Yesterday was a migraine having, sick kid at home kind of a day. One of those days when you have a million and one things on your to do list and life just doesn’t care; it knocks you down a peg or two and then sets you back a few steps.
Then it comes…..the kick in the teeth while you’re already down. Sometimes I’m waiting for it to come, because of a “feeling” or that sick pit in my stomach when I’m just waiting for bad news but not totally sure when to expect it. Other times, I never see it coming.
It came yesterday by way of bad news from a loved one. The kind of news that not only kicks you in the teeth AFTER knocking you down to the floor, but continues to kick until you aren’t sure you can handle it any longer. The kind of news that literally changes your life in one breath. The kind that makes you question why some things have to happen to the most amazing people you know. And the kind that makes you angry for a moment with God.
I have had many times in my life that I have been angry with God. Angry for circumstances beyond my control. Angry for things that plague me and sometimes feel never-ending. Angry when I watch the sorrow of someone that has lost a spouse or a child. Angry with disease that ravishes the bodies of people and children I love and all around me. Justifiably angry.
I think that this is part of the process of life. We will have happiness and pain and sorrow and even anger. When life seems to be going well and then something comes along to jolt you out of that space, it’s completely understandable (at least in my opinion) to be angry. I think even God Himself understands that that will be part of the process.
I see life kind of like a ping pong game, constantly getting bounced between pure joy and dark pain. If we are lucky, we get caught up in the net for just a little bit and can hang out somewhere in the middle. But the point is to keep moving. To continue to take hit after hit and stay in the game as long as we can. No one can progress if we just hang out in our comfortable zone for too long. Our ultimate goal is to end up on the right side of the table; the winning side. The side that will take us on to victory and reward us for our hard fight and determination.
So what do we do with that anger? I can tell you what I have done in the past that absolutely does NOT work! I have let it fester. Fester for so long until it built up and was overflowing all over my life. When you hold onto that kind of anger, it won’t stay put. It has to come out and will at the most inopportune times or the most inappropriate moments. It will bleed all over your life and ruin relationships and drive a wedge between yourself and God. That kind of anger is not meant to be held onto, but let go of. Holding onto it can very literally change the very nature of ourselves and make us people we never wanted to be.
So, instead of giving into the anger, use it! Use it and channel it into things that you can actually use to make a difference. Work, faith, determination, love. Channel the anger and use its energy for good instead. You don’t have to get rid of it all together, that takes time. Time that we don’t always have, so instead use it. I think sometimes it can fuel us to make a difference.
I love this quote by Ethel Barrymore,
So, even when you are angry, and maybe especially when you are angry, get on your knees and pray. Don’t only pray, but plead with God for comfort and strength. You are ALWAYS allowed to ask Him why. You might not always get the answer you want to hear, or maybe even not an answer at all. But, the answer will come. It will be shown to you in the way in which it was meant and the timing is all on Him. Don’t give God ultimatums and don’t make promises you can’t keep. He doesn’t want any of that. He just wants YOU! Raw, real, emotional, angry, sad, frustrated you. He wants to know that you will come to Him in the tough times and that you need Him.
He wants to know when you are hurting. He can’t always take it away, but He will comfort and bless you because of your faith and hope. Don’t EVER let go of hope!
Hope is the backbone that holds us all together. Hope is the very thing that we cling to in the hardest, darkest times of our lives. The times that we feel all is lost, if we let go of our hope, it could be. Hope for a better tomorrow, hope that the light will shine again, hope that our prayers will be answered. Hope that we will feel again and could be happy again.
One of the greatest things we can do when life knocks us down and then kicks us in the teeth while we are there, is to GET UP! Keep moving! What do we tell our kids when they are dealing with a bully at school? Someone that is stronger than them and that continues to come after them incessantly. First, we tell them to ignore it, right? Just go about your business and pretend they don’t exist. But then what do we tell them, when that bully knocks them down? Get up and fight. Don’t let them keep you down. Show them that you are strong enough to stand up for yourself and fight back if you need to.
Well, that’s what we need to do. Get up and fight! Not just once and it’s over. We will have to continue to get back up over and over again. Yes, there will be sorrow and heartache and moments of pure despair. There will also, however, be moments of happiness and love and pure joy. We have to keep fighting. This life is worth every second of the fight. Worth every battle scar that comes along the way.
We know that there is a balance in all things; in order to more fully appreciate the sun, we have to walk in the darkness. To know what a full heart feels like, it has to be broken a few times along the way. In order to fully appreciate our health, it has to be tested, sometimes more than we can imagine. It is all worth it, and we all have the strength and capacity to keep fighting.
If you are having one of “those” days….a day when life seems to be kicking you while you are down, allow yourself to feel whatever you need to feel. Anger, sadness, heartache, depression. Whatever your go to response is, give it time to manifest itself, but don’t stay for long. Don’t allow your feelings to swallow you whole when there is work to be done. Because who else is going to do it?