Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Last week, I wrapped with plans to expand on the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. (If you missed it, scroll down--it's beneath this one.)
My personal take on these stages during the first year of my divorce:
- Denial. Anger expressed over trivial things due to my devastation over major things.
- Anger. Outward expressions (aka meltdowns) of the inward pain caused by the ex-hub's blatant disrespect for myself and the female gender.
- Bargaining. This was my "anger management" phase where like Esau in, Genesis 27, I consoled myself with the thought of murder.
- Depression. In this stage I awakened to just how vulnerable a position denial leaves a woman. This phase included a parallel phase replete with rhetorical questions such as: Why did I eat, drink, smoke (nothing illegal), or text that? Followed by the tearful prayer: Jesus, please forgive me.
- Acceptance. I resolved to be angry about what happened. I refused to allow the enemy's version of anger to define me, and I sought God for His expression of righteous anger. (Btw, this is where new life begins. If you've yet to garner control over your anger, take heart. In the arms of All Mighty God, you will. You will, because it's HIS will.)
Well, there it is, folks. Anger was a staple emotion in every stage of grief for this Bible-study girl wild with emotion. But you know what I've learned through this experience (still learning)?
It's okay to be that angry. God's big, and He can take it. I learned that He was angry, too.
There's a Bible verse in Ephesians that I didn't fully understand until I came face to face with more anger than I ever thought any one human being could feel over betrayal.
In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the enemy a foothold (4: 26-27).
I'd been taught in church not to go to bed angry. To move through anger quickly. But for me, this passage means something entirely different now. My Savior is my Light. When I stopped trying to let go of the anger and instead allowed the Light to hold me--angry me, I began to trust that one day, the sun would set on my personal anger (which often felt like a curse) and give rise to a bright cause.
The take away for me is, "Don't be angry in the dark. Be angry in the Light."
The following is an excerpt from The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships, by Partrick Carnes, PH. D.
"Healthy anger expresses limitations--i.e., what is acceptable and what is not. Blaming anger recycles the history of betrayal and all the intense feelings that are a part of a trauma bond."
Angry? You can trust Jesus with your anger. Ask Him what He has to say about it. You're greatest challenge may not be to let go of anger by sun-set, but rather to use it righteously in order to express limitations on behavior you know is unacceptable because the word of God tells you so AND let go of the "blaming anger" that is fueled in the dark, where half-truths and omission of truth can deceive and therefore, keep a bible-study girl in bondage.
The truth that sets us free requires honesty and conduct that reflects our belief in God--not merely with words, by also in deed.
You are not alone,
Published on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 @ 7:23 PM CDT