So today I spoke at a local MOPS group about anger.
You guys, I can’t even tell you what an amazing God we have.
There was a mom there who I felt was the reason I was there. I could just tell by the look in her eyes and some of her comments that she is where I was years ago.
Prone to anger and wondering how she became an angry mom. Asking herself and God why controlling herself when she feels angry is so hard. Feeling like a failure as a mom. Filled with guilt. Probably shame. Hoping against all hope that she hasn’t messed up her kids too badly.
But God. God was there in that room with us. By the grace of God alone have I been changed, and by the grace of God alone am I able to share my story. And it’s not just my story, but it’s really His story.
A story of grace, mercy, forgiveness, love – beyond explanation.
I shared lots of practical tips. But that’s not the important part. The important part I shared is that if as a mom you struggle with anger – you are not alone. And there is hope for change.
That hope comes from God alone. Nehemiah 9:17 says “…you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.”
Any change in me has come from getting to know and understand and FEEL and accept God’s love for me.
He is forgiving,
slow to anger,
abounding in love.
When we get closer to Him, we become like Him. We can become forgiving, gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love for our kids.
I have struggled with anger – which led to guilt and then depression – for years. I would make imperfect progress, but it was so, so slow. At times I couldn’t understand why God wasn’t bringing the change in me that I hoped for. The thing was that this struggle was more about my growing in my relationship with Him than it was about my relationship with my kids.
And all of the sudden this year, I feel like the “morning” has come and the dark cloud of night is gone. God’s mercy is new. For the first time in probably 12 years I feel like I have a measure of victory – all because of Him. And I say that knowing full well that I still need to rely on Him every moment. I can’t explain His process well – but I know my part in it was seeking Him over and over again, not giving up, and continuing to surrender myself to His will.
And today I’m just amazed at His mercy, grace, and faithfulness to me. Over the years I have always stood on Romans 8:28-29, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” I didn’t know how God would use this struggle for good, but I trusted.
All along as I’ve made slow progress in this area, I’ve known that He was pulling me closer and making me more like Jesus, as it says in verse 29. But seeing Him today use my struggle to encourage and point someone else toward Him was more beautiful than I could ever ask for.
God is so good.