emotionally immature, overwhelmed, and frustrated person. The only thing was… I didn’t want to be that person anymore.
Where could the frustration go? Who could take it?
I found my heart radically changed and calmed the more time I spent seeking God. I mean, really seeking Him. Devouring the Word and worshiping every day. Spending time in prayer and risking myself in faith to serve Him obediently. Getting on my knees. Getting real. Talking to Him about my frustrations in the quiet of my bedroom, and feeling His peace overtake me.
I began responding immediately when I would feel the prompting of the Spirit to address an issue in my heart. Repentance. Tears. Forgiveness. Truth. Love.
“Perfect love casts out fear.”
As I delved into healing and my heart being put right again, I could see the majority of my frustration was coming from fear deep inside me. Fear of not being right. Fear of the unknown. Fear of not having control. Fear of making a mistake.
All these fears turned me toward questioning my identity. Who am I really? Where am I receiving my identity from? Am I the daughter of a frustrated man? Or am I the daughter of a King? Is my inheritance anger and dissatisfaction, or is my inheritance Grace and Love? Am I destined to repeat the past, or live free in my future?
Being around someone in a constant state of frustration recently was a powerful way God revealed my own heart to me – He showed me the reality of who I am now, and how far I’ve come. I saw I was no longer bound to the sighs, the complaints, or the constant dissatisfaction in my circumstances. It had been a gradual process, and I now have a different perspective. I was encouraged to see just how much Love has changed me.
The evidence is overwhelming for the case of God in me.
He is real. He heals and changes hearts to the way they were originally designed to be. He is the bringer of peace and joy. He picks up the all broken pieces, binds them up like a bundle of wood, and burns them away. He replaces the broken with beautiful. He replaces the detrimental narrative in my head with the truth of who He is and who I am because of Him.
I am His beloved. So are you.