When I was caring for my mom, there were times I would experience bouts of angry. I knew my love for my mom was immoveable; I also knew no matter what hurtful thing the Alzheimer’s would cause her to say to me, she did not mean it. Over the years, my prayer life became filled with moments of great anguish and grief, other times uncertainty, anger, and impatience. Certainly, the demands of caregiving can take a toll. My counselor’s and support systems regularly validated those feelings. One day I was praying and talking to the Lord and as I began to pray in the spirt, I felt the gentlest tug at my heart “Debbie you’re exhausted.” Immediately I received what I believe was a multilayered divine revelation about anger. (Keep in mind the kind of anger I’m referring to in NOT part of a pattern or pathology of mental health, trauma, or abuse) God revealed something so potent and clarifying.
There are circumstances we will go through in life that will push us to the edge emotionally, physically, relationally, spiritually, and psychologically. In addition, God will also lead us through rough terrain and rocky circumstances in situations where we nor anyone close to us has power to change. These are the situations I want you to think about. Emotions are a big part of our Spiritual formation (development, maturity, character) In fact, they are one of seven areas of our Spiritual development. My encouragement to you today is to offer clarity about what issues are often hiding and at the root of some anger. I pray it will not bring freedom, empowering you with expression and release to make room for self-care and forgiveness, maturation, and peace.
5 things lurking under anger:
1. Exhaustion: Flat out mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion often hides under anger. Anger is often a sign that help, and support is needed to bring respite even if short-term.
2. Powerlessness/Lack of Control: When we cannot change our circumstances, or a devastating reality for someone we love, it creates feelings of powerlessness. We have control over many things in our lives, yet there will come a time when only God can control the wheel. This conflict can cause powerlessness which shows up as anger and frustration. Reflection and prayer centers and clarifies emotions
3. Sadness/Grief: Unexpressed grief can cause anger. When facing loss, an underlying emotion is often true sadness, anticipatory grief, and loss.
4. Hurt/Abandonment from God: You may be surprised to know that the antidote for feeling hurt or abandoned by God is to express openly and whole-heartedly to Him the truth of how you feel. He is not afraid of your hurt, but desires to assure you of His presence through it.
5. Confusion and Lack of Clarity: When we don’t understand what God is up to, why He’s allowing hurtful circumstances, or what His master plan might be it can bring about uncertainty. God may not give you the answers right now, but I’ve learned EVERY SINGLE TIME He reveals why in His perfect time.