Monday, March 31, 2008

angry words

i am angry and frustrated right now. the problem is, i never know what to do with that emotion. i am by nature afraid of confrontation. i avoid it at all costs. for example, my friend made fun of me for the way i very timidly asked him for some money he owed me. "uh, do you think possibly you could pay me back for that dinner the other night? is that ok? if not, blah blah blah blah blah.." i am just a big wimp when it comes to being honest and confronting someone about even the slightest matter. i think at the core of the issue is that i think it is wrong for me to be mad at someone. it took me months and months to be upset with people who have wounded me more deeply than anyone else in my life. i displaced my anger on people on the fringes of the situation or on myself, most of the time. i would think that i messed something up and be mad that i didn't get it right. for some reason, i could never allow myself to fully express my anger, hurt and frustration to the person it was actually directed towards. as a result, frustration fermented into bitterness and cynicism, and i spent well over a year of my life not being me, but rather being this angry, irritable, cynical person.

so now i am stuck, because i am frustrated again with someone and don't know what to do with it. i am even more stuck, though, because i am frustrated with God right now. if i can't muster up the guts to tell a person how i feel, how am i ever going to express that to God? i am angry that there is this one thing in my life i want more than anything else, and i consistently do not get it. seemingly all my friends around me have it. people younger than me have it. people who have no respect for this gift at all have it, but i, despite trying to approach this gift in a Godly way, do not. in the past, and in weaker moments, i have expressed my anger to God by knowingly sinning. rebellion, i guess, would be a good label for it. this doesn't help. it drives me further away from God and just makes me angry with myself for messing up. i was doing this because, to be honest, i felt that God owed me this gift and i was going to show my disapproval of not receiving it. God is supposed to give us the desire of our hearts, right? so why is my wish not being honored? i do not want to fall into the traps of depression or sin again, but reiterate that i just don't know how to deal with these feelings.

as i pray about this and try to work through it, this scripture keeps popping into my mind about paul's thorn in the flesh. paul prayed three times for it to be taken away, and it was not. keep in mind also that this was the same writer who had learned to be content in all situations. another scripture that came to the surface was Jesus in the garden, asking for the cup to be taken from Him, yet submitting to God's will. so, now i feel foolish for expecting God to grant my desires when He even denied the requests of a powerful witness like paul, not to mention the request of His own Son. it helped put things into perspective for me, that just because God is not my personal genie does not mean He doesn't care for me. also, it made me wonder if i was wanting this gift more than i was desiring intimacy with God, or allowing my possession of this gift to dictate my relationship with God. writing all of this and wrestling with these issues brings several monumental things to the surface. God's will- what is it, how do we seek it, how do we learn to be content within it, how do we find the patience for it to be revealed? sin- why do we choose it, how does it change us, how does it influence God's decisions to bless us or not bless us? lament- do we have a place for it in our lives, do we allow church to be an outlet for it, is it scriptural, how honest can you be with God, what is the difference between lament and just whining? contentment- are content and happy the same thing, can you be content and still desire something you do not have?

i do not have the answers to these questions, but i have been thinking about them a lot lately. also, i have been reminded a lot lately that i have not blogged for a while, and would like to be more consistent with that. so, i have decided to tackle some of those issues in the coming weeks, hopefully writing once or twice a week. feel free to comment and get some dialogue going.