Yesterday our college-bound kid received an email.
Not just any email, though. This was an email we needed a few weeks ago, to make an important decision before an upcoming deadline. A response to three phone calls and one email request for information.
Did I mention we needed it before the deadline??
Needless to say, frustration hit instantly. Reading that innocent first line, “Did you have a question I can help you with?” sent me reeling. I wanted my words to express my irritation. I wanted the recipient to feel my frustration right through the screen.
So I waited to respond, because I knew I would regret it later. And once those words are out there, I can’t take them back.
It felt pretty good making it through that moment, but later that day the same frustration came bouncing back.
On my way home from a grocery run, my husband called. I took that as my opportunity to get it all out. Go for that temporary fix we talked about in week one.
“You will never guess what happened today!” started the conversation, then I let the whole frustrated scene play out while he gently listened. His response brought a much-needed heart check.
“We aren’t going to let that steal our joy today.”
My husband’s comment was just what I needed to hear. It also reminded me of an important truth. Frustration doesn’t end with a one-time easy fix. When we allow those little annoyances to fester, frustration finds a temporary home in our hearts. That’s why even the smallest thing can trigger it again. So what’s the solution? Is it possible to keep frustration away all the time?
First we need to make sure we aren’t giving it more power than it deserves. Frustration is just a feeling, but God’s presence is greater. Remember our statement from week one?
The way to take control away from frustration is to pay more attention to God’s presence than my feelings.
But the reality is that life has stuff, and that stuff can frustrate us. So secondly, we need a plan in place to recognize when it begins and block it from coming back again and again.
If you’re battling frustration like me, know that God understands our frustrations and wants us to bring those to Him. God created us. He doesn’t want us to get frustrated with ourselves or feel defeated. As we learn to keep our minds on Him and turn each frustrated moment back to His beauty and grace, we will feel more of His peace. Then with that peace, we will be better equipped to push frustration away the next time, and the next, and the next.