Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chasing Freedom

The devotion I read this morning was quite appropriate for me. The title was The Place Where Disappointment Grows by Lysa TerKuerst, and it was about the space between our expectations and our reality. A place where disappointment often grows, especially when expectations are high and reality. The devotion offered some great thoughts on adjusting expectations, looking to God, and even learning something from the situation. What it didn't address (for me) was the anger I feel in the space between my expectations and my reality.

People will disappoint, that is a sure thing. I know this because people are people, and I probably disappoint even more that I'm aware of. My problem right now is that I am so disappointed with a person in my life that my disappointment has turned into anger. I thought I had controlled my anger for awhile, but as it turns out, I'm a really good emotional stuffer. I don't see this person very often, but when I do, I put on a fake, plastic smile and pretend everything is A-OK. I do this partly because I know that they don't really give a rat's behind whether I'm angry at them or not. Which only fuels my anger even more. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"--well, those are strong words, but I have discovered, the more I look inward, that I am hurt, bitter, disappointed...and I'm furious.
I don't want to look like this all the time :(

I know this partly because I think about the things I would say if I could (you know those conversations you have in your head that you always win every single time because you are so eloquent that the other person is completely speechless? And mine always, always, always include me having the last word, swishing my hair and turning on my heel in total victory). I woke up this morning at 2:28 and couldn't fall back asleep because I kept thinking about all the disappointments, all the times this person has shown a complete lack of interest, all the times they were supposed to care but didn't, all the times they let someone else say something mean and didn't protect me, all the times they've said something nasty behind my back...and then I knew. I knew right away. My anger, my fury, my utter outrage is beginning to get the best of me, and if I don't deal with it immediately, I'll come totally unglued. And when I come unglued, my family gets the brunt of my bad moods and dreadful attitude.

It doesn't seem fair. The person who I want to verbally vomit on doesn't care, and it's me who's feeling the effects of the bitterness and disappointment that has taken root in my heart. It has happened without me really noticing, but it's obvious to me now that I have left my heart unguarded and have allowed that vile and corrupt feeling of animosity to come in, take root, and grow.

And now {inward sigh} I have to deal with it.

I guess the choices are two: keep being angry, or deal with my anger. I can't change the other person, so that only leaves me. And I don't want to (insert frowny face here, because I really don't want to. Like at all.). My anger feels justified, and if anything, the other person involved should see how wrong they are. And they should definitely apologize.


The problem is, my own unforgiveness, my own bitterness, and my own anger are all holding me hostage to my emotions. I'm like a slave to them, replaying old movies in my head of all the times I've been hurt, and getting more angry every single time. I keep saying It's not fair!, and it's probably not. But this is my reality. And I can choose to release my emotions to God, who can take the noxious emotions and replace it with His peace. I know this. I know this. The hard part is L-E-T-T-I-N-G G-O. If I let go, the other person wins.


Reality is hard to accept, especially when expectations are high. I'm not a fan of letting go, but I'm also not a fan of being miserable. Of letting my emotions control me. Of becoming unglued and acting out. Those things make for a sad life. And I was done with a sad life a long, long time ago.

Going to God is hard. I'm going to Him anyway. Releasing my anger is hard. I'm releasing it to Him anyway. Forgiving is waaaayy hard. I'm forgiving anyway. I'm not living in a prison cell I was never meant to inhabit, especially when it's one of my own making.

I'm chasing freedom.

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