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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Grace covering anger

The past few days, I've realized that I'm just angry. No particular reason, just angry. Maybe it's all the high fructose corn syrup I've cut out of my diet. A couple days ago, I screamed at my kids like a total shrew. And in the middle of it, I realized, I have absolutely no reason to be so angry at them. I apologized, shut my big fat mouth, and curled up on the couch with a blanket.

So today, I sat down at WFTJ, and my friend Robbie starts talking about how I've been on her mind lately, blah blah blah (actually, it was quite sweet, and I'll start crying if I talk about it, so we are NOT going there). And then she says something interesting about how I've grown. That when she first met me, she sensed a lot of repressed anger and frustration, but now she sees a lot of joy and peace in me.

Apparently, she wasn't in the house the other day when I screamed at my kids or last night when I yelled at the hubby and hung up on him. Yeah. Real proud moments.

We start talking and another friend comes up and says, "you're angry? Why are you so angry?" Which of course, leads to me tirading about the most idiotic things in the world that are absolutely no big deal and I have no real reason to be angry about them except that well, I'm just angry.

So I keep asking myself, why am I so angry? And where is this joy that my friend Robbie sees in me? (Robbie, by the way, is the ultimate in living joyfully. You should check out her blog, Joy Dance, and see what I mean.)

I did my thing, went to church, blah blah blah. Not really, but the full church topic has to be saved for another blog. Anyway, we were worshipping, and some of the things I'm angry about starting coming out. Things I'm holding in. Things I don't want to share because the things I'm angry about are selfish things and I don't want to be selfish. Things that hurt way deep down but I'm afraid to talk about them. No, that's not true. I've talked about them. I feel like I've talked about them ad nauseum for three years and nothing's changed. It still hurts. And honestly, I have to think that to some extent, people are sick of hearing it. So I shut it all up inside and don't talk about it any more. And there I am, crying my eyes out in the middle of church, trying to hide it because I know that if hubby sees, he'll want to know what's wrong and that'll just start another issue, and I'm tired of having issues.

And then it hit me... everything I've done today, everything I've heard, talked about, it all boils down to letting God handle my burdens. He does not care if I come crying to him a hundred times a day about all this stuff in my heart. He's not going to think I'm a bad person, a bad wife, a bad mother, a bad whatever it is I've decided I am. He's not going to send me to the corner reserved for the naughty little girls who still cannot get their act together.

One of the verses we talked about in WFTJ was Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Oh, how my soul needs rest. I am carrying so many burdens. And I'm doing it alone. Because I have some warped thought in my head that it has to be that way.

Tonight in church, Dave talked about grace. And while it wasn't specifically tonight's topic (though I suspect it will be another night), I realized the person I most need to give grace to is myself. To know that even if I unload all the burdens I carry around on His shoulders, it's not going to make me any less in God's eyes. Dave gave the great analogy of a scale, and that our way into heaven isn't dependent on the scale. In my head, I know this to be true... the ticket to heaven is grace. And yet, I am so wrapped up in my perfectionism and hating these human desires that I'm not laying it at the cross. It makes me wonder... have I really accepted grace? Or am I still stuck in some Pharisaical rut of believing lies and trying to perform my way into heaven?

The reality of who I am is that I'm a mess. I'm trying to clean it up, really I am. But it's pretty stupid to think that a mess is going to clean itself up. I've got kids. I should know better. But that's been my expectation. I'm angry because I'm not perfect. I'm angry because all the perfect things I planned for my life aren't happening in the perfect order I planned for them. I'm angry because I rely way too much on me and not enough on God. Nothing I do is going to cure this anger until I can step away and fully accept grace.

3 comments:

Kay said...

I understand, Danica.
I'm there with you in fact.
I don't think I have as much anger as I used to, but I certainly feel a lot of frustration. Disappointment in myself. But I'm learning. I love how in that verse Jesus says "learn from me" He'll teach us how to be so we can rest.

Camy Tang said...

You know, I could really relate to what you said about how God doesn't care that we have to come to him a million times a day with the SAME problem. That's so true! And very emotionally freeing for me. I've been doing that whole feeling guilty that I haven't gotten over hurts in my life (and Captain Caffeine is tired of hearing me struggle with it).
Camy

Robbie Iobst said...

Danica, Lovely post full of lovely you. You know I stand by what I said. Joy is not an emotion, to me. Joy is surrendering and being okay with letting God be in control. I tell you what Danica, I see that in you. More and more. And I love that you brought up that verse in Matthew. God keeps bringing it up for me again and again. I am exhausted emotionally. Thanks for reminding me that He is the ultimate nap-giver for my soul.
Now if I can just get myself to bed. :0)