Thursday, April 10, 2008

Digging Deeper

It's interesting to dive deep into your heart sometimes to see what you find. Due to a series of circumstances over the past year, I have found myself at a place of anger at various intervals relating to those circumstances over the past year with a particular situation. What makes me angry is that the circumstances are unjustified, unnecessary, and I am having to go through them for something I didn't even do for someone else who did...and it has just made me angry. While I haven't let the anger eat away at me, nor do I feel it is unjust, or out of context with what I'm going through, I haven't been able to let it go. I thought offering forgiveness would eliminate the anger I felt and heal the pain in my heart. And I don't mean just saying, "I forgive you," but offering it freely...true and unrequited forgiveness - the kind you feel, the kind you mean from the bottom of your heart, and the kind that only Christ can do through you. Well, it didn't. I still felt angry whenever I was reminded of what I was suffering and whenever I have had to do something related to whom I was suffering for.

Luckily, we had some time with Ken, our counselor, who is awesome at seeing God in every situation and pointing it out in you, this week. As I sought out some answers to my struggle from the past year, he brought an interesting point to my attention. He asked me how the situation made me feel. And I responded, "angry." He said that anger was a secondary emotion and stemmed from something else that triggered it. So he asked me again how it made me feel, and I think I brought up something that was an action, not an emotion. Dig deeper. What was it that made me angry? What was it that I felt? After a few rounds of back and forth, I finally got out that what made me angry - I felt abandoned. Throughout the process of the past year, the events that occurred, the circumstances I've suffered, I felt like I had been left high and dry. Alone. Like I had gifted sacrificial love, and been left without love. I had innocently suffered consequences for someone else’s guilt. Essentially I felt as though I had given my life up and died for someone else. One thing it did was allow me to identify with Christ in a more real way than I have ever been able to before. And I felt alone. Not that I didn't have my family and an incredibly supportive husband, but still, we were alone. Each of us felt differently in our battle to survive the circumstances, but the ultimate cause of my anger was the feeling of abandonment.

Fear of abandonment is one of those major fears I have had since who knows when. Much a kin to my fear of failure. But when I finally got out that I felt abandoned, it changed everything. I was able to see with ultimate clarity that my anger was not only justified, but rational and something I could put legs on and deal with at it's root. Ken challenged me to deal with my emotions and feelings of abandonment first, but then to reach out and deal with them and with the people it involved. And in so doing, not expect anything in return, but simply explain where I am coming from and how the abandonment has impacted me. To communicate love, above all, but also pain, and not get caught up in circumstances and what she or I did or didn't do that night and since then. I think it really helped me to see more clearly through the dense fog of anger that has been resting there for some time. To see how her relationship has impacted me, as well as how her parents' relationship has impacted me. When I'll be able to reach out and communicate my heart to her, I am not sure. It isn't now. I have to deal. I need to heal. Then, maybe then, I can reach out and express myself in a way that will impact the relationship towards something more than it is today. I'm not sure when I’ll feel equipped enough to do this, but I am confident God will give me not only the peace when I need it, but the time in which to deliver His heart through me.

The weight is lifting.


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