Ever since I became a mother and homemaker I’ve been fighting with gloomy feelings. I feel like something isn’t right but I can’t put my finger on it. I usually blame it on depression and/or being overwhelmed with so much responsibility. That seemed the most logical to me. And maybe to a certain extent that is what it is. BUT, as I read “The Path to Confession” with Kelsey Anna (my 8 year old who is preparing for her first confession this Lent) something else was revealed to me. Here is what I read:
”The defilement of envy is one of the most disgraceful of all human sins, and enviers are undoubtedly the slaves of an impure spirit. It is said that every human passion leaves its stamp upon a man’s face. The mark of envy is that it sucks the joy of life out of a Christian, leaving his face pale and sometimes even tinged a sickly shade of green.” And then later says, “You all sense how close envy and anger are—they are brother and sister, and their father is the devil himself. Perhaps envy has plunged some of our readers into meanness, dissatisfaction and fruitless complaining, making them unhappy and resentful of life itself?” Could the deep core of my gloomy feelings be envy? I’m beginning to think it is. I always thought that envy was simply wanting something else that someone else had. And as long as I knew I really didn’t want that persons new SUV or that persons huge wardrobe or a big fancy house (because I have no desire to have those things) that I really wasn’t envious of anything or anybody. BUT…I really think that at some point in my life the sin of envy buried itself so deep in my heart that it is rearing its ugly little head in ways that are completely unrecognizable to me. As a young girl I can say without a doubt that I was envious of those kids who had what I perceived to be everything. And as an adult I can think back and remember times where I was definitely envious of others. But I had no idea that “envy” in it’s full definition was “A feeling of discontent and resentment aroused by and in conjunction with desire for the possessions or qualities of another.”(definition from dictionary.com) I don’t think I am envious of any one specific object or person and I think that is why I have been so blinded from what now seems so obvious. But “Discontent?” and “Resentment?” I think those both abound in me at times. What do I do when I am “gloomy”…I daydream about living near my mom, because then I won’t be so lonely. I daydream about when all my kids are in school all day so I have more time to myself. I daydream about lots of different things that are completely impossible for me to do because I have 4 small children to take care of. Am I resentful? It kind of sounds like it! But a few days ago I would have said…”NO WAY!!! I love my kids! I wouldn’t trade them for the world.” And I still do, that hasn’t changed and never will. But maybe deep down inside I resent them for stopping me from doing what I want to do. Am I discontented with the vocation God has chosen for me?
Lord have mercy on me, a sinner! This hurts! But I know it’s there now…I can confess it (again and again, I’m sure.) and ask God for strength to fight against it…DAILY.
“The Path to Confession” goes on to say, “Do you want to be healed of this vile feeling? Try to always be pleased and grateful to the Lord for what you have without daydreaming about things that haven’t been given to you.”
The first thing I know I need to do is confess! But after that I will begin a journal…a journal of Thanksgiving to the Lord. May God reveal to me so much more through the blessings that I know I receive on a daily basis.
Thank you, Merciful Lord!