Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pity Party

Have you ever had a pity party? Oh, come on, sure you have. They are pretty depressing and lonely, huh? Unfortunately, no one gets the invitation except for you. Of course there are many activities at the party: depression, worry, sadness, gloom, loneliness, poor attitude. It's not the ideal party in which to attend but it is indeed a real party with real feelings. We stuff ourselves with negative feelings and thoughts that nothing could be worse and nothing is going right. However, we know that not to be true. Anyone who has Jesus as his/her Savior has everything he/she needs!! Isn't that right?!

What causes a pity party to start? Is it not focus on ourselves? It is not from comparing what we have in regards to what others have? Is it not focus on what we don't have instead of what we DO have? Is it a symptom of being in the pit, in the valley, in the trial of your life? I do not belittle times of deep depression, fear, worry, sense of hopelessness. Trust me, these are true and real feelings and our God knows these are not frivolous and selfish feelings but rather it is what the depths of our hearts feel. Life is hard and we will suffer trials. You know me, I can't say the word trial without referencing what my beautiful James tells us in 1:2...consider it pure joy, my brothers [and sisters :-)] when you face trials of many kinds. I tend to misquote James by saying "suffer" instead of "face". I guess my mind and heart sees the trials as very painful and hard; therefore, it is suffering. But really we should face them head on and not consider it suffering because we know we are growing more like Christ through each one.

Back to the pity party...as I reflect on the pity party I wanted to throw for myself today, I pondered how selfish is that? What is that saying about my Lord? A pity party is looking down on what we don't have or what terrible things we are enduring. That is not the attitude of Christ. That is not a cheerful and thankful heart. I cannot escape the feelings I have as they are real. Just as you can't escape the feelings you may have whether it be financial troubles, heartache, loss, depression, loneliness, worry, fear, physical pains. Those are real and we must recognize their existence but we must also put them in their proper place....and that is at the feet of Jesus! Our precious Redeemer, Healer, Comforter, Provider, Physician, Teacher, Lover, Friend, Counselor, Father, King. He is our everything.

I do not want to take anything away from Him so I want to throw away my pity party hat and put on my praise hat...praising Jesus for what He has done, is doing, and WILL do. He has provided abundantly more than all we ask or imagine. Ephesians 3:20. And He will continue to do that. He will knock our socks off if we only give Him a chance to do so. We must also take off our pity party hat so that we can SEE when He's blessing us. The pity party hat is a hindrance to fully see Jesus in our lives as He rightfully should be seen. I am amazed at what/how my Lord has spoken to me today. He has used three of His children to remind lonely ol' me, that HE is there. Who knows what else He might do during the rest of this day. I can attest that the pity party hat I wore this morning is gone as He has shown me His love by His servants contacting me. We have to look for His blessings and I indeed do see these three acts as blessings God provided to lift my spirits, refocus my mind, and give me the perspective to toss that pity hat aside. Does that mean I'll never attempt to put it back on? Absolutely not. Ya know, I AM human and do fail in my thoughts (and actions) but I always strive to give God honor and one way is to toss that hat right off my head! (I'm thinking of a song...but can't place it...can you? Help me. Actually, I think it's an old commercial...maybe shampoo. Let me know.)

So, won't you leave your pity party (if you are attending one) and join me in my praise party...praising Jesus for His ever-present, undying love and compassion for us. It is because of that love that I want to not focus on the suffering, the trials, the dips and turns of life, and honor Him with my attention, devotion, and love. That is the whole purpose for my being...for all of us! Every breath I take is for HIS purpose, whatever that may be, for my life and I must realize the life serving Jesus will NOT be without trials and even deep suffering. Serving Jesus is not a carefree life; it is a sacrificing life which dies to self and endures many crosses for the sake of His call on our lives.


Is my heartache gone? Is my depression gone? Is my pain gone? Is my worry gone? Is my fear gone? No, of course not but Jesus presides over all that and I will decide to focus on HIM and what I can do for Him as though this is my last day. Tossing your pity party hat doesn't mean all your feelings magically disappear (like Lucky Charms are magically delicious) but it means the joy and love of the Lord reigns and overpowers those feelings.

I was surprised when I searched pity on biblegateway.com to find 43 hits. Webster's defines pity as: "sympathetic sorrow for one suffering, distressed, or unhappy." I do not want to live this day distressed, unhappy, and sorrowful, even though I'm in a season of trial and suffering. Regardless, I want to be pleasing to my Lord and I do not believe that entails being doom and gloom.

Philippians 4:4-7 is one of my faves but I find it appropriate to emphasize verses 4 and 5. Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Your Lord is NEAR you. Now doesn't that provide such peace and comfort? Imagine the face of Jesus looking right over you and saying: "I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20
Be Blessed in Him,

20 comments:

littlerad said...

Paula,
thank you for saying the things you said today, I find my self having these pity party's and I find my self clearing my head and getting back closer to God and throwing my hat away...
Connie
GBU

MrsProverbs31 said...

Thank you for being genuine and transparent to us. Thanks for sharing your heart. I've had many pity parties. Sometimes, I'm the hostess and sometimes I'm the attendant, but I've been there. You're right, we need to attend the praise party. There's not enough of those parties. I needed to hear your words of encouragements. I'm glad I stopped by.

God bless you through your difficulties. I'm praying for you.

Followed you from MrsJoeb (In His Grace).

Yolanda said...

I just quoted that very scripture

Phillipians 4:4


And Praise Music helps get me turned around every time. So much so, that I have my i-pod thought changing "file" titled as:

STEPPING UP!

Lovingly,
Yolanda

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In HIM,
Tonya

My cup runneth over... said...

Oh, I too have had pity parties. It's amazing what praise can do...(particularly when we don't feel like praising!) I love the visual of tossing that pity hat right off your head (It was either Mary Tyler Moore or maybe That Girl who did that in the opening of their show...) Next time I have a pity party, I'm going to see that image and ask God to help me throw that pity hat right off my head!

Blessings,
Tracy

Plant Lady said...

Sweetpea,
Pity Parties some days, but not today! Thank you for reminding me how blessed I am.

Great post!

Plant Lady

littlerad said...

Paula,
I am praying for you... I know things can get hard, you are in a season of your life and God is there with you, and I will keep you in my prayers...
Connie
GBU

Amy said...

Hi Paula,

I, too, have thrown many pity parties....I serve snacks, drink, have sad music, but no one shows up...just me.:)

It is hard, but you are right, with Jesus in our lives, we really shouldn't plan pity parties...I like your idea of a "Praise Party"...I bet if I throw one of those, people will come.:)

And about that song?...Is it from "South Pacific?"...I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair (or something like that).....They also used that in a shampoo commercial...I think? :)

You have a beautiful heart, Paula.
Thanks for sharing it again today.
God Bless,
Amy:)

valerie said...

Paula,
I just wanted you to know you're on my heart and in my prayers today.
I need prayer today too. Satan is busy in a lot of areas right now in people's lives that I'm close to. Rev. 12:12....he knows his time is short.
But GOD. I just keep His Word and His promises very close. My help comes from the Lord. Ps. 121.
Love ya,
Valerie

Jenn at Casa de Castro said...

Paula,
Thanks for sharing your heart and helping all of us see things more clearly in our own lives. I'm so sorry for the pain you've experienced, but I know that God is still in the business of restoration. In fact, I'd encourage you to do a word study in the Scriptures on "restore." It is always a great reminder for me that God can and will restore what the locusts have eaten.

Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog. I appreciate the confirmation that sharing our experiences with one another is indeed beneficial.

You remain in my prayers.

desert_rose said...

Paula thanks... I woke up so discouraged and it either was going to be a pity party, or a praise party.... Thank goodness it turned into a praise party. (after spending time in the bible, prayer, and reading my devotionals..) God is so good when we focus on him and give him the glory.

Precious lady, The Lord speaks such words of wisdom to your heart. Thank you for graciously sharing them with us. kathy

GOD'S LADIE said...

I think we have all thrown these parties, yet Thank GOD he is faithful and merciful. That when we decide to throw that hat off as you mentioned and cast our burdens upon him, it is not for long that we are throwing that praise party you mentioned. You keep praising HIM!! There are more praise parties ahead for you! ;)

Praying for you,
LaTonya/FL

MrsJoeB said...

Paula-pity parties are tough to avoid. I need to be alone during those times, refocus so I can move on. On my latest blog I quoted Beth Moore and I think it is fitting here-"If you stick with God, you will become so unique in the body of Christ that whether or not you ever wanted to be a leader or example to others, you will be. That's just what happens when people become victors." Be a victor over that pity party and stick with God!!
Keeping you in my prayers!!

In his Graces~Pamela

skoots1mom said...

I'll show my age here, but here goes:
the song is from South Pacific (the movie) by Rogers and Hammerstein and it was sung by Mary Martin!

I'll embed it at my site for quick review if you'd like to hear it!
: )

Jenny said...

Paula,
Last Saturday I had a pity party ALL day long! It was not fun, thankfully the next day I choose another type of party. Great words of wisdom!

Have a great weekend!
Jen

tiggerdaisy said...

I think it's "I'm going to wash that gray right out of my hair." I think it was a hair color/shampoo??? Can't remember though.

I've had some pity parties myself. And when I do, my mind is full of negativity. And when my mind is full of negativity, it seems that I feed that right into my spirit. Joyce Meyer has said time and time again that we need to get rid of "stinkin' thinkin'" because it only breeds more. Once you start speaking positive prayers and blessings, focusing on God and God alone, then that negativity goes out the window! Praise God, Hallelujah! However, when you are going through the pity party, that is hard to do someimes!

Thanks for this post! It's been a blessing!

Rebecca

Becoming Me said...

Wonderful post and I so related in many ways. Also, I wrote a post about throwing myself a pity party about two months or so ago. Isn't it neat how God can use even our sorry moments to bring him glory? :-)

Joyful said...

Paula so glad your thoughts have turned from pity to praise! I've thrown myself many pity parties over the years - and I hate that I actually sometimes enjoy the "poor me" response....but God is watching our reactions, and I pray that my response to circumstances, situations, feelings, will give testimony to a living God who can be trusted with ALL of my life.

Thanks for visiting my blog and giving me such wonderful words of encouragement. You have blessed my heart today!

Joyfully His,
Joy

Melanie said...

Paula, What a timely post thiswas for me. I've been throwing myself one big pity party for a couple of weeks now due to a bad situation at work. Thanks for reminding me that I need to pull myself out of it and to do it in the best way possible.... by praising God!

Have a great weekend!

Linda said...

I tend to have anxiety parties!