Recently I was watching the testimony of Melissa Helser (of No Longer Slaves and Cageless Birds). Somebody sent the video to me and it slammed me in the gut. In the video Melissa talks about God setting her free from bitterness. She recounts when a speaker at a church she was visiting called for someone struggling with bitterness to stand up. She thought, “I’m 17, I’m not bitter.” But she explains how she was somehow pulled out of her seat and God showed her the bitterness and pain in her life.
When she said those words I immediately thought ‘no, bitterness does not apply to me’. Three moments later, God said ‘yes it does’. There was a bit of back and forth, but I knew that I knew He was right. Like Melissa, I must somehow have carried people’s pain and somewhere I must be bitter. I didn’t see where but I knew the voice of my God and I knew what He said was true.
Over the next couple of weeks, things began emerging. I saw that I had indeed been carrying people’s pain. I had picked up their burdens and never given them back to Jesus. I also saw the bitterness. I was horrified. I could not be angry, I wasn’t angry. But it seemed I was. Over the years I had never learnt to deal with my anger and now I sat on a volcano of suppressed anger. I had also never learnt to deal with hurt so I too sat on a volcano of suppressed pain.
When I began having more panic attacks and began spiralling at the beginning of this year I was so confused. I thought the panic attacks were the problem. Turned out they were a symptom of a much deeper problem. They were the out playing of a pain that had been buried too long.
I had no idea how to defuse the mountain that lay before me. I hung to God with such a desperation. Only the Holy Spirit could make such a big change as I needed.
I am in so much more pain than I was at the beginning of the year, but that is because God is dealing with the anger and pain. I won’t lie and say I am fine. I am not, there is so much God has to do. But God is holding my hands and me.
I wouldn’t pass up this season though. God is showing me how to deal with my anger by using people around me. He is teaching me His way to deal with this through people like my mother. He is showing me how to bring my pain, my fear and my anger and lay it down at His feet. I am ever grateful.
Melissa’s video is absolutely incredible and there are so many more things than bitterness to learn from it. You can watch it here.