Broken Not Bitter

Posted By on Mar 27, 2011 in The Life I Live | 40 comments


A couple of weeks ago, I sat across the table from a friend, pushed my barbecue chicken chopped salad around on my plate, and shared one of my greatest fears.

“I am just worried that life, that my circumstances, that my singleness, will make me bitter. I am terrified of becoming a bitter old woman.”

“You won’t. It’s just not you,” he reassured me.

But this morning as I sat and listened to two of my closest friends share on forgiveness, I realized how quickly and completely bitterness had crept into my world and begun to poison my heart.

I justified my grief, my anger, even my unforgiveness.

I was right. They were wrong. The apology was incomplete. I was still suffering. They were moving on.

I hadn’t for a minute realized that the resentment I was harboring was only poisoning one person. It was only poisoning me.

So today I am doing what it takes to make it right.

Today I am choosing forgiveness.

I might be broken. But at least I am free.

Are you choosing brokenness or living with bitterness?

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  • Anonymous

    I had this fear in my 20s. In my 30s I began questioning everything and prayed that I would be put on the path destined for me. In my early 40s, still single and extremely content. I’ve gone through a lot and faced a lot of pain. But we serve a God who is more real than the reality of our situation. I’m amazed at the quality of relationships I have. If I stay single the rest of my life I KNOW I won’t be that lonely old woman who’s bitter about what life dealt her. I know lonely old women who were married to a monster for 40 years and outlived him. I have a fascinating life and have done things my parents wished they had done but now are too old.

    Walking with Christ is an adventure once we surrender (all) to Him.

    I love the honesty of your post. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      Thanks Laurinda for adding your perspective. It is encouraging to see how you built an amazing life with what you have been given.

    • http://www.walkwiththewise.wordpress.com Gail

      Very true Laurinda. It’s not being single that makes a girl bitter, it’s choosing to hold onto, harbour and fertilise unforgives that makes anyone bitter.

      A great single woman of God (in her forties) once told me, “Living single is not less than or worse than living married. It’s just a different way of doing life.”

      • Anonymous

        I love that quote! Thanks Gail.

  • http://www.jeremysconfessions.com Jeremy@confessionsofalegalist

    Bitterness is sneaky. It usually makes sense to us. We rationalize it. We encourage it. And it can grow. Thanks for sharing. We all have issues with bitterness and it helps to see someone own up to it and make it right. I hope you find peace in your forgivings.

  • http://bahava.wordpress.com Katy

    i fear that…i fear that i won’t sort out where God was in the midst of it and still see Him as good no matter what. no matter if it looks like He wasn’t there. no matter what. so hard though to forgive and yet it’s like you said…they’re not hurt by it…it’s only poisoning me. oh the hurt that comes with living in a world with free will…

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      Think we have to KNOW somehow that He was there, He saw, He heard, He felt what we felt, and is still working for our good…

      • http://bahava.wordpress.com Katy

        yeah it’s like both for me because sometimes it seems like it would be easier if He hadn’t been there…because then it’s that whole you were there and felt it and still it happened. ah trust.

  • http://www.drbabymamadrama.com DrBabyMamaDrama

    What a wonderfully transparent post. There is so much in my past I could choose to be bitter about, so I understand your perspective. For me, it is a daily dying to self and my so-called “needs”. Bitterness is a choice that consumes too much energy that I could devote to things I really love.

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      True. Such a smart way of looking at it.

  • http://www.mustardseedyear.com Jason Wert

    You’ll come to find the more you truly forgive and move on the more you’ll find it easier to allow things to roll off your back. You’ll find that while you don’t forget what’s been done and you don’t always allow people to get back into the same levels of trust you’ll lose the stress and toxicity that comes from hanging onto the incidents.

    Good on ya for taking this step Lindsey.

  • Anonymous

    I love your honesty, Lindsey. It challenges me, it really does, and is actually something I have been thinking about quite a lot recently. I choose brokenness, even when it means Jesus gently holding a mirror up to my face and showing me those parts of myself I would rather run or hide from. Do I like it when he does it? Not at all. Do I need it? More than I know.

  • Anonymous

    Lord Jesus, You could’ve been bitter hanging on the cross, bearing the weight of everyone’s bitterness and wrath and gossip and murder and sexual sins and hatred and addictions and apathy. But You forgave. Give Lindsey Your heart, the same heart that says, “Father forgive them for they know not what they’re doing.” Lord, set her free. Right now. In this moment. Amen.

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      Mary, So appreciate you and your prayer.

  • http://twitter.com/anidolheart Grant Jenkins

    Love it.

  • http://twitter.com/angiemagnino Angie Magnino

    Bitterness and resentment is usually so buried within us that it’s easy to not recognize it for what it is. I love this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662110247 Robyn Jones

    i’ve never met you, but you are an inspiration to me! it’s not easy, but i’m choosing brokenness, not bitterness. the quote that you started this post with describes me to a tee. thank you for your vulnerability.

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      Thanks Robyn.

  • http://refineus.org/ Justin and Trisha

    Honored to call you a friend. Thank you for your honesty and for going first in an area that most of us struggle in.

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      I think y’all actually went first…this is me going second ;)

  • Makeda

    Lindsey I love the transparency of this post. Thank you for sharing so honestly about where you are and your fears around where you might end up. I love that you are choosing brokenness and forgiveness; it inspires me to try to do the same. Hugs to you friend!

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      Thanks Makeda!

  • http://marykathryntyson.wordpress.com/ mktys0n

    that has been a huge prayer for me over the years, particularly over a really painful break-up a few years ago. i prayed over and over again on my face, ‘god, please keep my heart soft to you, please don’t let me become bitter over this…’ i knew i was at risk and i couldn’t afford it.

    lately i’ve realized i’ve grown afraid of relationships, which is something i wasn’t expecting at all.

    uh…at least i’m not bitter, i guess…? but…

    thank god for therapy.

    xo

    p.s. did you and alece team up on today’s posts? because…

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      alece and i did not team up, i guess we are just in sync. :)

  • http://guidetowomen.wordpress.com/ Sharideth

    love this. well done.

  • Ssvirginia

    wooooo definitely had a lot of thoughts on this last night at my bible study. realize i’m walking a thin line of being hopeful in the singleness which can twist to bitter real fast. praying/learning/listening for ways to grow stronger. constantly trying to remind myself of what my purpose on earth is and how God will hopefully use me where i am. but i know it’s tough…so i just eat more mexican food. :)

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      and drink more margaritas ;)

  • http://therealdaniel.wordpress.com Daniel Tomlinson

    I’m choosing brokenness. Thank you for making your blog a wonderful ministry to me. Grace and peace.

  • Kim Q.

    I’m wondering if God sent this to me today, been struggling in general. Could bitterness have crept in? Time for some prayer and honest soul searching.
    Thank you for sharing your soul with us.

  • http://twitter.com/BiancaJuarez Bianca Juarez

    Forgiveness is the new F word. You need to watch this!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6d8fV7ONAxM

    You’re welcome. ;)

    • http://lindseynobles.com Lindsey Nobles

      Thanks for sharing B!

  • http://alwaysalleluia.com Kris

    Great post. Thank you for this.

  • http://www.reflectinghearts.com Morgan MacGavin

    Yesterday’s message was definitely powerful. In areas I thought I’d forgiven, it shed light that really I hadn’t. I’d pushed it back into the area of bitterness and resentment–ready to bring it up the second I was hurt again. And that bitterness is what makes me feel like a slave to the past. I’m looking forward to dropping my stone in the dirt and just walking away.

  • Ian

    Lindsey – thanks for your openness in sharing this. Praying today you’ll experience true release from Heaven.

  • Anonymous

    I used to have a saying written under the bill of my hat when I played baseball in school….can’t remember the author, but it said “Get Better, Not Bitter”. It helped me get over many strikeouts and errors. :)

  • http://twitter.com/not2lindsay Lindsay Goodwin

    Don’t know yet… Trying not to be bitter. Finding it much easier said than done…

  • http://www.life-edited.blogspot.com Amanda Williams

    Love you, new friend.

  • http://twitter.com/brianburton brianburton

    WOW…totally needed to hear this today. Hits me right where I am. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/Drake_Jim Jim Drake

    Thanks Lindsey for sharing. It’s good to connect with open hearts and minds and I’m so glad that we’ve made that connection through Recreate!

  • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

    i love you girl. so much.

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