Time for another bleeding heart confession. Here goes.
Sometime this week a big realization fell into place. It was the answer to an presumed innocence and resulting distance from God. I discovered the truth of resentment and it's implications. I formerly thought resentment was simply holding a grudge. I have a feeling it is more complex.
I can recall an incident in my childhood that has been something of a mystery to me until recently. My mom would tell me that it was time for bed and offer me a drink of water. I would refuse it and go bed. I would wander out of my room shortly thereafter and request more water. She would, of course, say, "No, I offered you some earlier. Go back to bed." Then all hell would break lose. I would cry the cry of a martyr. I basked in the pain of "helplessness". I would eventually break my parents by virtue of my self-induced martyr's high. They would offer me water at last and I would deny it. Victory wasn't what I wanted. At least not in the sense of dominating the strongest force in my life. I wanted the feeling of being justified. I wanted to play the victim. This scenario was not uncommon.
Up till last week I thought I was unique. This phenomena was my little freak show and I was the star. 12-step speaks much about resentment, and most strikingly, that it is just as powerful as lust, alcohol, drugs, etc. "Hmm, I don't hate many people...I guess I don't have a problem with that." With my definition of resentment falling only on people and situations that I felt justified in harboring contempt my blinders were perfectly in place. Almost.
Remembering back to the intense sensation of longing and drive behind the seemingly senseless drama of the water, I questioned what was to be gained there and then it all clicked. I had been placing myself in situations where I could feel justified in abusing people and myself since I was old enough to talk. I've been a self-destructive martyr since day one. My mom was not wrong when she said I should have been a lawyer.
Powerless is what I am over this. This was my first addiction. It is hardwired into me. Victimizing myself, setting myself up to be abused in increasingly sophisticated ways has been my trajectory of life. My most elaborate facade has been against God. I have done things that He has told me not to do and then I blame Him for the consequences. Then I sin some more, because I've convinced myself that God has abandoned me. I "deserve" to, why bother trying not to? So it has been.
My latest escapade of resentment has just ended. I have plunged into self pity again with the circumstances that have "befallen" me. I have no money and I have stopped trying to do anything for myself. I've been telling everyone along the way that God will provide and take care of me. What I left out was "in spite of my lack of cooperation". I've set myself up again.
I do believe God will take care of me and He has, but I've rationalized my inaction under the guise of "surrender". My attraction to surrender has not been the promise of God taking care of me, but the goldmine of opportunity to play the victim when things don't go my way.
Resentment is a drug and I am an addict. God, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I was so ignorant of your love and tried to excuse myself from your mercy. I'm sorry I used my insolence to defame your glorious name. I truly am a wretch of a man, and I need you more than I could express if I fill the universe with books about my guilt. I accept your grace. Change this perpetually treacherous heart. The door is open, come inside.