Last year, my feelings surprised me when I pulled into my youngest kid’s school parking lot. I hadn’t driven on that same pavement for about two years. The last time I drove in, I was pulling my oldest son, Will, out of the school because of severe bullying and a threat to his life. Over the summer, I mentioned to my youngest child Grant, numerous times, that I would gladly enroll him in the school where Will transferred to and had great success. However, Grant always replied, “I want to go where my friends are going, not where Will went.” I couldn’t blame him. I would want the same thing, so I let it be. But on the morning of registration, once I entered the school campus, I felt like screaming, “NO, I CAN’T LET YOU IN THERE!”
I didn’t want Grant to walk in the school because he is my youngest child and has been through enough. He nearly died of asthma as an infant, and in second grade, he was taken via flight for life to the ICU for stroke-like symptoms. He’s strong, but I don’t know if I could handle another threat to his life. I’d heard from other moms that bullying was still a problem at the school and I was distraught. As I got out of my car and walked down the main entrance, I continued to experience raw emotion boiling inside of me. I needed to talk to God, but at that moment, my focus was getting Grant registered for school and then getting out of there!
It wasn’t until a few days after registration that I spent time asking Jesus to help me with the bitterness I was holding against the school. As I was praying, I looked up the definition of bitterness because I wanted to understand the true meaning. I found that Google defines bitterness as “anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment.” Right after I read that clear definition, a light went off in my head because I finally understood the underlying issue of my heart.
As I continued to pray, I was still in shock at how that definition perfectly defined what was occurring in the depths of my heart and mind. I became fully aware that I was holding on to the extreme disappointment, causing bitterness to rise in my heart. It also made me realize how my heart was crushed because of the way Will was bullied. It was so unfair. I needed Jesus to heal my wounded heart.
So, with the definition of bitterness fresh in my mind, I knew exactly how to pray. I said, “Jesus, I am disappointed and hurt by the way Will was treated at school. (I inserted the kid’s name) mistreated him, and the administration didn’t do what was necessary. God, will you forgive me for the bitterness I’ve held against (school name)?”
After that simple prayer, I felt a breakthrough. There are times that I have to set my mind on things above when I go into the school, but just as Sally Burke (Moms in Prayer President) has commissioned us to pray deeper for schools, I’m doing it! And praying deeper for the schools is not only changing my kid’s school, but it’s also changing me.
I hope through my realization of naming and then asking God to forgive me for bitterness (anger, disappointment, resentment), you too can take this into practice when you are in your confession time at your Moms in Prayer group or even in your personal prayer time. I know there is freedom when we ask God to forgive.
Scriptures to Review
Ephesians 4:31 NIV
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Hebrews 12:15 TPT
Watch over each other to make sure that no one misses the revelation of God’s grace. And make sure no one lives with a root of bitterness sprouting within them which will only cause trouble and poison the hearts of many.
Isaiah 1:18 ESV
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”
Ephesians 1:7 NLT
He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.
Psalm 103:12 NLT
He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
Andrea Catlett has a practical theology degree and is currently finishing her master’s in ministry at Portland Seminary. Throughout her life, she has served in a wide variety of ministries and loves being involved in Moms in Prayer. She serves as an Area Coordinator, and the Moms in Prayer Colorado Special Needs Facilitator. She has found connecting to God and then connecting to others as her life calling. Find out more about Andrea on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, as well as her blog Andrea’s Heart Expressed.