I really like this sentence in the opening of this chapter: Anger expressed appropriately, however, can deepen our relationships, leading to personal growth. As the book says, expressing it in a destructive way can be severely damaging, but it’s also not healthy to suppress anger and let it eat away at you. It festers. It becomes toxic. And in the end, I think it can end relationships, when issues aren’t addressed. Anger is a valid emotion, and shoving it aside because you love the person with whom you are upset is an unfair expectation. If you love someone you should be willing to listen and try to at least respect where these emotions are coming from. When handled appropriately, I definitely agree that it can deepen relationships because it starts to create better understanding.
Our Response to Anger
I think the three warnings in Ephesians 4:26-27 have it right:
- Be angry and sin not
- let not the sun go down upon your wrath
- neither give place to the devil
Anger with Others
I don’t feel angry too much anymore, but it did affect me in a very negative way. It made me unhappy and bitter. It made me want to separate from those that hurt me.
What makes me the most angry about my loss now is that I was not more prepared. I’ve let go of a lot of the anger I had towards people who trivialized my loss or who weren’t there when we first found out about something was wrong with Calvin. I haven’t forgotten, no, but I won’t let it eat away at me anymore. I think expressing myself – whether it was on Twitter or on my blogs or talking with Louie and our support group or writing it in my private journal – has been really helpful in allowing me to slowly let go of it. I’ve also been praying, too, asking God to lift these negative feelings from me, to help me do as Ephesians 4:31-32 says: Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and railing, be put away from you, with all malice32 and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you. I have also addressed some of these emotions in my N.E.T. sessions with my chiropractor.
Anger with Ourselves
I wrote about about a lot of my should have‘s in this post: My Failings as a Mother. Since losing Calvin and Rainbow, I’ve felt inadequate, like less of a women, like less of a wife. I feel like my body failed me, my children, and my family. It has definitely hurt my self-image. It is so hard to let go of this, but I am trying. I am trying to remember Psalms 139:15-16. Calvin’s and Rainbow’s frames were not hidden from God when they were formed in my womb. He saw their souls and knew the path their lives would take before their lives even began. I have no control over the length of my babies’ lives.
Anger with God
I was never angry at God. I felt alone. I felt abandoned and forgotten. But I think I wasn’t angry at Him because I didn’t feel betrayed by Him. What I wanted most from Him was understanding. I know He had a great reason to allow my babies to die, just as He gave His only son up to death in order to save us, there is a greater mystery to Calvin’s and Rainbow’s lives that I was hurting to learn. I am still waiting, but I trust in Him.
This Threads of Hope, Pieces of Joy Bible Study is part of the “Walking With You” outreach of Sufficient Grace Ministries, led by Kelly Gerken. To learn more, read Kelly’s post: “Upcoming Threads of Hope Study.”
To read my posts on other lessons, please use the links below:
•Lesson One: Your Story
•Lesson Two: So Many Questions
•Lesson Three: This Can’t Be Happening
•Lesson Five: How Can I Go On?
•Lesson Six: I’ve Got to Get Better Soon
•Lesson Seven: Moving On to Acceptance
•Lesson Eight: Learning to Let Go
•Lesson Nine: Finding Joy