Last Christmas I got a gift from my husband that came in a tiny box. No, it was not a piece of jewelry (thank goodness, since I only wear jewelry from exclusive stores like Walmart or hand-me-down items from friends, my mom and sometimes clients).
The box had a little note in it that simply read: You can get a kitty.
Best present ever. Our previous 17 year old cat, Sunny Day, passed away the year before and my husband had been resisting “allowing” me to get a new cat. Now I had the green light so I headed to the pet store and got myself the most precious 10 month old cat.
We bonded immediately. She was sweet and beautiful. I couldn’t believe that she was still available. I mean, who wouldn’t have taken this adorable creature before she turned 10 months.
We enjoyed Cali (her official name is California Girl) for about 4 months before we realized that it was highly probable that she had been returned.
Even though she had been spayed and had the scar to prove it, she would caterwaul (Defined as a shrill howling or wailing noise) around the house at the top of her tiny kitty lungs for at least a week. It was as if she was in heat, even though it was supposedly impossible. At first it was once a month and then turned in to every other week. We had to shut her in a room in the basement to get any relief.
Finally, I had a decision to make. As much as I loved her she would either need to be repaired or returned. I called the Feline Ranch where we got her and they said that she needed surgery because sometimes, when they are spayed, they miss a remnant of their ovary and it floats around, causing them to feel like they need a man—if you catch my drift.
We took her in, but the Vet warned us not to get our hopes up because the remnant is so tiny that it is often impossible to find during the 3 hour exploratory surgery. There was a pretty good chance that they wouldn’t find it and she, and we, would continue to suffer.
This was bad news, particularly since my daughter had threatened to never speak to us again if we gave Cali away. 🙂
So, before I tell you the outcome, I want to give you a visual that makes this whole seemingly insignificant story worthwhile.
As I thought about the irritation, frustrating, annoying and crazy-making effects of Ovarian Remnant Syndrome, it reminded me of how resentments work.
Over the past few years, I have done an enormous amount of work to overcome some haunting and often debilitating resentments. I have prayed, read books and sought counsel from wise friends and professionals to help me get relief from what they have done to my soul and to my general demeanor and outlook on life.
I seriously thought that with God’s help, I had released them and they no longer had a hold on me.
Until the trigger comes.
I drive by her house. I see their car. I smell the fragrance or stench of something that causes me to harken back to time I was wounded. Whatever the trigger is, it causes me to start the caterwauling.
I thought it was gone. I have the scars to prove it. But there are the remnants. They are minuscule but mighty.
Who would have through that such a tiny particle could wreak havoc on my serenity?
When this happens, I have a choice. I can let it stay there, stirring me up and potentially driving everyone around me insane, or I can do some exploratory surgery on myself.
What was the trigger? What piece of the offense have I not let go of? Am I even willing to let it go? Did I really forgive or was it just “out of sight, out of mind?” Why is this bubbling up after being dormant for so long?
I can sit with God and ask Him to help me identify it and extract it.
If it is related to a specific person, I know I need to pray for them. Pray for God “to give them all the good things in their life that I want in mine” (often with gritted teeth and a nauseous feeling in my stomach).
It’s worth spending some time reflecting on the massive power we give to our microscopic resentments we think are safe to hold on to.
Our only solution is to root it out and let go completely. I have written an embarrassing number of blogs on this topic. Read a few and let’s regroup in a few days to wrap up the “rest of the story.”
One thought on “Resentment remnants”
I agree that bubbling up emotion can surprise us with feelings from our past and lead us to healing or can add to our resentment. However, there are wounds so deep from trauma it’s also important to accept the on-going healing of hurt and trauma, and the work/process of healing. We can find comfort and peace in prayer, reminding ourselves we are safe and not a victim, and we have power through Christ. I think I’m saying the same thing, I just want to say that it’s an opportunity to heal and that it might it not be resentment but just pain and all that surrounds it. Our choice is to find comfort and healing by bringing our hurt and anger to Jesus instead of acting it out or burying it and letting those feelings hold us captive. I always ask myself am I holding my hands open or closed to the Lord.