I've been working hard to figure out the root of my anger. I don't like the bitterness that has taken hold of my heart lately. I don't like looking at others lives and being angry. I don't like thinking about God and feeling anger. I don't think I am a naturally angry person.
I know there have been many who have joined together in prayer for me. There have been friends and acquaintances that have stepped up to the plate in praying for me, encouraging me, and walking this road with me. God has been with me every step of the way and in the past week or so, He has (again) shown himself faithful. It's almost been humorous in how obvious he has made it.
I have realized that the root of most of my troubles is control.
Maybe this isn't new news to anyone else. It honestly isn't much news to myself. I have run my entire life based on what I can control.
Before Joshua, my life was "hard." Shane and I got married at a very young age. He was working part time, I was in school full time. We chose to marry young, but it was hard. I went straight from living with my parents to living with my husband. There was no real transition into adulthood. I loved being married, and to this day, I would not change it- but Shane and I had a lot of growing up to do.
Our finances have always been difficult. We never had enough money. We lived off of financial aid from my school loans to help cover rent, food, and other necessary items. We racked up debt by buying cars we couldn't afford, and a house that was a complete money pit. We lost income because I became prideful and cocky regarding my ability as a teacher. All of these things kept piling up, and by the time Caleb came around, we were drowning. But the problems were all created by us. We could have chosen to stop spending. We could have chosen to wait to get married. We could have chosen to put school aside and work for a few years to earn the money we needed.
Instead, we cried out to God in half assed faith, begging him to fix our problem. (yes…I did just use the word ass and God and faith all in the same sentence….sorry) And when the money came, we knew he was faithful. I don't know why he carried us through those problems back then, but he did. He always answered our prayers in the way that we asked him to, and faith became easy and stagnant. (although at the time, we thought it was hard and that we were growing)
Then, Joshua. Joshua's broken heart and the hemorrhage that threatened my pregnancy were nothing that we chose. It was out of our control, but God continued to answer my prayers in the way that I wanted him to. When I was bleeding throughout my pregnancy, I begged god to let Joshua live. I begged him to save Joshua. And he did. I begged God to allow Joshua to live through his first surgery. And he answered with a "yes." I begged God to give me the strength to make it through the hospital stay. And he did.
And then the morning Joshua died, I begged God for mercy. And he answered that prayer with a "yes." However, mercy, in my mind, was allowing Joshua to live. This was the first time God had answered my prayers in a different way that I asked.
This was the moment that God started breaking me. This is the moment that my world and my faith was changed forever.
You see, up until that point, I thought I had complete control. I thought I had God wrapped around my little finger. I put God in this tiny little box and I only opened the box when I needed him to fix my messes.
This time he didn't. And I've been pissed ever since.
This morning I was reading the 9th chapter in 2 Corintians. Although this chapter is talking about giving with a cheerful heart, verse 8 hit me like a ton of bricks.
"And God is able to make all grace abound to you,
so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times,
you may abound in every good work."
Did you read that? God is able.
Being able means that He can. But he doesn't have to. God could have saved Joshua. He could have saved my dad. But he didn't.
See that? I have no control. My prayers were not answered in the way I wanted them to. So instead of trusting that he is sufficient in all things at all times, I have been digging my heels into the ground and throwing a temper tantrum like a spoiled brat. I have been pouting and shouting obscenities at God because I didn't get my way. I never truly believed that he is able but simply doesn't have to because I want him to. I haven't truly believed that God is sufficient in all things at all times so that God's glory can show through all of it. I just haven't.
I don't think God has done any of this to be mean to me. I'm not even sure that he "caused" Joshua's broken heart and my dad's lung cancer. But I do know that God has known that I am so stubborn and lost in the illusion that I have control that he used these things to break me. And even though the breaking has been painful, He has been faithful. Not only has he been faithful, but he has been patient and gentle and forgiving. All of that is way more than I deserve.
So where am I know? I am learning. I am digging deep into his word to learn more of who he is. I am trusting that there is a reason for my anger and that he can handle it, but that he will continue to teach me through it.
I am trusting that he is good and faithful and sufficient.
I have a long way to go, but I'm making progress.