It rears its ugly head still.
If allowed it becomes a breeding ground for resentment.
Resentment is a toxin.
A contagious, awful, relationship killing toxin.
Choosing the positive, seeing the blessings over the burdens is often a purposeful action.
Yet so often the magnetism of anger and resentment can have a strong pull.
Despite my desire to stay positive and always turn away from it, the battle is there; and I get tired of fighting off both the anger and resentment.
Even more than a year later, I still have moments when the pain of what my husband chose to do breeds anger inside me. I still have moments when I want to lash out, scream, or just see that someone else is still hurting like I am.
Then I hear songs like this…that combine my faith with a message of motivation.
I am reminded by the lyrics that allowing anger and resentment to drive my thoughts, let alone my actions gives the darkness a win. I am reminded that this marriage is a journey and we aren’t finished taking it yet. They words remind me that I am in control of what I chose to lead my thoughts and actions. By choosing anger, it only lets someone else’s selfish choices take more from me. If I give into the anger, let it build resentment what does that do for me? NOTHING. It just builds up walls, breeds toxins, into my heart, my mindset and finally into my marriage. A marriage that I do want. The future that I want to redefine and continue to journey through.
The moments when I have to ask for forgiveness in letting the anger win out and I let out harsh words. The moments when respect is a hard to give my husband. There are shameful under my breath comments. Mental images of “letting him have it” or “her” or the “others”. The internal wishes of wanting their to be discomfort, pain, regret, shame, embarrassment that cripples and haunts those involved. Anger that gets strong enough that I just want to break something.
But there is a moment in every angry “fit” when I catch my breath and realize that giving into the anger is letting the *%@# demon of our past take control of the present again and have a chance to bleed further into our future, my future.
I am not saying I don’t have the right to be angry. Heck even Jesus got angry-and He was our perfect sacrifice. Those tables still went flying when His father’s house was disrespected and turned into a market place for man’s personal gain. (Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-17, Luke 19:45-47) My marriage was a sacred place, it still is! And I have the right to get angry at what happened. BUT I refuse to let that anger become a toxin or destructive force to our future. Jesus didn’t dwell on the anger. He showed His hand, His anger and frustration and then He taught. He stayed in a place that caused Him anger and saw a need to reach, teach, change hearts. He didn’t just throw justified anger out there and wait for those who made the mistakes to figure it out on their own. He let the anger become a stepping stone to make things change, be heard among the crowd. He had every right to be angry at what happened. Those of us facing adultery and all that comes with it also have a justified anger. We have a right to throw our tables and get the attention of those around us. But what we do with that anger is key. If we turn it into a reason to strike back, get even, what does that say about us? Where does that place the state of our hearts? What power does that continue to give this awful moment in our life’s story?
I say it gives it TOO much power. And a power that should belong to my faith and my God in the midst of everything.
So I made and continue to make the choice to “keep fighting out of the dark” . To take the anger and make it a tool to reach and teach. Even if the crowd in front of me is just my husband and my marriage. So it becomes a question of how do I tame it or change it’s shape into something productive, helpful and non-toxic? I wish I had the perfect answer to that. I want to say it’s an easy choice. Just turn away, be the light in the darkness and make all the gracious, loving and peaceful choices. But reality is, I don’t all the time. ANd it is a hard choice to make. SO what do I do with the anger? I take ALL the anger to the cross. I pray..a lot. I vent. I cry. I scream. I beg for wisdom to understand. Am I living the perfect life? Heck no.
Do I always turn from the anger? No
There are practical ways that I handle the moments of anger. I could probably write an entire blog on that. But just to name a few: I go for a run. I leave a LOT on the pavement during one of my runs. I talk a lot to God while I put one foot in front of the other. I clean. If nothing else it focuses my mind on the task at hand and things are definitely cleaner and more organized around here. I fall on my knees and pray. I open my Bible to favorite scriptures of promise and healing. I journal. I blog. And I take time to be honest with my husband. Even now- over a year later. I tell him I am just having a hard day, that for a moment the anger is winning and I need some grace.
There are times when I am not even sure how I haven’t let the anger or resentment take more of a lead. The only thing I can offer is…it has NEVER been me in any of it. It has been my faith and my GOD , who IS BIGGER than this. Max Lucado has written this quote,
“Promised Land people trust God’s hold on them more than their hold on God”
When anyone looks into my life I want it to be an example worth sharing as a child of Christian faith. I want my life, all of it seen and unseen to be a reflection that I am a child of God. And if that is the case…what good would any retaliation do? What good would letting the anger win over control of my actions and reactions? What example and witness would that give? When all would be said and done, if I gave in to a “fit” of anger would that really make me feel better? What good would come out of getting in “her” face or speaking my mind to the “others”? Is that going to change what happened. No.
So I have to…as the song says..
Keep on fighting
Out of the dark
Into the light
Even if that means making it a daily, moment to moment purposeful choice! And reminding myself God is bigger than even my anger and He will turn this all into good.