Posts Tagged ‘anger’

This Moment is Real, but it is not the Only Reality

Like my dinner that ended up on the living room floor – a side effect of the constipation, which is a side effect of the nausea meds, that are used to control the nausea, which is a side effect of the chemotherapy, of course – I feel the need to work through some of my emotions and thoughts.  You have been warned.  It has not been pretty the past few days.

Days that end in Y are hard, much of the time.  The Monday after a chemotherapy are the hardest.   Here’s why:  I’m ready to feel better and return to some activity at home and in the office.  And Lydia is ready to be done with being a single parent (for all practical purposes).  And yet, the transition is stilted and fraught with landmines – physical and emotional.  In that way, that Monday can be very hard for all involved.

Tonight through tears, I cried out to God.  I told Him I was mad, but that I needed Him to meet me there.  It’s the first time that I have been able to express that emotion in prayer.  I don’t tend towards outward anger, in general.  I am much more prone to depression, which I remember somebody calling “anger toward inward.”  I suppose this is progress through the emotional side of this suffering.  I think I have a long ways to go.

I hate that my children have to come to me with their small, sweet voices to ask if I am okay, if they see me writhing in pain, or after I have lost the contents of my stomach.

I hate what this is doing to my wife, who has been a rock, but can only withstand so much.  Our marriage is as strong as ever, but this tests our endurance and patience, as we suffer together

Speaking of patience, I hate that I have so little when my children are just being children.  Never a strong suit before this, but a real test.

I hate that I can’t be the pastor I want to be, though my congregation and fellow elders make no demands on me, other than to focus on my health as needed.

I wonder what they will remember about this time in their childhood.  I hope and pray that it is moments of joy, punctuated with moments of pain.  But not pain without a purpose.  May it increase their faith and understanding of need for the Lord.  I’m not sure I could stand otherwise.

I wrenched my knee, which remains painful, but I think is getting better (I hope).  I hate that it’s an added physical impediment, but I have never regretted being a dad to my son, chasing and playing tag on a scooter.  I’d do it again for the moment of joy with him, in the midst of so many joyless days.

This last cycle I lost the mental battle.  I am learning how much of this is mental, even when the physical side is the most visible.  I went into the last chemo cycle already defeated.  I can’t be sure, but I am fairly certain that that had an impact on my experience this past weekend.  I am trying to figure out how I can keep a positive spirit and attitude, but not make it about my will and ego.  I need to be strengthened by God, not self.  And yet, I am entirely sure what that looks like.  I’ve lost my way a bit in this regard.

I don’t want your sympathy (and yet, I am thankful for it) and I wish I didn’t need your prayers.  Though I do want and need them.   I’m also bad at taking advice and being cared for.  I’m just not good at it.  Typical man, I suppose.

One of my biggest laments is that I cannot go (or should not, for fear of infection with a diminished immune system) to the hospital.  Last week, during chemo, someone connected to our church was in the hospital, and I couldn’t go.

I’m tired of vomiting.  I think my esophagus may agree.

Last night, one of our children had a meltdown.  The end of the school year is always hard.  The end of  the school year when you dad has been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing chemo – well, that’s a different kind of hard.  One of the thing that I told this child, I realized I needed to hear too.  We talked about how our emotions (whether good or bad) in a moment  are real – very real.  But they are not the only true reality.  This moment is real, but it is not the only reality.  This – this is what I need to fight for emotionally and mentally.  There will be an end to this.  There will be a return to health, Lord willing.  And we are still a family that is clinging to God and Who, more importantly, will not let us go.  This moment is real, but it is not the only reality.

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Respectable Sins: Weeds of Anger

When Bridges talks about the weeds of anger, he is referring to the long term results of anger. And though we often think of anger as something that may come and go and just a part of life, there is no mistaking the Biblical stance on anger (hint: it’s not very favorable to anger). Here are the “weeds of anger”:

  • Resentment: this anger that is held on to…”Resentment may be more difficult to deal with than outwardly expressed anger because the person often continues to nurse his wounds and dwell on his ill-treatment” (130).
  • Bitterness
  • Enmity and hostility
  • Grudge: this is more serious than merely holding a grudge against someone in some innocuous way as Bridges is using the Biblical definition. The word then is associated with taking revenge on the object of the grudge.
  • Strife: there certainly has been no shortage of strife in Christ’s Church through the years. Continue reading

Respectable Sins: Anger

I don’t get angry, I get even. Okay, not really.

In chapters, fifteen and sixteen of Respectable Sins, Jerry Bridges addresses the topic of anger. He states at the end of chapter sixteen that his goal has been to “help us face the fact that much, if not most, of our anger is sinful, even though it may arise from the sinful actions of others” (139). He is not attempting an exhaustive treatment of this complex issue, but does want us to see how and where tolerate the sin of anger in our lives. Along these same lines, Bridges offers a very strong reminder (not unlike in the most recent chapters) that our anger is not the fault of others, even though we may have been seriously injured or sinned against, but is a result of our own fallen flesh. Finally, by way of introduction, Bridges doesn’t allow us to use the notion of “righteous anger” to hide behind. If we are honest, we are rarely righteously angry, especially when it involves our relationships with those we are most closely related to (family, friends, fellow church members, co-workers, etc…). Bridges says his focus is on “ordinary anger”.

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