On “being angry”

by adustyframe ~ December 29th, 2008

Many of you have expressed anger at Lee for breaking his rule. I understand your anger.

I’ve been angry too. I let him know it in no uncertain terms.

While I think it’s ok to be angry and to let him know it, I don’t think it’s ok to nurse the anger.

It’s not doing me any good.

Being angry at him doesn’t change anything. Holding the anger doesn’t take away the pain or hardship this causes. What being angry and holding onto the anger does is make me agitated and miserable.

I’ve contemplated a lot of things over the past weeks. I’ve wondered if we’ve truly made as much progress as I felt we had. I wondered if I am going to stay with Lee. I’ve wondered what am I going to do. I’ve wondered if God has brought us through so much only to have us fall apart now. (I don’t think so by the way.)

One thing though I’ve realized is that my anger doesn’t help. One day when I was struggling, this verse came to my mind.

James 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Being angry and driving the point home over and over to my husband does not accomplish anything for the Lord.
Does it in your life and your situations? Not really right? I’m taking it one day at a time and asking God to help me when my feelings overwhelm me. He is faithful and while I don’t have any answers, I know he does!


15 Thoughts Shared to On “being angry”

  1. Mrs. D.

    It’s really something isn’t it? That so many of us who don’t know you at all have so many emotions invested in you and yours. You could be standing next to me on the street and I wouldn’t even know it, yet there is rarely a day that goes by that I don’t pray for you and wonder how you are doing.

    I have to say I for one haven’t been mad at your dh(as though it would even be my place to)…but that darn probation officer…well let’s just say she brings out my inner redneck tendencies. Lol, but that’s neither here nor there is it?

    I hope you have a good day. I hope that something gives you a laugh and makes your heart feel light. Hang in there. You have no idea how many people are pulling for you.

    Thanks!:) Actually your comment made me smile!

  2. martha

    Anger usually just harms its container. Jesus demonstrated righteous anger….

    Lizzie, I’m a grandmother and a pastor’s wife. I know life is never simple, that there’s so many different ways God works His purposes in our lives. Yet it’s hard to imagine any scenario where Lee’s behavior…. oh well, I just won’t get into pointing fingers. I don’t have all the information to make a wise comment. It’s very hard for me to understand…. I keep thinking that if Lee’s crime was simple, you’d have explained it long ago. Yet, you continue to blog, to open up your life, to ask for prayer…. Something just doesn’t feel right….

    Sometimes I say to myself that I just won’t read your blog anymore, But I’ve grown to care for you and pray for your family. So I’ll try to continue to pray for your wisdom and strength.

    Thank you for praying for us:) I appreciate your care for us.
    If you don’t feel comfortable reading please don’t. That doesn’t offend me at all. I don’t know what you mean by “Something doesn’t feel right.”
    I have shared and offered what I am willing to share and I have explained some things in many many of my posts. I don’t know what to tell you.
    I guess I don’t know what I could say that would make you go “Oh ok that makes sense.” because it doesn’t make sense to those of us who know everything.

  3. Lady Why

    I agree with Mrs. D. There are a lot of people praying for you every day. You are a wise woman, Lizzie!

    Thank you for your prayers!

  4. Barbara H.

    Growth is often a back-and-forth endeavor, just like a baby learning to walk tumbles a lot the first several tries. If a baby were an adult he’d get discouraged, but he just has that determination to keep at it.

    I’ve thought of Lee’s situation the same way. Not that he is a “baby Christian,” but that in taking the steps to get on the right path, there are bound to be some tumbles along the way.

    You’re so right about anger being a natural reaction but that it doesn’t pay to nurse it along. So many passages in the NT speak of putting anger away.

    Eph. 4:31-32: “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

    It was one of those light bulb moments for me when I realized forgiving others wasn’t based at all on whether I felt they “deserved” it but on the fact that I had been forgiven much, and therefore how could I do less than forgive someone else for a much lesser offense than the ones I had committed against God (Matt. 18:21-35).

    I imagine Lee is pretty angry and discouraged with himself as well. He needs to be not beaten down more with anger but lifted up and encouraged that with God’s help he CAN go on and grow and make a go of it. The enemy will be tempting him that it’s no use, he may as well throw in the towel and give up. He needs your support now more than ever.

    “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared” (Psalm 130:3-4).

    Is there any indication how long Lee will be kept for this infraction? I would hope not long. It doesn’t seem like they’d impose a major sentence on such a thing, but then, I don’t know the system.

    I’m not sure why there would be thoughts of not staying with him. Breaking a probation rule isn’t grounds for divorce. 🙂 I so agree that He hasn’t brought you this far only to fall apart now. It’s that growth thing again — in relationships as well as one’s own personal walk, there will be a few steps back amid the steps forward. Keep on keeping on.

    I can only imagine how hard this is, Lizzie. I wish there was some inspirational thing I could say to encourage you. All I know to do is to encourage you to keep doing what you have been — leaning on the Lord and His strength.
    The thoughts of not staying with him are straight from the devil! It’s been a huge struggle in my heart and mind over this month and comes from being tired.

    Don’t worry about being “inspirational” your prayers and wise thoughts are very much an encouragement to me.

    The word on how long she’s holding him is “quite awhile”.

  5. Christy

    Warm bear hugs (as my Grandpa used to say) to you and your family. Tell Lee we are rooting for him and lifting him up in prayer, too. He is going to make it! You are going to make it. Praying you will feel encouraged, ministered to by all the prayers going up for you, well-fed on the living Word, and stirred up and energized by the Holy Spirit.

  6. Joy

    I never know what to say….I’m not always good at expressing my thoughts.
    I want you to know I’m praying for you and the family.

    Love ya!

  7. celina

    being angry only tires you out….like you have any energy to spare….

    what energy you do have you have to pour into james…so likely frustration i likely more true, confusion i am sure..and you know what, not a darn bit of it does anyone any good…

    do you LOVE him….only you can answer that…he will always be james dad so that will not change..as much as some might say leave him forget about him…that will never happen, you will never forget him, my mother never did after 30 years of seperation..(seperation was due to other issues, just as tragic but not the same)

    so take today as today…tommorrow is a gift, it’s never promised…and well decisions are to be made, you apparently have time to make them…

    i just hope Lee doesnt give up…i believe (without any information ..lol just my opinion for whatever that is worth) he likely self sabotaged himself…even unconciously…and i’m sure he’s in the dumps pretty bad….i’m sure you are not in the mood to lift his spirits at the moment, do what you can…do what you feel you can..

    Lee’s current faux pas unfortunately played right into his parole officer’s opinion of him…(which i’m guessing is the stereotype of prisoner fathers being useless and kids better off without them) and that is gonna be nearly impossible to change her opinion of him now…but with prayer anything happen..and goodness knows we’re all praying…. so that’s my take, im sure none of this is my business…but there it is anyhow…we love you and pray for you and hope for strength in 2009…and grace, you seem to have a huge amount of grace..keep it up..

    Celina in Canada…

    ps i loved mrs d’s comment

  8. Pam

    Dearest Lizzie, I think all of these posts reflect how we have all come to care for you.
    I am again reminded of the saying that staying angry at someone is like taking poisen and hoping the other person will get sick. Of course I continue to pray for you everyday….your wisdom, your comfort, your peace. Only you and the Lord know what is best for you and your precious little boy.
    Pam, South Bend

  9. TransitionGirl

    Prolonged anger seems like opening a foothold for the devil to step in and keep us miserable and make bad decisions. But boy, it sure is easy to hold on to that anger! Guess that’s why we’re the sinners uh?

    I agree with Mrs D. that probation officer just makes me wanna cringe her neck. lol. but I think it’s best if I let God deal with her. more effective! 🙂

  10. Christina

    Hey Lizzie

    Still praying for you and James. I know all about the anger and where it springs from. Be strong and of good courage, don’t be afraid or be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you. I am not sure why all of this is happening, but know that the Lord knows exactly what type of chastening each person needs in order to remove impurities. In an effort to be the best helpmeet you can be and to endure with your husband during this trial and chastening is your calling as his wife. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t really suck, it just means that if you keep the goal of having both of your lives honor and glorify God, it will all be worth it in the end. Keep your eye on the prize and don’t look back on the part of the race you have already run!

    Love ya!

  11. Katherine

    I don’t feel anger for Lee (or his probation officer–I can only assume she is doing her job), but I feel frustration and sadness for you. I still wonder what Lee’s mindset was when he broke the rule–what did he think the consequences would be? If it was seeing your son without permission, I can see why he would want to break the rules…anything else, I don’t understand…

    I will pray that she releases him soon!


  12. Tara


    I’ve been keeping up and worrying for you all and I’ll be praying. Sending you many hugs. The ladies above have said wise words – keep going, one breath at a time even. I know that none of us can throw the first stone, so to speak, and it is our duty as sisters (and brothers) in Christ to love, support, and encourage you all, including Lee, through all of this. I keep hoping and praying that the probation officer seeing your son in person that day will have an effect on her… Hugs, Tara

  13. theprincessofquitealot

    I am at a loss for what to say….and you know that rarely happens to me 🙂 All that comes to mind is that forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you’re condoning the behavior, and it doesn’t mean that everything is OK, it just means that you’re not holding the offense against the other person.

    You have every right to be put out with him, but you guys have come so far, and I’m so proud of you. You are one of the strongest women I know. HUGS from H&R!

  14. Susanna

    You know, just reading this all again makes me think that none of us can cast stones- because some of my past back slidings have just smacked me in the face as I think about this.(ie: so knowing better and having opportunity not to sin and yet sining without true concern for the consequences and those it may effect)If anyone feels anger they should turn it into prayer- make Satan’s devices of no harm and actually to the good of Lizzie, Lee and James. And Lizzie- I think you HAVE all come a long way- otherwise why did he bother owning up? His conscience must have been wotking overtime.

    A new year approaches. Maybe the hopes you had this time last year have not been realised- but I bet lots of little ones have been, and look at you- standing tall, loving God and your son and facing each day in the strength and grace of our Saviour- a whole nother year accomplished through these trials- and that grace will never waver or fail.

  15. Chel

    Hey. The fact that people are angry on your behalf is a compliment. I’ve got a dear friend whose husband isn’t as nice to her as he should be & I wish I lived close enough to them to smack him one. Alas, we lives states and states away. 🙂

    People are angry with Lee because we don’t know Lee. We know and love you and James. And what rule Lee broke doesn’t really matter. That he broke your heart again just a tiny bit, that he smooshed up your hope again just a tiny bit is what matters to us.

    Think of your blogging friends as that long distance friend who would smack him one and tell him to wise up if we were closer. 🙂

    I mentioned in a previous comment that I would have been angry, too. But I also mentioned that I would have been so proud of Lee for telling the truth when it was hard. I’m still thinking that.

    The two of you have come so far, farther, I think, than you realize. Because regardless of what Lee’s initial crime was and regardless of what rule he broke, he chose to do the right thing. He chose to tell the truth, knowing the consequences.

    That’s what I’m busy teaching my kids to do. That’s what I’m busy trying to live for them to see. We all make mistakes, right? The good is in how we go about making them right.

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