As a young mother, I have struggled with anger. Small annoyances would rise to fury and cause me to lash out and exhibit my power to the young souls in front of me. The anger would come out in subtle, but silently violent ways. Grumbles, eye rolls, doors shut harshly.
I began to fear that my dear ones would experience some of the same memories I have. Harsh words from my superiors telling me that I was being a “Smart Alec” or “Dissssss – repectful”. Eyes full of anger glaring down at me. I began to have nightmares from my own childhood that haunted me as I walked through my days. This is not the kind of mother I wanted to be. This would not show them the Great Love of the Father. I was scared. Fear drove me to open God’s Word.
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5-7
The Lord was near. He knew I was afraid and met me in that scripture. I began to pray. I prayed every morning before I stepped into my children’s rooms. I prayed for gentleness. I began a Gratitude Journal to offer praises daily up to God.
Something wonderful began to happen. A spirit of joy entered in. I found less anger boiling inside and more laughter and smiles appearing. Tense moments still appeared, but my response began to change. Deep breaths. Prayers for patience, strength, love. Hymns sang in the most desperate moments (calming my kids down as well).
The other day, my car could not get up the driveway because of the layers of snow from a late-April storm. I trudged out and began shoveling. Driving up, reversing down, and shoveling again several times. I bubbled up with frustration and whispered a few curse words. Then I stopped. It had been months since I had felt anger like that. I actually began to smile and thank God upon this realization. Anger like that used to be a weekly, if not daily occurrence. Now I couldn’t remember the last time I lost my temper. Praise God! He can change hearts! Even mine!
I am learning through these wonderful transformations that only God can fix certain areas of my sinful self. Weaknesses can draw a person into fear and disappointment. Guilt and depression can come into a mother’s heart like a dark cloud. Let me pierce that cloud though and say that God will help you if you ask him! He will rain down joy instead of sadness and hope instead of despair.
I know I have a long journey ahead, but this experience has really given me a new understanding of hope and faith. I truly believe he will equip me to lead and guide these children with His love if I ask him daily to help me.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7