Out of everything that tries to hold onto me, anger is my biggest struggle. It’s something that a long time ago, found a place in my heart above everything — my family, my friends, and a God I barely knew anyway. I was young, my parents had divorced, and it was easy for bitterness and resentment to find a foothold in my day to day. Before I knew it, that foothold turned into what I could only describe as invisible hands around my neck; it was akin to oxygen being drained from every room I entered, because every day it was killing me.
And I couldn’t get rid of it. There’s something like addiction that comes with anger – and addiction only consumes. With anger comes a cycle that is nothing short of a rush, an adrenaline shot in sore veins; it can feel downright good, and there are too many times it can’t be controlled.
On top of this, there is another aspect it shares with addiction; you don’t always know you’re addicted. You don’t always know that the anger is a problem, or that it’s only hurting you. It’s lethal, but it’s quiet. It’s soft, warm, and slow-moving when it lies dormant; so it stays.
For six or seven years, I unknowingly battled my demons. Fueled by a damaged relationship with someone very close to me, I was a child completely enveloped in blinding bitterness, resentment, and anger. I was hateful to everyone around me, I carried spite like a banner, and I bottled everything inside myself. I was, in short, a person I hated.
So what changed?
To put it simply — God. He used my anger in a way that formed it into my testimony of just how incredible He is. He used the most fundamental years of my life to shape the rest of me in ways I can barely comprehend now, let alone during the time it was happening, and where there was bitterness and resentment, He’s put forgiveness and healing.
It says in Ephesians 4:26-27,
‘And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.’
The journey of living past my anger was a long one, and still very much is. A couple of years after I finally felt like the anger had passed, issues with that same person flared up again. A few months after that, and I lost a friend I had just begun to get to know; at the time, I viewed it as a twisted betrayal. Cue to now, and oh, how my point of view has changed. With every moment of adversity, I’ve begun to see His purpose in these particular types of struggles. I’ve learned that you can’t keep your expectations in people, no matter who they are. And this shouldn’t cast a bad light on anyone — merely a human one. Whoever has wronged you, whoever has produced a spark, or a wildfire of anger in your heart, please, please keep this in mind; you are completely one in the same. There is no difference between you and the one who hurt you. When you hit the deepest part of someone, it’s blindingly clear that we are all broken and searching. And I can promise you, Jesus didn’t die on the cross so we could harbor our resentment.
Now please don’t misinterpret, because I’m not trying to excuse what that person did. Whatever your situation, and whatever your hurt, what you feel is absolutely valid, and no one can take that from you. It’s okay to not to be okay, and it’s okay to feel the anger you do; but you can’t hold onto it. You cannot allow a foothold like that in your life, or it will destroy you. I speak from a painfully personal experience, and I write this in the hopes it won’t be become yours.
God created us with a plethora of emotions, and despite my struggle with them all (and I do mean all), I am so grateful. We have the opportunity to simply feel more than anything on the planet! Our emotional complexities surpass that of anything else living on this earth, and if you don’t think that’s crazy cool, I don’t know what to tell you.
So feel. Experience the emotions our humanity comes with, but breathe and let it go. Scream, cry, and yell at God; express your frustration, your anger, and your pain. Let yourself be broken. Just the other day, I bruised my knuckles against a wall in a moment of anger — my time of dealing with this is far from over. But I stood up, and I moved on. You can always stand up afterward. Take His hand, let Him dry your tears, and dig into the tangible promises His word carries.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”-1 John 5:14
If anyone has ever struggled with this, or is struggling with some form of anger, my inbox or messenger is always open ♥
1 John 5:14
Thank you for reading! See you in a few weeks ~