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Inspirational Articles by Lygia Lovelace

 

 

The Bitterness Room
Sequel to The Crying Room


 

Slowly, Emma stood up. The Bitterness Room?! Was that what she was feeling…bitterness??! Toward her friend Joy? Toward the "hard-knocks" in her life?

 

She gasped at the next thought…

 

…even toward God?!?

 

Numbly, Emma followed the lady monitor toward the door. No one even bothered to look up or notice that she was leaving.

 

Probably no one cared.

 

The lady monitor opened the door and pointed. Emma peered out. Sure enough…there was a gold plaque on the door across the hall.

 

Bitterness Room was all it said.

 

Cautiously, Emma crossed the hall and opened the door. She drew in a gasp as she looked around. Beds lined the walls. There were people everywhere -- sick people! She wasn't sure she wanted to enter…people were coughing, gasping for air, doubled over in pain…

 

"Wait…" she said to the monitor at the door…"are these people contagious? I mean…I don't want to come in here if I'm going to get sick or something…"

 

"If you have been sent here, then you are already ill…" said the door monitor roughly -- a man this time -- and not one Emma wanted to spend a lot of time with…there was a meanness, an evil look about him.

 

"Find your own place to seethe…you won't be eligible for a bed until you begin gasping for air or retching…"

 

"Great!" Emma muttered sarcastically as she looked for a place to sit. "I can't wait!"

 

Before she could even sit down, an argument broke out in the middle of the room. Two women were fighting over one bed. One of the women had blood dripping from her nose. Her face was pale.

 

Emma watched them, wide-eyed.

 

"This is MY bed. I DESERVE IT! I've had such a hard time, ALL MY LIFE!!! NOBODY EVER GAVE ME A BREAK-the least you can do is GIVE ME THIS BED!"

 

"Your bed??! YOUR BED!? HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT? HAVE YOU EVER LOST A CHILD? IF YOU'D HAD AS MANY MISCARRIAGES AS I'VE HAD… IF YOU'D BEEN THROUGH WHAT I'VE BEEN THROUGH, THEN YOU'D BEG ME TO TAKE THIS BED!"

 

The mean-looking door monitor grabbed both women roughly and shoved them toward the door.
"THE ANGER ROOM IS DOWN THE HALL! TAKE IT IN THERE!"

 

As the women shoved past Emma, they knocked her purse out of her hands. The contents went flying across the room.

 

"Oh, my…please…someone..." Emma called timidly. "Does anyone have a flashlight? I can't see -- and I've spilled my purse…I mean, THEY actually spilled my purse."

 

Emma could feel herself getting angry.

 

"EXCUSE ME! DOES IT HAVE TO BE SO DARK IN HERE?! SOMEONE TURN ON THE LIGHT FOR PITY'S SAKE!"

 

Would no one respond?! Even the door monitor went back to his paperwork, without even attempting to help Emma.

 

As Emma searched around on the floor blindly, grasping for her things, she began muttering…"Fine. This is just great! This is the thanks I get? Nobody cares…why would I expect anyone to care?! My own kids don't care about me…my husband never cared…my own church family doesn't care either, not really…otherwise I wouldn't be HERE. Why doesn't someone want to help me? And where's Joy when I need her? Perfect Joy!"

 

At just that moment an old man walked by and stepped on Emma's hand. The pain shot through, straight to her heart.

 

"HEY! OLD MAN! WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING! HELLO! DON'T YOU SEE ME DOWN HERE, TRYING TO FIND ALL THE STUFF THAT FLEW OUT OF MY PURSE WHEN THOSE 2 SORRY EXCUSES FOR LADIES KNOCKED ME FLAT…!"

 

Suddenly Emma felt herself being lifted off the floor. She looked up into the evil face of the door monitor.

 

"LIKE I SAID EARLIER! THE ANGER ROOM IS DOWN THE HALL!"

 

With that, the door monitor shoved Emma through the door and slammed it shut behind her. Emma looked down at the empty purse in her hand -- her THROBBING hand! The contents were still in the Bitterness Room! How dare him! She tried to go back in the room, but the door was now locked. She kicked it soundly with her foot.

 

Feeling nauseous, Emma turned and slowly went down the hall toward The Anger Room…

 

Have you ever felt the sting of bitterness -- that sick feeling of both regret and disgust for what has happened? That nauseating feeling of injustice?

 

What exactly is The Bitterness Room?

 

It is a sickly, unhealthy room to be in -- thick with the germs and darkness of insensitivity, self-centeredness, and growing anger. It is not a healing room. It is an aging room. It is a place where sadness has mostly melted away -- where tears have turned to stone as the heart has begun looking for someone to blame -- anyone.

 

The heart privately begins comparing itself to others. Looking around, it feels the bitter sting of inadequacy, unfairness, and even dislike for those who are having an easier time in life -- at least for the moment.

 

Beware to anyone who gets in the path of the bitter. He will become a victim of consequence as the growing anger and feelings of injustice spew forth uncontrollably and unannounced, spilling forever the contents of all understanding, all mercy, all healing…

 

Have you ever been to The Bitterness Room?

 

I have.

 

When our precious Thai son left our home permanently at 13 years of age to live in a facility, we were devastated. I remember looking at Ken and saying, "There is nothing good about this situation. Not one thing."

 

We felt the horrible sting of losing a child -- yet with our child still living, and going to live somewhere else. Our child was angry at us -- and understandably so. He felt abandoned, "given-up", rejected yet one more time in his life. As his mom, my heart was breaking for him. But what could I do? The circumstances were beyond our control -- beyond my control, and nothing could be done about it. We had asked God to make it all go away -- to heal our son.

 

He hadn't.

 

Month after month, our son couldn't, or wouldn't, control the self-destructive, raging tendencies, and we were afraid -- for his life, and ours.

 

We felt helpless. There was nothing left to do.

 

Many in our circle of friends and family did not understand. They judged us unfairly. Many of them had never seen any other side to our son except a friendly, guarded side. Few believed us when we tried to explain…many of them backed away from us, doubting us.

 

That really hurt. Then, after the hurt began to pass, bitterness rose to the surface of my heart.

 

"Why couldn't they just believe us?!" my heart would seethe. "Do they think we are lying? Why would they doubt us? Do they think we would make this up??! Don't they know how painful this is?!"

 

I even held ill feelings against those adoptive couples around us who were having great success with their children.

 

"Why, Lord? Why us?!" I would often ask. "What was wrong with us? Why couldn't we make it work?"

 

During this time, I saw a friend that I hadn't seen for awhile -- not since our son had left.

 

"Lygia?!" she inquired when she first spotted me, looking deeply into my face. "Lygia??! Is that you? Are you ok?"
I looked at her, startled, not sure what had shocked her so.

 

"Yes…why? What's wrong?"

 

"I have never seen you looking so…old. You really look...awful! Are you sick?! What's going on?"

 

Cautiously, I told her what we'd recently been through. She listened, while looking deeply into my eyes.

 

I watched as the tears escaped her eyes. She put her arms around me. "You have truly taken this to your heart," she said sympathetically. "Girl, you've got to get this out of you, somehow. You look like you've aged 10 years-in just a few months!"

 

Her words shocked me -- it definitely wasn't what I wanted to hear…but I knew she was right.

 

Bitterness is a weight that threatens to pull you down to the grave. And it definitely had its grip on me.

 

That night, in the middle of the night, I tossed and turned, and finally pushed myself out of bed. I grabbed my Bible and went to lie on the couch.

 

My fingers found their way to Psalm 119. My eyes fell on verse 25, and I just kept reading, out loud, to the Father, voicing the psalm as my own…

 

My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to your Word…
My soul melts from heaviness;
Strengthen me according to Your Word!
Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way!
Revive me in Your righteousness.
…I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I love
…I will lift up my hands to Your commandments, which I love
I will meditate on Your statutes.

 

As the tears poured from my eyes, the Father used them to wash away that unnatural aging, those anger lines, that self-absorbed expression that had forced its way into my face.

 

It's true -- His mercies ARE new every morning, and even in the middle of the night.

 

The Bitterness Room.

 

Why do we choose to go there? It is a choice, you know. The well-dressed man will definitely point you there, but you don't have to go.

 

We are like Emma. We open the door and enter, before we even realize what we've done. Then, we're in.

 

But there is always a way of escape…always.

 

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.
And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear…
But when you are tempted…He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

I Corinthians 10:12-13


Stay with us, as we follow Emma's journey to The Anger Room, and beyond. Joy is just around the corner…






 

 

 

Copyright © 2011. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights reserved. KenLovelaceMinistries.com




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