Tag Archives: anger

Don’t poke that dragon with a stick. It’ll eat you. Or will it?

Didn’t your mother teach you NOT to poke a sleeping dragon?  That you should let sleeping dragons lie?

He looks too cute to be dangerous. Right?

Or was that dogs?

He’s definitely too cute to be dangerous.

Like all reptiles, dragons are great at sleeping.  You know, being cold-blooded and all.  Sleeping is an excellent way to conserve energy.  So, as you can imagine, something as big as a dragon needs lots of sleep.  Except when they don’t.  I mean, a dragon’s got to eat sometimes, right?

In case you’re not catching on to my little metaphor, the sleeping dragons (or dogs) that I am referring to is our emotional troubles.  Stuff from the past is like a sleeping dragon.  Some of us have lots and lots of dragons sleeping together in the dog-pile technique.  Others have one or two.  Either way, I personally, and sincerely believe that sleeping dragons are dangerous.  They can wake up at and wreak havoc on our emotional state, on our relationships, and our life anytime they want to.

Dragons are smart creatures.  They like to sleep in dark corners, letting us know they’re there, but never really fully engaging us.  They’re happy there in their comfy little corner.  Because of the shadows, we can’t really see what they’re doing.  But, believe you me, they are causing trouble.

Un-dealt with emotional problems come out various forms, and we often don’t even realize it.  Mostly because our reactions are normal…to us.  THEY run your life.  THEY decide how and when you behave and interact with your environment.  Like when my husband innocently says something that sets off an angry reaction in me.  Or, when a sudden, overwhelming fear of enclosed spaces keeps me from having fun.  Or, when I sling into a deep depression for no apparent reason.  Or, when I have (yet another) bout of anxiety at the prospect of meeting new people.  All of these reactions come from somewhere.   I learned them growing up.  All of these reactions can cause me problems as an adult.  They stunt my growth.  They keep me from fully engaging in life.  They harm my relationships.  And most importantly, they keep me back from being who I was meant to be.

If you decide to take control of the situation, you WILL have to face your dragons head on.  Sure, once you poke them and wake them up they are going to growl and stomp and threaten to eat you.  They might even throw a flame or two your way.

Remember this guy?

But, here’s the thing:  YOU are in control of the dragons.  YOU are the master of THEIR fate.  It’s not the other way around.  Because as Christopher Robin told Winnie the Pooh, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”  You hold the secret weapons that defeat the dragons.  You know their vulnerabilities.  You know where that soft spot is and can drive in your sword (or lance if you prefer).  If you do, you will truly be at peace.  You will never have to worry about what that dragon will do next.  You can get on with your life and live it to the fullest.

Pretty cool, huh?

So, I say, don’t let the sleeping dragons lie there forever.  Take up your sword, your spear, your counseling sessions and deliberately, and methodically, deal that dragon it’s death blow.

You’ll then be free from it’s grip.  Forever.

I promise.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Your turn, which weapon do you prefer?

Advertisements

Tower of Babel- The destruction process

Genesis 11

The Tower of Babel

1 At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. 2 As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there.

3 They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) 4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”

5 But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. 6 “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! 7Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”

8 In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.

I wanted to write some prosy thing about this process, but I just don’t have it in me.  Instead, I am going to share the email I sent to someone who is sort of counseling me at the moment.  Here goes:

Phew.  This has been a tough week.  Still reeling from the smashed tower and wondering what to do next, the day after the last image I sent you (which would have been Wednesday) I sat down again and asked the Lord to revel himself to me.  This is what I got:

Part 1- No other Gods before me.
The scripture is Exodus 20:2-17.  The purple squiggly on top is Sovereign God.  The bottom left hand corner spiral is the Holy Spirit.  As the colors spiral inward the Holy Spirit is infusing himself with me.  I am in the center in the red.  I am not sure if the red represents anger/rage, or my heart, maybe both.  If you notice the majority of the spiral is in blue and moves to purple then to red.  All of the words of the scripture are moving inward from the HS into the center.  I felt that God was making clear that I am putting something before him.  But I really did not want to know what.

Part 2- Ouch! That hurts!
I met with someone I look up to on Thursday because I wanted to express some hurt and anger about some things that had happened.  I had something I was holding onto for the past 5 years that was still hurting me.  I wanted to be able to let go, but God wasn’t letting me let go.  So, I finally (after much goading from a friend) met with this person.  She told me she thought I had an attitude problem, an anger problem, and she I was held back from going forward in leadership because of this.  She said that I can have my opinions, and even feel anger, but she said that I am not very honoring in my approach to expressing my anger.  This, of course, hurt me and my ego.  I also felt frustrated because I only really feel anger is when I feel an injustice has been served to  me.  For a couple of days I felt distraught, anger, frustration, and more anger.  And I really did not want to ask God about this because I was sure I wasn’t going to like what I heard.

Part 3- The dream
Right before I woke up Saturday morning I had a most vivid dream.  Usually there are 3 signs that the dream was from God: 1. It was vivid, 2. It stays with me all day, 3. I can still remember it the next day.  Here is how the dream went: My husband was carrying our child because I could not after a certain part of the pregnancy.  We were in a hotel room that was more like an apartment.  It was time to deliver the baby, but it had to be done by c-section and I was the only one there to do the procedure.  I felt a little panicked, rushed, but confident that I could handle a dangerous procedure on my own.  I was rushing around to get the room ready putting out towels to soak the inevitable flow of blood and for the baby.  I was also changing my clothes into something more appropriate for handling surgery.  As I was removing my stockings, my husband said that he was waiting for someone to arrive.  He had called on another nurse, someone more qualified to handle the surgery.  I was very upset with him and threw a little temper tantrum.  I said, “I can’t believe you called someone else!!”  He said that someone who was qualified for this needed to be there to handle “multiple points of infection”.  I immediately awoke from this dream in a panic.  I knew almost immediately this was from God.

Part 4- The Revelation
Yesterday, I sat down and wrote out some thoughts I was having because I felt like the faith issue that you talked with me about, and the anger issue were related.  The dream was key to making that connection, but I still didn’t know why.  And, I was feeling angry with God.  So I wrote out a few things that I was feeling including the dream.  The first question I posed to myself was “What are the correlations?” between the anger issue and the faith issue.  Then I wrote out the possibilities which are:
  • I feel angry that I cannot just “handle” things myself.
  • God is saying he is “qualified” to handle things, and I am not.
  • I feel angry at injustices
  • Sometimes the lack of blessing feels like an injustice, especially when I feel that I have done what is required of me.
  • I feel angry at God.
  • I feel mistrustful of others.
  • I feel misunderstood.
  • What is the root of this?
  • I have an “I can (and now I think “must” is part of this) take care of myself” attitude.  That doesn’t jive with God.  I feel I have, and continue to be, treated unfairly, and unjustly by others.
  • Am I my own God (in this area)?
Then I wrote: Why do I care about injustice and fairness towards myself?  To the point of expressing anger?  Why do I feel God has treated my unjustly?  I feel I don’t deserve what has happened to me and angry at God for not stopping it.   Which is ridiculous since a deep understanding of pain makes me more sympathetic (and empathetic) toward others pain.  I believe this but find it difficult to accept.  Is this where “be the exclamation point, not the question mark” comes in?

So, yesterday afternoon, I sat down with my sister and we talked about why we want so badly to be heard.  We agreed it was because we weren’t heard as children, or as adults in our younger years.  I am driven to keep making my point until I feel I have been heard, which leads others to believe that I am trying to “get my way”, which is not my usual intention.  Then I began to wonder if, as Christians, we have a “right’ to be heard.  Meaning: Do others really need to hear my thoughts and opinions?  My sister felt that in some situations it was important to be understood.  But, perhaps in most situations it was not so important to be heard by others.  Then she came up with this scripture, “Let no evil talk come out of your mouth, but only what is good for giving necessary teaching, and for grace to those who give ear.” Ephesians 4:29.  Then I found the rest of that chapter “And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:30, 31.

Part 5- The Conclusion
Obviously, I need to rely solely on the Holy Spirit to guide my words when I feel strongly about something, which, somewhere deep inside of me, makes me unhappy.  So I am coming to grips the full meaning of this revelation.  I expect that I will be fully on board with this soon enough.  So here is my conclusions on this matter:
  • It takes faith to trust that God is fully capable of handling whatever comes my way.
  • I need to rely on Him for revelation on how to handle a situation
  • I am not God in my life.  Only He must be.
  • My words must be tempered with love, honoring, cherishing, encouraging, full of grace.
  • Since I am woman of strong opinion and passion, I must go to Him EVERY SINGLE TIME I have a struggle to temper my reactions before I speak or do anything.

So there you have it.  Like I said: Phew!

A match made in heaven?

If you had asked me yesterday morning if my husband and I were a match made in heaven, I probably would have said, “I don’t know.” Today, I say, “Most definitely.”

First I’d like to thank Mary Kathryn Tyson (MK is my first “virtual friend.” While this is very strange for me, it is also very sweet. She is such a nice person, you should go over and meet her sometime) for posting her “List” yesterday. I wouldn’t have gotten where I am today without the thought catalyst that her post presented. She made of list of qualifications for the man she would like to marry. I’ll be honest, after I read her list I was angry (it actually took me a while to admit that I was angry), and unhappy. And then I spent THE ENTIRE DAY thinking about why this made me angry and unhappy. And God used that anger and unhappiness to bring to my present state of understanding of what marriage is really about (which is a good thing, because I nearly lost sight of the big picture).

I have been married twice. The first marriage ended in disaster. Suffice it to say, I was wreck when I went to that marriage, and I was a even bigger wreak when my husband left me for another woman (for the second time). I am still married to the second husband. Thank the Lord.

I met my husband at church in 1994, approximately one year before the divorce would become final. I think I thought that he was kind of cute at the time (let’s see, I was 24, and he was 33), but I soon found out that he had a sarcastic, bitter streak a mile-wide. When he wasn’t being snarky, he was really funny (I still roll my eyes and laugh at his jokes after 15 years of acquaintance), and he was kind of cute too. But he was a traveling nurse, so he wasn’t around much during my first years at my church. So much for that. As for me, I was angry, bitter, confused, hurt, broken, by everything that had come before. I was in the midst of the hardest growing up years a girl could ever imagine. I had a son to take care of, a new found faith to navigate, no husband, and no money. Not to mention I was in terrible need of counseling and deliverance. I had already been working on my mental health issues in counseling before I met God, so I just kept going but with a slightly different angle (a God angle, if you will). God in his wisdom knew that it just wasn’t time for me to date anyone. Eventually my husband stopped his travel nursing and came back home. We became acquainted through circumstances that threw us together. I liked him, but I didn’t like him. I thought that he was too critical, judgmental, and disrespectful. But he was funny, and kind of cute, too.

So years passed, we were friends, but I didn’t like him much by the time 1999 came around. He had pissed me off one to many times. Especially when it came to my son. My son is off-the-charts ADHD and had limitations on how much he could handle in any given moment. My husband didn’t like his disrespect towards me or towards others. Anyways, during that year I had felt a lot of pressure to be someone I wasn’t, so I was pretending a lot. Somewhere during the summer I had an emotional breakdown. I couldn’t think clearly, I couldn’t communicate clearly, and I couldn’t be around people. I dropped out of church all together. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it there. But being around people made me feel exposed in a I-am-walking-down-the-street-naked kind of a way. And I wanted to hide. So, I did. During this time, I reached out to a counselor at the church for help in dealing with my issues. This turned into a group counseling team that involved a deliverance minister, a professional counselor, an “Elijah House” style counselor, and the person being my “mom” at the time. You know how diamonds are made right? Lots and lots of pressure form the hardest, most beautiful crystalline structure we have on this Earth. Which is made out of the most basic matter found, carbon. Well, I felt a lot of pressure from the inside out. As it turns out, I had a condition currently known as “Dissociative Integrative Disorder”, commonly known as multiple personality disorder. I was a splintered soul in intense need of divine intervention and healing. Definitely not the best time to start dating anyone in my opinion. I was a wreck. Thankfully God healed me fully and completely from this insanity, which is some kind of a miracle.

THANK YOU LORD FOR MAKING ME INTO A DIAMOND.

I had prayed almost the entire time that I was single this prayer, “Lord, please let the person that is interested in dating me be the one I am going to marry.” I had a son to think of, after all. I couldn’t have men waltzing in and out of his life at such a tender age. I might have been able to handle it, but not him. He needed a steady and stable man that would be there FOREVER. He didn’t need his mom constantly tempting him with a hope of a dad and then snatching it away. So, I prayed my prayer and stayed away from men as much as possible.

Then, right smack-in-the-middle of all that craziness my husband asked one of my counselor’s if she thought now was a good time for me to start dating romantically. She wouldn’t commit me to anything, but said she would talk with me and see how I felt. The ensuing conversation was rather amusing since she wouldn’t come out and say that my husband wanted to date me. She used the words friend and friendship a lot. Funny, I thought, we are already friends. Like I mentioned before, I had felt love/hate towards this man. Up until a certain point, that is. I had gotten a tiny peak into the man that God meant for him to be in July and August of 1999. I had been leading a dance group in our church. We usually had ministry time afterwards and would break up into pairs and pray for one another. I had managed to avoid praying with him all of the previous months, and, well, I just couldn’t avoid it anymore (I know, not very leader-like of me). During that month, God put a little chink in my husband’s armor and I got a look inside at the true man. The following months I developed a certain affection for my husband. He was being very kind to me and calling me once a week to see how I was doing since I wasn’t at church. So by the time he got around to asking me out, I was ready to say, “Yes”.

When we got married in 2002, I didn’t have any romantic notions about who I was marrying. I knew exactly the kind of man my husband was, and I loved him in spite of things that made me angry. Because of the vision, I had hope. Hope that this crazy little thing called love would work out in the end. I love him still, but even more fiercely than before. Let’s fast forward to 8 years later. In other, words, today.

Things have been really, really hard for the past year. We have had a number of losses. Jobs, a pregnancy, health, and financial freedom to name a few. My husband and I have also been fighting a lot. I mean A LOT. I feel angry about the same things concerning him that I felt angry about back in 1995 and 1999. But recently, I have lost hope. I have wanted to walk out that door, and hope it didn’t hit me on the way out many, many times. And I have been angry at him. I had lost sight of the man that God showed me, and quickly turned into a bitter, and angry woman towards my husband.

So, I have been asking myself lately, why do I stick around?

The other day I was at church for choir practice. In the room where we practice I saw a DVD case called “Sacred Marriage”. And the blurb went something like this “What if marriage isn’t supposed to make us happy? What is marriage is supposed to make us holy?” (I am quite sure that my memory is paraphrasing here). Regardless of my memory issues, this has stuck with me all week. I mean, really, what is the point of marriage? Because I have surely been unhappy.

Is this marriage really making me holy?

SoI began examining the implications for this “holy-making” marriage idea? This means that I married a broken person, and that broken person married a broken person (me). Because we are human we are all broken in some fashion, some more than others. Because we are starting from a broken place, there is no other way to go but up. Up towards the perfection of God. The process of marriage is the process of being knit into a single image with three entities, my husband, myself, and God. We fight, we argue, we see the imperfections in each other (and make sure the other person knows about these imperfections). Most marriages end there, some stay together, some don’t. If the purpose of marriage is to make me holy then that means that the process of becoming holy is difficult (Hence, the fighting and arguing). Especially if God is using that other person in our life to show us the broken places (iron sharpens iron, right?). God is trying to knit us all together to become one. But we push against one another and God. This causes ripping and tearing of the fabric that God is weaving together that represents our marriage. Which causes us pain. But pain is good if it has a purpose, right?

Here is where the becoming holy part comes in. When God shows us the broken places, he covers over our sins in love. He extends grace. He heals the brokenness. As long as we work with God, and our spouse in the upward direction, we can recognize this process as part of marriage and that the goal is to be holy (which often does not make us happy), then we can hold onto hope. And we can love the other person fiercely and protectively. We can pray for them. We can speak the truth in love. We can be vulnerable. We can trust. Because we believe in God’s ability to help us, and them, overcome.

And most importantly, we can stick around for the results.

I am choosing today to stick around because I believe in the man that God created my husband to be. I choose today to be kinder and gentler in my approach to helping my husband become that man. I choose to continue to work with God, and my husband, to works toward who I was created to be. Amen.

I’ll say it again: Are we a match made in heaven? Most definitely.

Thank you Lord for helping me to get my eyes back on the big picture. And for helping me hold onto hope. Amen.

Let’s discuss this, do you have an iron-sharpens-iron relationship that keeps you on your toes (this can be anyone in your life, husband, wife, friend, family)?