Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: ANNOYED (04/05/18)
By Linda Lawrence
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You know how ashamed I was about being so annoyed with my mother, so what is this thing in me that is reacting to my daughter the same way? Even though we see each other only once or twice a year, in less than 24 hours I am so annoyed I don't know how we will last for three days.
This is crazy. I loved Mom and I know she loved me. More importantly, we both loved You and wanted to please You.
Mom acted as though she thought I was her best friend. I didn’t want to disappoint her but I did not like her expectation that I would do and like and say whatever she wanted. I wanted to run. It took me weeks to regain my emotional equilibrium after a visit.
I tried to honor her, so she did not seem to notice my frustration because I smiled on the outside - while I was clenching my teeth. I made an excuse to leave the room and found a corner where I could make a face as screwed up as my ugly emotions and let out the groan I did not want Mom to hear.
Now I'm the mother with a daughter that I see two or three times a year. I love my daughter and know she loves me. We both love You and want to please You. I’m eager to know her as an adult and for her to know me. I want us to be friends just like my mother wanted with me, but my daughter doesn't hide her annoyance with my expectations of her. I don’t want her to dread visiting me like I did Mom, so I remain quiet. I think I am hiding my pouting but she always calls me on it.
I was shocked when at my daughter’s house I found myself facing a corner and making an ugly face and feeling sorry for myself. Such deja vu! That’s when it dawned on me that my mother may not have been the problem. My daughter was not the problem. The problem was me.
You are a father, Lord. You understand a parent’s desire for our children to be eager to enjoy what good things we plan for them. You don’t want us to groan - silently or aloud. I need your help to be as patient and forgiving with my groaning daughter as you are with me. And Lord, help her be patient with me.
Jesus, you are a son. When you struggled with doing what your Father knew would bring good, you set the example by groaning, “Not my will, but Thine be done.”
Help! I can see that being annoyed is simply wanting what I want. May my groans come from longing to trust and obey You, not from wanting to escape.
Thank you for letting me be honest with You about my feelings and then guiding me to work out the answer to my question. When Mom eventually came to live with me because Alzheimer’s had taken away her power to control anything, she happily did whatever I suggested. When she did what I wanted I was no longer annoyed with her. Lord, I am not proud of that victory over annoyance. I don’t want my contentment to be based on my will being done, but on delighting in Your wise and good will.
Help me to be like Jesus, of one mind and will with You, Father.
Influenced by reminders of Luke 22:41-42 and Matthew 6:10
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