Hope in the Midst of My Angry Moments

I yelled at my kids again yesterday.

In fact, despite the Lord beginning construction in this area of my heart nearly a year ago, I’m still not perfect. (Imagine that!)

I realized the other day that I needed a refresher on what has whispered freedom to me in the past. So I went back and reread the series on Freedom From Anger that I wrote last summer. Do you know the one? Where I talked about what God was teaching me about my anger problem while I was still in the middle of the mess? Yeah, that one.

{This is where I pause and thank God for the gift of being a writer, because being a writer means His words to me are actually recorded somewhere I can go back and review them when I need to. Which is often.}

He Is Faithful…

When I look back on the truths God gave me last summer, and how little progress (from my perspective) that I have made, I wonder that He doesn’t give up on me.

As a parent, the task of continuing to train my children when they seem to forget what I say as soon as it comes out of my mouth–well, it’s deeply frustrating. But the one thing that gives me hope in the midst of my anger issues, is that He hasn’t given up on me.

Even when I’m in the panting after-math of another altercation, He is at my side, whispering love and forgiveness, hope and direction. [pullquote position=”right”]Though I weary of the journey, He doesn’t not weary of me. [/pullquote]When I feel like quitting, He tells me my heart is worth the fight, and He will keep on loving and redeeming me if I will keep on running to Him.

When I Am Unfaithful…

But there are still days of utter failure, when I lose hope that He will ever accomplish sanctification in this corner of my soul. That was yesterday. Though I began the day with prayer and a sincere resolve to live the Gospel in front of my children, the day spiraled into a much-less-than-cool response to an accident involving falling furniture and broken glass and who-knows-what-else.

After cleaning up the physical mess, and putting the kids down for a nap under Daddy’s care, I retreated from the emotional battlefield with a run into town (life must go on, dinner lacked key ingredients.)

Every way my heart looked, I saw failure and hopelessness. And when I feel like that, I know there’s only one thing to do. I must reach out with squirming honesty to someone who I trust to speak truth into my mess.

So, I called one of my mentors, even though I didn’t even know how to articulate my brokenness. (I knew it would be alright, because this isn’t the first SOS call she’s had from me, and she handles them with the cool of a 911 operator.) And she gave me the gift of listening. Murmurs of empathy. But most of all? Truth.

  • “You can’t mess up God’s plan for your kids or your marriage.”
  • “There’s nothing that humility and an ‘I’m sorry’ can’t mend.”
  • “God is working, which means He is present.”

I hung up the phone and realized the the churning inside me was winding down. He’d calmed the waves yet again. I came home from running errands and apologized to the little hearts in my care. They forgave me with unsolicited hugs. I went through the motions of making dinner and serving it, weary but quiet inside.

He Doesn’t Give Up On Me (Again)

Then a scroll through my Instagram feed revealed a quote that tugged at my heart. A verse came via text message. Then a memory of another passage–and I felt my heart come alive again. And I realized He was speaking to me. He had forgiven me yet again and was ready to continue His work in my heart.

So, this is just me checking in, to report that I’m not perfect yet. That I’m still struggling with anger. And other stuff (imagine that). But this is I have realized and gives me hope: I would have given up by now, but that He has not. I still believe in a coming deliverance, be it sudden or a slow, refining process, because I had evidence this week that He still wants to work with me on this.

And I would remind you of the same truth. You may be tired of working on you, but He is not. Rest in that. Rejoice in that. Hope in His unfailing love.

“…he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ…” (Phillippians 1:6)

Read more of the truths God has spoken to me on this topic in the series, Freedom From Anger.

5 responses to “Hope in the Midst of My Angry Moments”

  1. Lauren Avatar

    That was my day today. Utter failure. Mom screaming. Kids acting out. Just trying to make it to bedtime without someone killing someone else so we could start tomorrow anew. This was the truth I needed to hear!

  2. Megan Avatar

    Thank you for sharing this. I remember a time when I felt The Lord say to me, “you don’t have to hide your face from me” and it was as if spiritually I turned my head towards him again. What you were feeling reminds me of why I had my head turned away from him. He is so gentle and loving with us! Something that helped me with anger and discipline was Loving Our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk. He talks about how most parenting styles are rooted in the parent being like the huge yellow construction truck (like the kind that work in mines) and our kids being like a regular sized pick-up. We try to make it clear that we are the most powerful in the relationship but the truth is God has made each of us powerful, even little kids. He said our kids often push our buttons in order to feel powerful because they see the reaction they get. He recommended finding out what those “buttons” (disrespect, talking back, ignoring, etc.) are for us so we can recognize it and not allow it to be pushed. He gave the visual of a video controller being attached to us and the kids tell it where to go. He said figuring out our buttons helps to disconnect the controller from us. It really helped with my anger a lot.

  3. Lorretta Avatar

    Hold on Trina. Hold on. As one who knows this place well ( I wrote this YESTERDAY too! ) “one angry mutha” http://dancingonthedash.com/one-angry-mutha/

    Girl, your openness will be rewarded. Just keep releasing your expectations to Him. I hear your heart here; you want to do well, to be well. Maybe, like me, God is reducing your pride to shreds so He can be your MORE. That’s what I wish I knew back then. And I also wish I’d known that others were struggling in these areas that made me feel like a horrible mother…like DFAC ought to come take my kids because I threw a pack of frozen hotdogs against the kitchen wall while screaming like a banshee. Yeah.

    Keep talking it out. Praying it out. You’ve just defeated this enemy stronghold and I AM HERE for you.

  4. Lisa Avatar

    Perfect timing for this post! I had one of those days yesterday. Why can’t I just be perfect … NOW??!! God bless you Trina!

  5. Barbie Avatar

    Thank you for sharing! I’ve been working on my anger issues, especially concerning my children, for years. I didn’t have good role models growing up. I had parents who yelled at me and took their anger out on me. I know that’s not an excuse. I’ve spent years trying to undo learned behavior. I’m so thankful that God doesn’t give up on me.

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