Today we are talking about anger.
Are you angry? Stupid question, huh? You are probably thinking, duh, of course, I am mad. I ask this anyway because you might be too overwhelmed with loss or drowning in depression to be angry. If so, that is fine but, at some point, you should ask yourself, am I mad?
If you are, do not be ashamed of it, and do not try to hide it. You have every right to be angry. If you are not angry yet, keep evaluating your emotions so anger does not sneak up on you.
I was not angry. I was not mad at myself, my friends, family, the doctors, or God. Many people thought I should be angry. Angry at the doctors for missing something. Angry at the staff for not being prepared. Mad at God, because why would he do this to me? But I was not.
Three days before my daughter was born still, I went to the hospital in false labor. There was hope that it would turn to active labor, but I was released less than 5 hours later from the hospital after being told, “she’s a Rockstar. I am sure she will be here any day.” I went home with no concerns. That was a Tuesday, and she passed on Thursday. I could have been angry then. I could have believed that they missed something that caused her to be born sleeping, but I was not.
I had this overwhelming hope, a hope that kept me from anger. That hope was Jesus, and he flooded me with grace for everyone around me. It was that same hope that kept me from being angry with God. I believe God is all-powerful and does resurrect the dead, but I also think that this was His will. That Tuesday night, as I hoped active labor would begin, I prayed over and over, “not my will, but Your will be done, and if it is Your will, please start active labor.” I repeated this until sleep overtook my conscious mind. I subjected myself to His will, and they released me from the hospital. Active labor did not start. I did not know what I was asking for, but I do not regret it. I prayed for it, and I am still not angry.
I ask again, are you angry? Once you realize where you stand on anger, the second question you should ask yourself is, why are you mad, who are you mad at, and what are you mad about? There is no wrong answer. Your reasons for being mad are justified. You can be furious at whomever you want to be, even God. God can handle your anger, and He welcomes it and He is not surprised by it.
Goal one for today is to evaluate your anger:
- Who are you angry with?
- Why are you angry?
- What makes you angry?
These may seem like silly questions to ask, but I want you to digger deep than I am angry that my child died. I am mad at the doctor for not taking my concerns seriously. For example, I could have been mad at myself for not advocating for my daughter. The entire pregnancy was off, and I could have fought more. Answer the questions above with depth. Here are some suggestions:
- Who are you angry with?
- Social Media
- The death of your baby
- What are you angry about?
- Did family not support you?
- Did the doctors dismiss you?
- Do friends not understand why you are still grieving?
- Are you angry with your body, not being able to do this one thing?
- Have strangers shared their unwanted opinions?
- Does the happy family on social media enrage you?
- Are you mad at death itself?
- Why are you angry.
- I did not advocate for myself.
- I felt pushed into things I disagreed with.
- I knew something was wrong and ignored it.
- My doctors knew something was wrong and ignored it.
- My family did support me.
Ways to evaluate this anger are talking about it, writing about it, praying on it, or thinking about it. Be as mad as you want for as long as you need. With that said, staying in anger is when bitterness can take root, and bitterness can destroy relationships. In other instances, I let bitterness grow for a year, and it almost wrecked me. That is a story for another post. So, if you want to be angry for a time, be angry. Know that the anger you feel is justified. But there is anger that is not warranted, and if you let anger fester, that is when it can turn and destroy progress.
The next goal for today is to recognize if you are experiencing healthy anger or unhealthy anger.
Unhealthy anger leads to:
If you believe you are in a healthy spot, keep working through your anger. The next step after the offense is forgiveness, but we are not there yet.
If you have found that you are bitter, there is only one way to work through it. It is simple, but it will not be easy. It is a choice. You must choose to let it go. You may have to let go of these things every day for some time, but in time you will see a change. Let go of all that is making you angry and bitter.
- Let go of your need for justice.
- Let go of your need for apologies.
- Let go of your need to make things right.
- Let go of everything you think has been swept under the rug.
Choose to start again, to start over with a new heart. Once you have made a choice, God will do all the work. I am 100% confident in this. If you let God, he will eliminate your bitterness and give you a fresh start. But it is up to you, and you must allow this to happen. Pray through it. It may not occur overnight. Working through anger and bitterness may be a long process but keep at it. You will see freedom. I know this because I have experienced it personally. Find what works for you to get through this. You could write, talk, run, walk, scream, or punch pillows but do work through it.
Today you are evaluating your anger and understanding if your anger is healthy or unhealthy. Ask you do this mediated on scripture. Here is a suggestion:
Proverbs 19:11 “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (EVS)
So far, we have spoken about your loss, depression, and anger. Stay in these if you need to. Work through these issues. I would encourage a pause here before moving forward with the rest of the guide through healing. I do encourage you to take your time. And when you are ready, do move forward. You do not need to feel like you have thoroughly worked through these topics to keep on moving. When you are willing, the following steps will be here waiting for you.
Until next time.
Disclaimer, I am not a therapist or doctor. If you are considering hurting yourself or others, please seek medical attention. This advice and may not work for everyone.