My goal for 2018 is “letting go”. When I originally mentioned it in “Family, Fun, and Forgetting my Hairbrush”, I was thinking about Rebekah. I thought that might be too steep a goal so I took a look around my house and decided I could “let go” of the clutter or the dust or sink full of dirty dishes.
In my heart, God told me to let go of the anger.
Anger? I have a lot of negative qualities, but anger isn’t something I generally struggle with. It takes quite a bit to make me lose my temper and when I do, its pretty short lived and quickly forgotten (unfortunately, its forgotten too quickly by some of my offspring and the offense is repeated).
The anger that is stirring inside of me has to do with grief. It surprised me when it hit, right at the beginning, and I’ve tried to hide it. I’m hoping to write a second post about the conflict we’ve been experiencing with Caleb. It has been a trial for me and I’ve been lost as to how to deal with him.
While these feelings are associated with grief, I imagine their roots are not far from the anger brought about by other situations.
For me, my anger is a lack of faith.
How do faith and anger go together? I was outraged at God for taking my daughter. I had prayed with all my heart that night and He chose not to heal her little body. I was angry because my heart was broken and God could’ve prevented it.
I was angry because I believed He would keep my family safe, but He didn’t.
Having known God my whole life, I hesitate to even admit these thoughts. How dare I question the Almighty, Creator of all? He parted the Red Sea, crumbled the walls of Jericho, opened the eyes of the blind, and raised the dead. Here I sit, one small woman, a grain of sand in the expanse of time, demanding God give me my daughter back.
What right do I have to question, demand, to scream when I’m alone in the car? I can do this because our God is not a God of stone. He is a God that is touched by our infirmities. I know that He is supreme and all powerful, yet He created me. He knew me in my mother’s womb. He promised to walk with me through the valley of the shadow of death and He gave me permission to come boldly to the throne of grace.
If I believe God is all this, then I must believe that He knows the future and I only the present. I must believe that He works all things for our good and rest in Him. But most importantly I must believe that Rebekah is safe and at peace with Him. Isn’t that what we want for our kids? To be safe and happy?
Anger, for me, is a result of feeling out of control. At moments it helped ease the hurt. Dwelling on the anger prevented me from facing the doubts in my heart, the cracks in my faith, the knowledge that there is nothing I could do to bring my baby girl back.
If I were to pull away from the grief and look at anger in other situations, it can still be a feeling caused by lack of control. We cannot control the actions of those around us. The rude woman at Wal-Mart, a spouse’s unkind words, a bully at school, cruel gossip amongst coworkers (or the washing machine that keeps breaking!). We cannot make people treat us respectfully or speak to us kindly.
We must learn to go to God with these feelings and give them to Him, in faith believing that He is working all things for our good. One of the many things my daughter’s death has taught me is that painful things happen all the time and we have a choice whether or not to let them destroy us.
I am sure you all have your own stories about anger and the various causes. This topic has many faces, but due to my three year old repeatedly pressing the “W” on his leap frog toy right next to me, I’m going to stop here 😉
Does being angry prevent God from working in our hearts? Absolutely. This must be why anger was at the top of my “letting go” list. Maybe it’s on yours too??