Posted by: zephaniah317 | August 28, 2007

Anger

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“Anger is fear on steroids.”

My lawyer told me this one day when I was in his office spilling my guts and offering any and all details of my marital troubles in preparation for the upcoming divorce papers.  And I can honestly say that it’s one of the best truths that has ever been spoken into my life.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been somewhat of a wreck inside.  It has not been well with my soul.  And it’s all God’s fault.  There have been several circumstances in my life recently that re-opened old wounds that I didn’t even know were there.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I knew that SOMETHING was there, making me uneasy on an almost daily basis.  You can’t read my blog and not know there’s stuff going on inside me.  Seems like I find stuff weekly that God is trying to point out and touch with His love and correct.  Well, over the past two or three weeks, I’ve been in an almost constant state of fear and anger.  Special thanks go out to BurningAlive and his significant other for listening to me vent during this time, not offering much advice, just listening, and allowing me to make my own decisions.  I’m probably not done yet, guys.  🙂

So, let’s just say I’ve been afraid and angry for awhile.  It’s somewhat of a realization and more of a reminder to me that when fear sits around inside you for a while, it turns into anger, and then things get real interesting, if you don’t get rid of that.  Problem is, I’m a stuffer.  BIG TIME. There’s only so much you can stuff before you start to change, and I mean change in a bad way.  Again, I’m not making excuses, but my parents taught me that.  It’s now my responsibility to find out healthy ways of releasing that anger, and realizing that people aren’t the enemy.  And man, is it a hard thing to keep that perspective when you’re hurting.  It has never been more true to me what Eldredge says in Wild at Heart.  I’m paraphrasing, but the story of my life is the story of a constant, never-ending assault on my heart by the one who hates me, and wants to see me suffer in spite of what Jesus has done for me and how much God loves me.  And how does the enemy attack me?  Directly, through my thought life, especially when I allow anger to give him a foothold, and indirectly, through other people, using them to do to me what he’s trying to do to me.  I’ve also found that it’s very important not to DO anything or make any decisions when you’re hurting.  Just sit, and maybe not wait for it to pass, but at least wait for God to show me something.  And when I stuff this fear and anger, it’s a whole other dynamic. 

There’s two parts to my anger:  First, I’ve been dealing with rejection, or at least what I perceive as rejection.  It’s from a female, and again, thanks to the BA’s for allowing me to vent and get past the emotion and process through it and step back and say, “what the heck is going on here?”, or more importantly, “Lord, what’s going on here?”  And what I’ve found is, I don’t trust women, and when you get right down to it, I’m pretty angry with them, and it’s way deep down inside.  This is due in no small part to my ex-wife, but this anger was there before I got married, fueling my pornography addiction for all those years.  Thankfully, God’s shown me this week that rejection by women – which has been a seemingly constant companion in my life, starting with my mom and going down through every relationship I’ve had – does NOT mean there’s something wrong with ME, and I should cut them some slack.  It simply means that I haven’t found the woman God has planned to be my wife yet (side note:  this does NOT mean that I agree with my wife divorcing me; whether she was my soul-mate or not, or whether I was hers or not, it doesn’t mean that she should have gotten out of the commitment she made; all things are possible with God).  So, the way I’m seeing this truth today, women rejecting me isn’t the problem, it’s how I perceive the rejection and taking it too personally.  If the woman simply sees the relationship as a bad fit, or not God’s will, or whatever, I need to be OK with that.  I haven’t been OK with that in the past.  Ever.  My youth pastor once told me, “no one’s harder on you than you.”  That needs to change too, and it has been over the past few weeks.  My identity is not wrapped up in whether I can have a relationship with a woman or not.  It’s a desire, not a goal.  One last thing:  Let’s not underestimate the brutality that women have endured by the enemy since the beginning of time, and, in my opinion, never moreso than in today’s society, especially here in America.  And, in my life, I have contributed to that brutality in small and large doses from time to time.  And it has taken a lot of reminder’s of God’s love for me to get over the shame and guilt I feel in having contributed and taken part in what the enemy has planned for the fairer of the species.  Because, regardless of the “independent” exterior, or the way that they’ve become demanding in some instances, or how they’ve been deceived into thinking they have to look a certain way (“sexy”, “seductive”, etc.) in order to be loved, they are still the fairer of the species, and their hearts – all of them – are beautiful and precious, just as God intended them to be, and that’s how He sees them, regardless.  So, there’s the first point.  And, I’m a quick learner.

Second, last night I called an old acquaintance from high school who lives in Brooklyn.  We played phone tag, and she left a voicemail on my cell saying that she was visiting our hometown in Alabama on Thursday.  Immediately a dull anger rose inside of me, and again, thankfully, I was able to step back out of the emotion and say, “Whoa, what’s that about?”  And it hit me really quick that I’m angry with my hometown and my upbringing and my high school and the Methodist church I grew up in.  And it’s been sitting there inside me for a long time.  There was a lot of pain growing up in that environment.  Home, kindergarten, middle school, high school, church, college, you name it.  Just a lot of performance for acceptance and love.  Again, no excuses, but after a while you just get angry, and when you can’t release it, or have been taught that you shouldn’t, life just goes awry internally, and it shows externally in destructive behavior.  And the truth is, that’s exactly the plan Satan had for me all along.  So, here’s the second point:  I need to forgive everyone who ever rejected or picked on me or hurt me or required things from me to gain their love.  It’s my firm belief that they were just as hurt as I was, but at the same time a part of the enemy’s master plan to make my life miserable and make me believe I’m less than a child of the Creator of the universe.  Now, everyone knows that forgiveness is not making excuses for the person that hurt you.  That’s not what I’m saying.  I’m saying that hurting people hurt people, and my high school classmates need God’s love just as much as I do.  (Side note:  I honestly cannot think of more than about a dozen people in my sphere of influence, or even outside of my sphere of influence, in high school that actually understood God’s love – my friend in Brooklyn being one of them; I feel another post coming on, but suffice it to say that the “Buckle of the Bible Belt” needs revival and God’s love and truth more than they know it)  The Methodist church I grew up in (and “religion” in general) needs God’s love and the truth about His love, not my anger.

So, thanks again, Dad, for all the circumstances You’ve brought into my life recently.  They’re all there for a reason.  Please continue to instill Your love in my heart for humanity and make me fearless and the child that You had in mind at the beginning of the world.  I wish it didn’t have to hurt so much, I wish that life didn’t hurt so much, but…thank You.  You always know best.

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Responses

  1. Sigh…We hurt a lot alike man. It maybe a good thing for us to talk more, as you are on my mind and heart often. I remember the first person I ever felt unconditional love from was an unbeliever. You are prayed for!
    Something God showed me this week was this. An image of a father leaving his toddler in NYC subway. If in my own brokenness that thought makes me sick to my stomach with heavy grief, how much more in Gods Holiness does He ache when I feel alone and afraid?

  2. Hey Z – This statement in your post, “…hurting people hurt people”, made me think of something that I at least know whether I’m very good at applying it or not. I like to say it anyway. 🙂 That something is, “Be the person you wish everyone else would be.” Which is another way of stating the Golden Rule. I used to get really angry w/ friendships and/or relationships whether they just drifted into nothingness or it was a bad situation, which coincides w/ your fear=anger statement as well. I don’t really know why I wrote this comment because I don’t know how to fix it! Just saying I get it, I guess. And thanks for the props on my art stuff. Glad you like!

  3. I heard a man once say, “Anger is a tasty dish, but when you are done eating, the bones left on the plate are yours,”

    Not that I’m mich good at being angry, mind you, but I try to remember this whenever I get to that ‘seething’ point.

  4. when i first believed (thanks to reading eldredge) that female (not just male) = made in the image of God i felt i truly knew God personally instead of vicariously. when you shut down your heart to female, you shut down your heart to part of the image of god. how many times have we heard about god being the father and husband to the fatherless and widow? might it also be true that he is the mother and wife to you right now??

  5. Thanks for the encouragement, everyone. LP, yes, I agree, I’m definitely fighting that urge to fill the mother/wife “hole” with someone, when basically it’s not really a “hole” at all. It’s already filled…just doesn’t feel like it sometimes.

  6. […] no feeling quite like when a woman shows affection for you.”  As I mentioned in a previous post, that’s my contribution to the brutality women have endured over the ages from men and the […]

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