I felt awkward for being angry.
Then (more quickly than usual) I realized the reason I was angry.
I thought my anger would put a boundary around me and keep his complaints from affecting me.
Little did I know I didn’t need a boundary.
Let me explain.
Anger is something we all deal with, but often we don’t know what to do with it when it shows up. Last week I took you step by step through the Transformation Prayer Ministry process with a personal example.
You can also learn more about the Transformation Prayer Ministry by purchasing the live video of Transformed: the Power of Grace in Relationship here.
My personal example today is to show some characteristics of anger, and how it can keep us from seeing clearly what’s actually occurring. And the effects of how TPM helps us process anger.
Over the years, my husband and I had many trips to the store together ending in frustration for both of us. It may go like this: I would stop to look at something seemingly momentarily, and when I looked up to go on with him to the other aisles . . . he was no where to be found. He vanished. (This was before cell phones) Often 30 – 40 minutes later, after both of us searched unsuccessfully everywhere we could possibly think of for the other guy, we would finally find each other.
We would both be irritated, feeling inconvenienced, and angry.
Eventually, I changed my expectations when we went shopping together. Any real shopping I wanted to do I saved for times I went shopping with out him. Basically, I gave up shopping with him all together.
As the years passed it seemed we were having a hard time finding things we liked to do together.
With this in mind, we ventured a short trip to the store again. We had hopes it might be fun if we went to a favorite grocery store. Delightfully, we enjoyed exploring those aisles together.
Since that was successful, we decided on another day to go to a local store that was having a ‘half-off’ sale. I was only a bit apprehensive about the going together part. Wondering if I would be disappointed if I allowed my expectations of accomplishing some serious shopping to take me where I wanted to go, and we’d lose one another again. Which then means the familiar pattern would follow. Yet, with the ‘half-off’ sale without hesitation I marched right into some real shopping.
Sure enough, after we went our separate ways to look for those things that interested us individually, my husband completed his shopping before me and couldn’t find me anywhere.
When we finally connected and got in the car he said, “I went up and down the aisles looking for you for a long time.” I braced myself for his grumpy words to continue at length.
However, before that happened I complained, “I’m not going to do this again with you. I don’t know why I thought we would enjoy shopping together.”
He said, “Hey there’s no problem here.” Then he pointed to the title he had printed out in preparation for the Sunday morning message. (There are some benefits to being married to an impatient pastor when he’s preparing to preach on patience.)
He said, “There’s no problem on my end. You’re creating the problem. I am not.”
What he meant was he was practicing his patience.
This time his typical reaction towards being inconvenienced was not impatience.
It was different.
I did not expect him to react differently.
I was glad.
But, I was unprepared for his change.
My anger boiled up within because I wanted a break from what I perceived I was going to hear.
My anger helped me feel a little more in control. It felt like it was creating a good boundary.
Truly, my anger, was actually keeping me from hearing what was really happening.
I was numb to the reality of the moment.
Anger can numb us from what is really happening.
I believed that being angry at him would put a boundary around me which would then keep his irritations and complaints from affecting me.
When I processed my anger through TPM learn more here, and asked God to give me His truth I realized the reason I was holding onto my anger was because I was believing a lie.
The truth was he was not irritated or complaining.
I didn’t even notice that until he pointed it out.
When I asked God for His truth the lie no longer felt true, and my anger faded.
Blessings to you as you process your anger and it fades too.
Let me know how it’s going