Updated: Nov 14, 2022
Frustration, "the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of inability to change or achieve something" Another definition from Dictionary.com is, "the prevention of the progress, success, or fulfillment of something." Let's pause and reread these two definitions again...
What I gather from the definition alone is that by choosing to be frustrated we allow ourselves to be upset over something we cannot accept and due to that choice are unable to continue. Basically, frustration is the choice to stay in the same cycle of emotions and or unhealthy thought processes. It is a choice to intentionally allow ourselves to be unhappy. Can you believe as intelligent people we purposely make ourselves upset? Especially in the midst of change, when our bodies and minds are already in turmoil, we CHOOSE to make it worse!
What does frustration look like within change? Talking about the negative parts of the situation over and over again... continuing to stay upset even though others are trying to make it better... finding everyone involved in the change annoying... gossiping about how completely incompetent people are... allowing other drivers to enrage you (this is never a good thing to choose but when change is brewing, it seems to be more relevant and affect you more)... crying out to God for answers and getting nothing in return then deciding never to speak to Him again... stop reading your Bible because nothing you read helps and or makes sense... I could go on forever. The point is any type of annoying interaction, every decision to let your emotions rule your life, and anything and everything that distracts you from moving forward can be linked to frustration.
The biggest frustration I have experienced with change is choosing to obey God; yet, still feeling anxious, encountering dumb people, and not having every day life not cooperate with my plans (like every street in Clarksburg being closed, insert eye roll here) I find that the more I do for Jesus, the more frustrated I become.... the reason? Deep down inside, I feel I deserve to be a little happy. I mean I deserve to have SOMETHING go right. However, as soon as I have that mindset, I not only allow myself to become frustrated, I lose sight of grace. Basically, I make myself miserable for no reason and choose to live in defeat instead of undeserved victory. So now that we all feel super convicted and totally bummed, let's see what God says about all of this.
When you feel it is not worth the new responsibilities within the change or you feel you are doing EVERYTHING right among the uncomfortable new normal but are STILL frustrated, look to Galatians 6:9 which says, "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." And if that isn't enough, Matthew 11:28-29 invites us, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Selah (pause and think upon such things). Frustration has no place within our hearts and mind when we are looking towards glory, believing that many people are going to come to know Jesus despite the change, and steadfastly pursuing Jesus's supernatural rest despite our CHOSEN emotional digression and stunted progression. Frustration cannot exist when we CHOOSE to focus on things above. In the midst of my frustration, my mom always asks, "Will this matter in 5 years?" The answer is almost ALWAYS "No," (and then normally a sigh and an eye roll). No matter how awful the situation of change is, God is good and He still wants to use you despite your own silliness.
Practical tips to deal with frustration:
1. 3 times a day, take 4 deep breaths and name 4 things you are thankful for.
2. Ask yourself if it is worth becoming frustrated over?
3. Memorize Galatians 6:9 or Matthew 11:28-29.
4. Tell Jesus why are you frustrated and then ask Him to take it away and or show you the good!
5. Post-it note things you are thankful for and or funny quotes throughout your work place, school stuff, at home, and in your car.
...and above all, CHOOSE JOY!
Proverbs 17:22, "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."