Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yesterday started out great. I had time to hang out with Jacob in the morning before leaving the house. I ran for 35 minutes, which is something I haven't done since before I got pregnant with Jacob. Jamin and I had a productive staff meeting with some solid prayer time together for Ashley Ridge. I put together a group of young, ministry leaders at Bethany and ARC who are going to start meeting weekly to go deeper in our faith and also spend time praying for each other and for our ministries (totally pumped about this, we're going to the next level and it's going to revolutionize everything we're doing!). And, of course, I went to Moe's (it was Tuesday, hello).

But then, my day crashed. What happened doesn't really matter, what matters is that I got hurt, really hurt, which led to being mad, which led to being so furious I wanted to spit or throw up or beat a punching bag to a pulp, or maybe all of the above.

It's okay to get angry, especially when our anger and hurt is justified, but how we deal with our anger can make or break us and it says a lot about our relationship with God. The old Jenn (you know, a year or so ago, or maybe last week), would have gotten angry, stayed angry for days and maybe weeks, let her anger cause frustration in the day to day and ultimately break down with stress. Let's just say it always ended in tears, profound exhaustion and taking it out on my family who had nothing to do with it. Fortunately, God has put some incredible mentors in my life who have helped me find a better way to deal with these things.

My high school track coach was one such mentor. On meet days, if something went wrong in one of our events, she would give us about 10 minutes to pout and be furious and then we had to move on and get ready for the next race. Triple jump was my biggest event senior year. I rarely lost and I came dangerously close to setting a new school record, but then I got to the district meet and I crashed and burned. I actually foot faulted on all three attempts. I was furious - furious at myself, furious at the line for moving, furious at the unfairness of life. Because it was an all-day meet and I had more time between events, my coach told me I had 30 minutes to get away from everyone else and be mad, but then I had to move on and get ready for the 4x800. Not only did my coach put a limit to my anger, but she also sent me off alone to deal with it so I didn't bring anyone else down with me. Smart, really smart.

How often do we get so angry that we're determined to make everyone around us angry as well? We want them to feel as rotten as we do and hurt as much as we do, but the truth is that never helps anyone because not only does it fuel our anger longer, but then there's the "I'm sorry" clean-up work when it all blows over.

Long story short...I was really upset yesterday, and I think rightfully so. I vented to a few confidants who know me well enough to love me through my rants (a.k.a. my husband and parents). Then, I took some time alone to pray and ask God to put things back in perspective. I gave myself the rest of the night to feel the hurt and anger and promised myself I would put it all behind me when I went to bed.

This morning God woke me up with a new song in my heart. I went to Bible study and we talked about Moses dealing with the complaining Israelites with unbelievable patience and compassion because he was so intimately connected to God. I went to cardio chisel and left feeling very sore, but also energized and healthy. I had lunch with some friends who make me laugh - both at the world around us and at myself, which is always a good thing. I have a lot of work to do this afternoon, but I'm excited about what I'm doing and what God is using me to do. And tonight, I get time with Jacob.

"I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me!" ~Psalm 13:6

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