I've had a very broken journey. I was divorced, and I spent about eight years as a single mom before I remarried. At the time, my children were young. The youngest was three, the oldest was ten. This was not the life I intended, would have chosen, would do over, or would give to anybody.
In my brokenness I had a couple of choices. I could choose to allow bitterness to take over, and it would have been easy to rationalize that because things hadn't been fair. I'd been hurt and desperately wounded. Things really hadn't gone that well for me. I had maybe a hundred reasons to allow bitterness to go down inside me and settle in there. Even my friends sometimes said things like "Girl, if I were you I'd still be mad." They encouraged me to make that choice.
But somehow the Lord got ahold of me in some of those darkest years and began to speak to me the truth of his Word. I had a broken home, broken children, a broken marriage, and an awful mess, and even after my divorce, ongoing awfulness. Every day was incredibly hard. So the question became, Will I live in that? Or how now will I live for the glory of God, given this limp I have?
One of the very first ways I knew the Lord was prompting me was that I had to deal with my propensity to allow bitterness to settle in. The sooner I could choose the joy of Christ to fill that place bitterness was trying to fill, the sooner we were going to get on down the road. So for me it was a choice I felt I had to make.1