After I registered for summer classes today, I went out to Jorre’s grave. I wanted to tell him about my new journey that I have embarked on, and as I stood there, staring at his picture, I began feeling a bit… angry.
I have said that I have dealt with anger before after his death, but when I feel those angry feelings crop up, I am surprised every time; for some reason, I felt as though I would be immune to anger, that it would by pass me as if I were someone special.
I am not angry with God- let me be clear. I have never been angry with the Lord; rather, I am thankful for His presence in my life because without Him, I would not have survived the loss. I am angry because at times, I feel as though I have been robbed. I feel as though I have been robbed of a life that I truly believed would last- robbed of a happy marriage, robbed of the possibility of children, robbed of a career. And then I wonder- with whom am I angry?I have a difficult time answering that question because I simply do not know. But nevertheless, I am angry, and it hurts.
The truth is, being angry during grief does nothing but rob me of my grief. It disrupts my ability to go to Jorre’s grave and be able to appreciate the good memories that I have with him. Anger acts as a boomerang: I catapult myself forward with the hope of moving forward, but anger does nothing but snatch me backwards.
But God, as He always does, revealed Himself to me in very specific ways today through my anger. The first revelation was through a Facebook post I made in 2013. It was a scripture from Ephesians 4:31-32, 5:1:
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Talk about an immediate attitude check.
Sometimes we can pinpoint who hurt us, and sometimes we cannot. Sometimes the situation hurts more than the person. Sometimes, we are just wronged. We are wronged without any repayment for that wrong. It is like when someone you love passes away; you cannot bring them back, and nothing you do can alleviate the pain.
Sometimes, the wrong cannot be taken back, and nothing we can do can alleviate the pain.
But that is when we must rise above.
This is what God was saying to me through this verse, “Rise above.”
Rise above the bitterness. Rise above malice. Rise above the anger. Rise above and forgive. If there is not SOMEONE to forgive, then forgive the SITUATION. Forgiveness is a catharsis- it is a cleansing of one’s soul and it begins the healing process. Forgiveness opens the door to love, not necessarily love for a person or for a situation, but love for ourselves. We must forgive in the same way that Christ forgave us, because Christ is love.
And then, God decided to bring this verse to life for me today. He showed me what it means to walk IN love, just like the verse.
A beautiful soul named Jessica blessed me with a gift. We do not know each other very well; we are Facebook friends, and she works at the local pharmacy. I see her often when I pick up medications with my mom. Out of the kindness of her heart, she had a canvas made for me that said, “Though she be but little, she is fierce,” and a bracelet with Jeremiah 29:11 inscribed on it.
God used her to show me what walking in love meant. It means loving people, even people that you may not know well, wholeheartedly. It means showing them love and supporting them during times of need. And little did she know that canvas was another word from God that pertained to what He had been speaking to me today:
Someone may have made you feel small. A situation may have shrunk your confidence and self-love. You may be but little right now, but you are FIERCE. Be fierce with your anger through Christ. Be fierce with the enemy through His strength.
Stand toe to toe with the devil, and do not back down (those are Jessica’s words- not mine).
Remember that anger, depression, rejection, hatred, disappointment, and sorrow are weapons formed against you in a spiritual battle, and the Word says that no weapon formed against you shall prosper.
Remember who you are in Christ.