This is PART FOUR of a four part series. If you missed Part One, I encourage you to go back and read the beginning, My Anger Story.
Even if you feel completely powerless to overcome your anger management problem, I want you to know that there is hope.
Do you feel like a failure? Have you wondered if the damage done to your children during your bouts of rage is permanent? Has the fear and guilt choked you? Stifled your creativity? Smothered you with regret?
None of the emotions related to an anger management problem are nice. From the rolling anger that builds inside to the guilt-release after you have yelled nasty things and slammed doors… not a moment of a rage episode makes you feel good inside. So, why do we do it? Is it an addiction? I don’t think so.
I personally believe that our rage is a habit. Whether we were victimized or just developed this pattern because of the craving for control over that which we cannot control, we are stuck in a rut.
Have you ever traveled a dirt road? What about a wet, dirt road?
During a rainstorm, dirt roads can become very slick. The mud squishes beneath the tires, forming a path. As more and more traffic progresses down this wet, dirt road, the grooves begin to deepen. Then, the clouds part and the sun shines bright, drying the road and creating permanent ruts.
When you are driving down this road and the tires of your car slip into the grooves, sometimes it can be difficult to steer a way out of the path. You are literally stuck in a rut.
Your anger can be like a dirt road. When the storm comes and you travel that path of rage over and over again, the habit presses deeper and deeper into your mind. The response to blow up becomes natural and you find yourself just following the path because breaking out of the rut is just too hard.
How can you overcome this pattern? Think about that dirt road again… In order for the road to be smooth, the county has to send a crew to resurface the road with a special machine. How does this apply to you? You need some Power equipment.
Whatever your beliefs are about God, I want you to know that I could not be recovering from rage without Him. I had to open up the ugliest parts of me before Him and be willing to allow Him to change me. Praying for change was not enough. I had to make the effort to change, and as I did, He released the Power.
Here is what I recommend that you do to overcome rage:
- Seek to put God first. If you have never surrendered your heart to God’s forgiveness, pray and tell Him that you have messed up but believe that He can change you. Invite Him to come into your life.
- Commit Scripture to memory and quote it out loud. Tell the devil that you are MORE than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:37) All things are possible through God’s help. (Matthew 19:26) I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Phil 4:13) My help comes from the Lord. (Psalm 121)
- Do a Bible study on how God rescued His people. God will rescue you the same way. Keep a journal of all you learn and write Scripture on index cards. Plaster them at eye-level all over your home.
- Walk through your home and pray in every room out loud. Invite God into every nook and cranny. I asked Him to even fill the fibers of our carpet.
- Spend time with God daily. Make time in your Bible and on your knees part of your day. Seriously, my time with God is like a daily dose of Power.
- Stop and pray. When the stress level rises and before you blow up, just bow your head and pray. Even last week, my children were driving me to the edge of insanity and I was fully prepared to jump. Instead, I dropped my head to the table and prayed out loud. My children grew extremely quiet and listened. And you know the coolest part? Later in the day when they were struggling, they imitated me, stopping in the middle of an argument to pray.
Do not listen to the voice in your head telling you that this will not work. Ignore the snide comments about how you have tried some of this before. Dismiss the shrill taunting that says you are a bad mother or a failure. That might sound like your voice but it is NOT.
Satan is a deceiver and he will talk to you through your own voice and the voices of your past to try to convince you that you will always be like this. He will try to make you feel hopeless but HE IS A LIAR. Tell him to shut-up and remind him of where he will spend eternity. He does not want you to succeed. He wants you to be helpless to your anger. He wants you to feel defeated. He wants control of your home and your children and your life. He wants to KILL YOU.
Are you going to listen to him? NO! I pray… from the very inmost of my being… that from this day forward, the only voice you hear in your head is that of Almighty God.
Also, if you are like me, you will have moments when you feel like you have done too much damage to your child. The situation is too far gone. Blah, blah, blah. Again, those thoughts are not from God. Every bit of it is a lie.
Believe this: There is no mistake we can make as parents that will place our children outside of God’s grace.
Rachael Carman is a wonderful lady and in her book, How to Have a HEART for Your Kids, she says: “God is faithful and I am confident that He will do His perfect work through my imperfect parenting.” Amen.
Stay focused on the truth:
God’s plan is to give you a hope and a future. God created a good work in you and will be faithful to complete it. God will never give up on you.
I am sending love to you, my sisters struggling to recover. I know the battle you face, but the victory is ahead.
Next week, I will be answering the frequent questions I have received from readers as we walked through this series. If you have a question, please leave it in the comments or email me.
More from this series ~