Appeal of Pity Parties

pity_party_ice_creamContinued from here.

I used to love a good pity party. I could wallow in my pain and the unfairness of my life for weeks at a time. I would relive all of the ways that people wronged me and nurse my hatred and bitterness toward them. To God, I probably looked like Pigpen from the Peanuts comic strip with self-pity surrounding me like a cloud.

Wallowing in self-pity makes us miserable, so we do we do it? The best lies contain much truth, which is what enables others to be deceived so easily. It was true that I was severely abused as a child, that I suffered greatly in the aftermath of that abuse, and that I was in no way responsible for having been abused as a child. Because I believed these truths, I took the next step to believe the lie that I would never be freed from the pain of the aftermath of the abuse.

I believed that my pain was bigger than God’s ability to heal me. Because I believed this, it became my “reality.” No matter how many times I prayed for emotional healing, I stayed mired in pain. Despite numerous Christians praying for my emotional healing over a period of years, very little progress took place. I did not experience freedom from my emotional pain until I obeyed God by replacing my pity parties with prayers for my enemies and deciding to forgive my childhood abusers, no matter how long the process took. I had to choose this again and again – day after day and month after month for over a year before it became a reality.

While I have met people who were able to forgive quickly, that was not my experience. I had marinated in my bitterness for decades, so it took a long time for me to learn how to live differently. I enjoyed hating my childhood abusers, and I wallowed in bitterness and self-pity whenever anyone did anything that hurt my feelings in my present-day life. My thoughts were filled with a checklist of all the ways other people had wronged me. I was constantly at the center of my thoughts. The enemy was happy to encourage me to keep myself as the center of my universe, knowing that I would never experience God’s healing power as long as my pain, and not my God, was the object of my worship.

To be continued…

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace crying while eating a gallon of ice cream. Courtesy Bitmoji.]