Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.” Hebrews 12:15
The word “bitterness” simply put means – poison and “ to defile” means – to contaminate, taint, or tarnish.
I became a mother and moved out at age 16 and haven’t lived under my parents’ roof since – not because I couldn’t, I chose not to. I graduated high school with a young daughter, living on my own at the early at the age of seventeen.
I went on to have another son and then two more children with boyfriend turned husband, then settled down with my husband (now ex) – in that order. We were married and had a good relationship for a while. However, both being young and lacking the tools to be married with a family, our marriage failed. (Side note: ladies, love isn’t enough).
I was a doer in my marriage.
Not in the best sense of the word – always busy making sure everything was just right with everything but my relationship to make up for the fact that I did not know how to be in a real relationship. But this article is not about that, so… enough said.
When my husband left I continued to be a doer, not of the work James 1:25 refers to but of the busyness Martha, Mary’s sister got caught up in. However, my busyness was to numb my pain.
Reality is: we all have to STOP and FEEL. I DID NOT.
I did finish two degrees, get involved with everything my children did; get involved in ministry, start a career in IT, craft my writing, and write a book, the list could go on…
I did not date, I did not drink or do drugs, I did not really socialize outside of church, and I did not do any recreational activities, again the list could go on…
With all the positives in my life I was very unbalanced and still never really stopped to allow myself to feel the weight of being a single parent, the pain of my marriage gone badly, of the infidelity and betrayal, the shame, or the hurt. Nope, I just kept going.
Pain not dealt with becomes anger and that anger then become bitterness.
I internalized all the pain until bitterness took root only to be seen through random acts of anger band-aided by “trying” to “forgive” and forget.
I poisoned my kids got away with it by covering it up with my love for them, good works, kind words mixed with the salty ones, and going to church.
I fed them the poison through my unhealed past experiences and the words I used to address the issues with their father. This is not about him, so I will only deal with my stuff. I am responsible for my actions and what I sow into my children.
The Bible says, Love covers a multitude of sin but in subtle ways I exposed his. Yes, he did a lot of things that weren’t right, in fact he did some things that were downright wrong, but still, two wrongs will never make a right.
Even though he did many things on his own, it did not help that I allowed my children to know about certain things that were going on with us and talk within hearing distance about things that did not concern them.
I contaminated my children with a tainted truth better known as hypocrisy.
My cynicism laced with a bit of love and good works tarnished their view of God, the world, their faith and their father/step-father.
Instead of seeing him through the eyes of God’s love, dealing with him in love, truly forgiving him for what he had done, moving on and teaching my children to do so, I allowed the pain turned quiet anger, turned bitterness to tarnish my vision until all I could see is what he had done to ME and MY CHILDREN!
This in turn infected them and crept its way into other areas of our lives in such subtle ways that it went unnoticed until the fruit appeared.
I did not realize what the real issue was until much later because I had so masked my pain that I could not identify it.
I did not understand, why, as much as I tried, I could not live out the forgiveness I confessed and alleged to give and then at random times ”let it all out.”
Once a thing is brought out into the Light, then healing can begin.
The best way to deal with the devil or to contain a break out of contamination is to expose it/him. When the root of the matter – the pain I never allowed myself to feel came to Light, healing began.
Today, Beloved, I exposed the devil and I exposed his poison in hopes that if you have allowed any bitterness to take root and thereby contaminate others my story will bring it into the Light so you can deal with the root of bitterness, stop contaminating your children and begin to heal.