I apologize for my long absence. I needed to take some time away to focus on some sanctifying work the Lord has been doing on my heart. I want to share a little bit with you what the Lord has been doing and I will be sharing more of what He has taught me concerning marriage and parenting later on.
Since my adolescence I have had a problem with anger. It reaches back into my childhood but unfortunately, since it was never addressed, it followed me into my adulthood. It was a wall I put up as a way to hide and protect myself. It was a coping mechanism to keep things “just so” because if things did not remain “just so” I couldn’t cope. It spurred on a perfectionistic mindset which served me well as a young, independent, single, and dedicated college girl. However, when I got married, my anger problem grew worse. And then when I had a child, it grew even worse. It became worse because my way of coping no longer worked. I couldn’t keep things “just so” because I couldn’t control my husband, my son, or even my dog. They don’t function within my walls of finely crafted protection and stability. They have their own wills and as hard as I tried, I couldn’t get them to behave in such a way that made my world feel stable.
I never knew how to handle my anger in a healthy way so my cycle was to experience, stuff, ignore, and then eventually explode. I was a pressure cooker. I stuffed down all of my anger and emotions until the pressure built up and all I could do was release it. It was never pretty. I felt out of control and terribly depressed. I tried and tried and tried to do the right thing but nothing worked. Nothing worked because I was trying within my own power. “I’ll deal with this,” I said. Me, I, myself. I didn’t realize it but I am so selfish. This was all about me. Until one day, after one of my worst episodes of anger and depression, I couldn’t take it anymore. I thought of my son and how I did not want my problems to effect him. I did not want him to learn this response to anger. I wanted better for him.
God broke me and I gave up my fighting. I finally started looking for help and eventually came into contact with a counselor at Hope for the Heart. I began seeing her once a week for six weeks. It was so hard at first. My pride was hurt in admitting that I needed help and in discussing things that I hadn’t thought about in a long time. But, in the end, the Lord brought me out of the bondage of my anger and set me free. Anger is no longer a wall of protection or a coping mechanism. Perfection is no longer my (very unattainable) goal. My ability to be loved, my significance, and my security is no longer found in my performance or in what people think of me. My greatest needs (love, significance, and security) are solely found in Jesus. He has set me free to respond to stress and anger differently. It is still an effort, as I’ve lived many years responding one way, but the Lord has given me the power through His Spirit to change.
Psalm 116:1-7 sums it up for me.
“I love the Lord because He heard my plea for mercy, and listened to me. As long as I live, I will call to Him when I need help. The ropes of death tightened around me, the snares of Sheol confronted me. I was confronted with trouble and sorrow. I called on the name of the Lord, ‘Please Lord, rescue my life!” The Lord is merciful and fair; our God is compassionate. The Lord protects the untrained; I was serious in trouble and He delivered me. Rest once more, my soul, for the Lord has vindicated you.”