Thursday, August 19, 2010

I'm So Angry I Could Spit!

Ok, so I really need to get this off of my chest this morning. What do we do when we get so angry that we could spit? That’s the nice way we say it down here in the south. What I really want to say is that he is lucky that he is not here in the same state with me because I would love to do things to him that I can’t really allow to leave the private spaces of my thoughts because I could be arrested just for thinking it. But here’s the problem; Jesus knows I’m thinking it. Matthew 9:4 says “and Jesus knowing their thoughts said `Why are you thinking evil in your hearts? `” Oh LORD, this is so hard. Sometimes I feel as if my thoughts are truly out of my control.
As I sit and write this, I am thinking about some things that are important to me. My 13 year old son is wearing football cleats that are one and a half sizes too small because I can only afford shoes for school. I am trying to recover from a summer of paying $600 per month for childcare and that is going to take some time to get back on track. My budget is already tight without the extra childcare cost. Two of my three children need braces that I am not sure how to pay for because insurance considers it cosmetic, yet the dentist tells me they will both need surgery later on if we don’t correct their cross bites. Anyway, you get the point right? So, yesterday was my middle child Benjamin’s 9th birthday. His father who, mind you, has not paid child support in a couple of years and is about $20,000 behind to date, called to tell him happy birthday. This is wonderful! Children need to know their fathers love them, even if they are not around to show it. I once read an article by Don Miller who wrote something that has never left me. He grew up in a single parent home as well and knows what it is like not to have a father around. He said that 10% of his dad was better than none of his dad so I do what I can to keep my children in contact with their father, even if it is minimal; even if my job entails damage control afterward. So, Benjamin hangs up the phone super excited because his dad is sending him and his older brother android phones in the mail. What? Are you kidding me? I can’t get our children things that they NEED yet you are going to buy them things that they WANT. I take that back, they don’t even want them. My 13 year old is completely satisfied with the phone that he has. He probably uses it once per month. He has it for times when I am not home. My 9 year old, who is without a doubt my social child, wants a phone and would be completely satisfied with any phone. I have told him no for various reasons and he is content with my reasons. It certainly doesn’t mean that he stops asking, but the answer remains the same for now; until yesterday. Now Benjamin gets what he wants and I am so fuming mad that I could spit fire.
Now the old me, before Christ, would have reacted immediately to the intensifying emotions that I was suddenly experiencing. In fact, sometimes I still do; but not today. I desperately want to honor God in everything that I do, even when dealing with an ex husband. So I sit here and release my emotions through writing instead of vomiting all over my ex husband with them and really giving him a piece of my mind. This is one of the reasons that I have journals all over my home. So that I can sit with God and filter my emotions through him rather than letting my emotions control my actions. I tell you, my emotions when they are in control have made me look like a raging lunatic with Turrets Syndrome who needs to be committed to an asylum immediately. Seriously! The actually have had that much power over me in the past.
What about you? Do you let your emotions get the better of you? When you get angry does everyone around you know it? When you are sad, do you lay in bed all day so that you don’t have to deal with the world or do you call in to work because you seriously can’t function when you feel this way? When you are afraid, do you let that fear stop you from accomplishing a task that you need to accomplish? Do you let fear inhibit your kids from certain activities? Do you make decisions that stem from any of these emotions? I ask because I have done it all. I ask because I am certain that there are many more emotional struggles in others that I am not aware of. You see, I think we all struggle with our emotions and we all have that one prevalent emotion that seems to rear its ugly head and cause us to do or say things that make us later feel like we were abducted by aliens that really have issues and spewed them out all over those that we love. But the truth is that through the power of Christ and His Spirit that is alive in us, we can overcome this battle that we have with our emotions. We can get angry and not react. We can get sad and still make it through the day successfully. We can be afraid but still move forward through that fear and accomplish the task anyway.
Emotions are not as dreadful as they sound or sometimes make us feel. They are a component of who we are and who God designed us to be. Anger over an injustice can move us to do something about it in ways that wouldn’t be possible without that driving emotion. Fear, when it is proper, can stop us from doing something that we know will bring disastrous consequences. Sadness is necessary for grieving and is a normal emotion. John Chapter 11 says that Jesus was deeply moved and troubled in spirit when he saw Mary crying over her brother Lazarus’ death; and then Jesus wept. This fascinates me. Jesus knew that he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead yet he still wept. He still felt sad. You see, God created emotions, but he did not create them to be the driving force of our lives. The driving force of our lives comes from the Holy Spirit which he gives us upon coming into relationship with him.
So, what do I do with this anger that I feel? I give up my desire to react and abandon my heart, once again, to the hands of our capable and loving God. I return to the LORD with all my heart so that he can deliver me(1 Samuel 7:3). I write, I pray, I read God’s word and I shut up. I don’t say a word to the person behind the incident that has made me angry until this mammoth emotion has subsided. Then I rationally figure out how to manage the situation if I am to do anything at all. I seek guidance from a trustworthy friend, pray some more and move forward into my day with the unspeakable joy that I described in my previous post. Does this mean I am no longer angry? No way. It just means that the anger is not going to decide for me that I am going to have a bad day or make a fool of myself. It means that this emotion is no longer about to explode like a cannon from my chest as it was an hour ago. It means that just as Jesus was still sad over Lazarus, I am still angry over this situation but I choose as Jesus did, to let the Holy Spirit lead. I wish I could do it every time anger wells up. It means that God is bigger than any emotion I can feel. After all, He created them so he can certainly help me deal with them accordingly.


Glenn Hair said...

Great post Allison! I too struggle with similar emotions & still struggle to control them. Thanks!

Brian Strickland said...

Hey Allison. I'm sorry to hear of your struggles and I want you to know, even when things seem impossible, GOD will never lead us to something he can't lead us through. He will be with you every step if you just allow him to be. It's a struggle we all deal with. You will get through it with his help. Aren't you blessed that he is there for you.?

Isabelle said...

Amen!!!!! Thanks for all your blog posts... I relate so much and they help me in such a powerful way!

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