Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. (Pro 3:5-6)
I’ve struggled with anger ever since I can remember. It used to be really bad. I would get so angry that not only I yelled and cursed, but I also hurt people I loved and I destroyed things. If anyone got in my way, I wouldn’t hesitate to hurt them. Push them away, hit them, just to release all the negative energy, all the anger that was boiling inside me. It would take me up to a few hours to even realise what I had done, to see all the damage my anger did and I would feel bad and hated myself afterwards, which didn’t help with my anger. I would push away people that cared about me and wanted to help me. How awful must have been for others to have to deal with me. I know how difficult it was to deal with myself.
I couldn’t talk to anyone about this. I mean, what are you supposed to say? How do you ask people if they’re experiencing or have experienced anything similar? Nobody likes to talk about their struggles, their weaknesses. And people are so quick to judge. I didn’t need to be judged, I wanted help, but I didn’t know how to even ask for it.
Becoming a part of New Life Church helped me to admit my problem in a way I never thought I ever could. I found some great people who don’t pretend they’re perfect, but they are the first to admit they’re messed up too. How amazing is that? Being a part of a group of people that are messed up. Finally there is somewhere I belong. People actually expecting me to struggle and want me to share my struggles, so we can help each other. I knew that was a safe place for me to talk about anything and I wouldn’t be judged. Isn’t that what we all want?
So I shared my struggle with anger and found out I’m not the only one to experience this. Sure, everyone deals with anger up to one point or another, but this was different. Being able to share what I feel when I get angry, helped me to see what I needed to work on. And I started to pray on it as well. God will help you if you ask Him. This is not something I used to believe to be true before, but it’s probably because I never really prayed and asked the way I do now.
I don’t ask for miracles and I don’t expect changes to happen by themselves. I know God won’t just magically take my anger away from me. But He can help me to make the changes I need. He can help guide me in the right direction. And this is where sharing my deepest, darkest feelings helps. If you’re not honest with yourself and with others, then you don’t even see everything that is going on inside you. And if you don’t see the problem, how can you expect to find a solution then?
I could just go on saying “Sure, everyone gets angry, it’s just the way it is. This is who I am and people will just have to learn to live with that.” But no, I want to set a good example for people, be the kind of a person that Christ wants me to be and knows I can be. He knows I’m not perfect and He knows I’ll keep failing, but that’s okay. He still loves me, He’s still there for me, guiding me every step of the way if I only seek His help. He won’t abandon me. And that helps me to make progress. Very slowly, but progress nonetheless.
I still yell at people and sometimes I will push them away when they try to help me. But it takes me much less time to realise what’s happening and I know in that moment I just need to be alone and pray. Or sometimes I will put the worship songs on and just lose myself in the lyrics and trust that God is there to help me.
I have a long way to go, but I’m also very far from where I used to be. And I believe God will continue to guide me as long as I seek Him out.
– Tina, one of our fantastic Online Chat Hosts.
Tina has been able to share her frustrations and anger with a few close friends at New Life. Are there people in your life that you can share those with or come alongside of you? This could be a close friend or someone in a life group or in a group like Celebrate Recovery. If you struggle with anger, don’t let another day go by where you don’t talk about it with someone. Otherwise, not only will you suffer but those closest to you will as well.
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