Sometimes life stinks. There are days I could stay in bed, pull the covers over my head and shut myself away from the outside world. It seems that the last several years of my life have been plagued with a lot of health problems, miscarriages and emotional struggles. I have spent a lot of time in the past dwelling on the fact that it is a cruel world. I know terrible things happen to good people, but it appeared to me that I was getting more than my fair share.
I really don’t like having fertility issues. Even more… I despise the fact that I have lost eight unborn children. Before I had my daughter, I loathed anything that had to do with babies. Anger was a real and very present part of my life. And as I continued to pray for a baby, and the losses kept occurring – I grew to be angry at God. I felt cheated and ripped off. With each of my pregnancies untimely end, I felt robbed, and I thought God was the burglar.
Looking back now… I sure wish someone had counseled me and taught me the bible verse Ephesians 4:26-27. “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”
Let’s just say… I mastered the fine art of anger. And as a result, I sinned, and I sinned big. The more anger I managed to conjure up… the more I was destroying my life. My anger caused me to lash out at my husband. I was riddled with guilt, I felt like a failure, and my insides were boiling with rage. See I was the one with the medical problems… not my husband. I remember when the OB started fertility testing, Scott had to have his sperm checked first. I was sitting in the doctor’s office, and he announced that Scott’s sperm looked perfect. He said that it was so good that he could be a sperm donor. While I should have been happy… I sat there in that chair shooting daggers at my husband! I wanted him to have the problem… not me! I rewarded my husband by being moody, flying off the handle at ridiculous things and at times brought up divorce. I felt certain he wanted to leave me because I couldn’t give him a child. He had always joked that he wanted 12 kids and here it turned out at the time that I could not even manage one!
Beyond that… my anger spread to my friends. I pulled away from any and all friends who had babies. I dodged calls, was rude at times, and I remember even saying things that I knew would make them feel bad. I remember lying to friends because I did not want to go to their children’s birthday parties. Yep… the enemy definitely had a foothold on me! My Holy Father… well… he was the target of the majority of my anger. I truly believed He must be punishing me, and I was not shy about accusing Him of it. I convinced myself that He must not love me. I felt completely hopeless and alone. And with that came resentment.
And as I continued to grow this nasty energy, resentment and bitterness completely consumed me. I had stuffed down all the anger I could, and it was not long before I was battling high blood pressure, suffering with digestive issues and dealing with insomnia. The other no-so-great gift that my anger afforded me was stress. And that lead to hormone issues which only fueled my infertility. What a mess I had made!
Paul knew anger is an inevitable part of life. What he is teaching us in Ephesians is that God, in his infinite wisdom, gave us the ability to react. He wanted us to feel anger to motivate us. He wanted us to act on our passions in a positive way. For example, getting angry over starving children in Africa might prompt someone to visit the country and get involved in a feed-the-children ministry. But Paul is also warning us to manage our anger and not let it fester.
God wants us to be light on our feet, to live happily and fulfilled. And through Ephesians… He is warning us to manage our anger so that we do not lose our joy. There came a point when I was so filled with anger… there was no room for anything hopeful or joyous. I became a “negative Nelly” and quite frankly got to a point that I didn’t even recognize or like myself. I basically handed the reigns of my life over to the enemy because I didn’t understand.
Thankfully God showed up and saved this lost soul. He saw that I was merely a wounded bird and with a little tender loving care and a bit of healing, I would once again soar. Today… I still get angry about life. I can get really mad at my spouse over some really trivial things. I have been known to make mountains out of moll hills. But I have also learned that it is critical to let it go and not hang on to anger. I don’t know about you… but I like my beauty sleep. And there is nothing that can rob me of a great night’s rest like festering anger. Tonight… I impart this wisdom hoping you will ask God to take away any anger you might be holding on too. I pray that you in Jesus’ authority shed any and all strongholds the enemy has gripped on you. And lastly, I bid you all a good night.