PREFACE - I wrote this entry almost two years ago. I wasn't brave enough to post it. But today I was reading and writing and praying and God pressed THIS post on my mind. So I think I'm supposed to post it. Ugh. Vulnerability...double UGH!!!
And, for the record, please don't give Brad a hard time!! He doesn't forget cards or gifts anymore!!! And, remember: he's married to ME! I'm a hot mess - it's A LOT to deal with, people. The man does REALLY WELL for what he's been given!!!!
So, here you go...find out why "being angry isn't a sin but setting the house on fire is..."
...let me explain.
Last week I got mad. Like REALLY mad. The first thing that came to my mind was the verse my parents had taught me as a little girl, "Be angry but do not sin."
YEAH RIGHT! Whoever wrote the Bible must have never had a husband who forgot their birthday. No card. No present. No nada.
I got so mad that I texted a friend asking for prayer. The text went a little something like this, "Please pray for me. He didn't get me a card or a present. I'm opening my Bible right now to calm myself so I don't set the house on fire."
My supportive prayer warrior friend responded, "I'm sorry, Jes. I know you're upset right now but I. Can't. Stop. Laughing! Don't set your house on fire. You don't want to end up on COPS on your 35th birthday."
And there it was...this was my 35th year on this earth. I realized in that moment that I did not have a strong handle on my emotion in this area. As I write this I have to admit that I hate that I'm having to write this. I hate that my response to my wonderful, supportive husband wasn't immediately and naturally grace. No. My natural response was to set the bleeping house on fire. EEEEK. This is why I'm always saying that I need Jesus more than you!
God gave me this verse immediately, "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control."
If I'm being honest, and clearly I am, I'll tell you that that verse made me feel worse. Conviction. My heart sank. I didn't want to be a fool. But I still wanted to burn down the house. And then I realized that's exactly what I was doing - in my heart, in my head, I was burning down my house. Revelation!
Okay, I didn't go from conviction to revelation that quickly. It was conviction, prayer, whining and crying to God how mad I was at my husband and asking God to remind me how incredibly wonderful my husband is every single day. And then asking God to remind me how much Brad puts up with because he lives with a wife who needs so much work! The big revelation for me is that rather than asking God to change my husband, I needed to ask God to continue to change me. Ugh!
Not gonna lie, I'm still not happy that he didn't have a card or a gift for me on my birthday. But I'm not mad, either. And I'm not holding him hostage in my anger, hurt or disappointment.
We literally can burn down our relationships if we fan the flames of anger. Our thoughts and self-talk become the fuel that makes the fire grow hotter and more out of control. I don't want to lose myself in that flame. I want to burn with passion for Jesus and for my husband, my family, my church, my community, and this world that needs hope.
I want my anthem to be, "This little light of mine. I'm gonna let it shine!"
Not, "Just gonna stand there and watch me burn. That's alright because I like the way it hurts."
Don't set your house on fire. And if you already did, call for help! Counseling! Pastors! Mentors! There are people in your path who are supposed to help you...reach out to them. And for Heaven's sake: KEEP GOING!