Dealing with Anger, Part One


Since being a part of the Bible studies created through Thistlebend, I have been rocked to my core many times. There is no doubt that you are being pushed to search the parts of you that you would like to tuck away in private. I have questioned my walk, I have seen the fruits of obeying in the walk, I have labored in this study, I have been put through seasons of waiting patiently upon the Lord, and there have been times when I just didn’t feel like doing the work necessary to delight in this abundant life in Christ Jesus. But it all boils down to this: Am I serious about this relationship with Christ? Let me be the first to say, just doing the Bible studies and participating in them will not make a change unless you are doing what the Lord is calling you to do while He has placed you in the midst of this study. Some of the things you will be called to do during this study, Heart of a Woman, include taking a serious look into your heart, fasting, and laboring in the “garden of your heart.” I have broken this into two separate parts. I didn’t want to overwhelm you as a reader and hope you come back to read Part 2.

During Lesson 6 and 7 we spoke on the topic of repentance, and what it really looks like as a believer. I found this topic to be even sweeter as Easter has come and gone and we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have decided this week to share with you what repentance has looked like for me in the last few weeks of my life. Honestly, this last month or so has been the hardest of my entire marriage. I hope you know that normally this topic too I “tuck away in private,” but I truly know that the Lord can do and use all things!

So, I hope you read this and understand that I am a work in progress and that the Lord gets all the glory. I will first share with you the sin I struggle with the most, and hopefully that will explain why this topic has been put into the limelight on today’s blog. Focusing on Christ and His saving grace, not just leaning on human abilities, can truly mean the difference between having hope in the midst of trying to beat your flesh and feeling unchanging in it, at times even lost within it. If you have read the previous blogs, I am sure you can pick up on the sin I talk about most often, anger. But if not, anger is something I have dealt with. I would even go as far as to say, this used to characterize me at times. People may not say outright, “She is an angry person,” but they will definitely tell you I am very rough around the edges in some situations when I deemed it necessary.

Before I got into Heart of a Woman, I was confronted with wanting the Lord to truly move in my life, but really struggling to let go of my anger. This anger was really affecting my marriage the most. I would fuss and argue about wanting something to change in my marriage. But I was always pointing the finger at my husband as to why we weren’t doing as well as other couples we know. (Comparing is never good; you never know what is going on in someone else’s life). Honestly, if I am upfront, I feel so justified when I am angry that I didn’t feel in the beginning stages of being in Thistlebend Bible study that my anger was a big deal. It was just who I was, right?!

Repenting of my anger was never really a thought I took seriously until we started the fast. After being asked to pray about what the Lord would like us to fast, and praying over Psalm 139, this sin had started to be placed heavily upon my heart. I was shown how I am not slow to speak, at times so unforgiving, bitter, and too prideful (James 1:19-20.) I had begun to see that the fruits that I had been placing on my tree in the assignments had nearly all been produced by a root of this sin. At the time, I was starting to go home and find that I was longing for peace in my house. I wanted to do better! But at the same time I was seeing that I was bringing this unrest right inside the door with me. For the first time in my life, I would find that I would not just be giving up a food of some kind, but a sinful behavior so imbedded in my life.

Repenting took on a whole new meaning for me during the last few weeks. It wasn’t enough not to yell or get stuff off my chest, but it was seriously failing and saying “Okay! Pick up your cross and keep pressing forward!” It was having to consciously and intentionally watch every word I said, and asking for something I don’t ask for much from my husband…forgiveness. It was asking the Lord to take away my need to be heard, and replacing that with sitting alone with Him in silence and asking to be humbled. And oh was giving up control and feeling that lack of expression the hardest thing! Being made low so that He can be exalted is what we say we want, but it was HARD! I would literally stop in the middle of my day and find a place to get on my knees and say, “Give me the strength. Only in you can I take this head on. I can’t do this. I am so weak in this, and I can’t do this.”

I lasted three days before I gave in to my sin of anger, because I was upset that my husband did something I didn’t like. I gave in and just wouldn’t shut up about how I felt, what I wanted, and why I thought he should be sorry. I mean I was having a deep fall off the cliff of my sin. As a matter of fact, it was Tuesday night after the study. After the conversation was over, I was sitting down and thinking to myself how shameful I felt that I had let that happen. I wasn’t sure if I could get back up after failing. I didn’t think I could work through this again. At that moment the Holy Spirit sweetly reminded me of something Laurie said during the lecture. I am paraphrasing here, but essentially she said that we often measure what we can do in our human strength rather than understanding that we are called to do it through the strength of Christ Jesus. WOW! I am so grateful that He has left me with a Helper (John 14: 25-26) to remind me of these things. Thank you, Abba Father!

All for His Glory



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