Sometimes, you have to pull back. You need to stop talking and listen. You need to stop producing (and consuming), and just be. And many times, you need to process things on your own and not post it all over Facebook, Twitter, or your blog. This, I have found to be especially true in the Season I have been in since winter.
My last post I shared I was angry, and then I went AWOL—at least from my blog. I let my heart process. I let myself be angry, and in many areas I allowed myself to let go. I also realized that I was trying to use this blog as a means to replace a job that I once felt was woven into the very fabric of my being. So I stepped back, and felt for the first time in my life, what it is to not have a “role,” and not have “giving” or “striving” be my identity. I have felt free from the lie our culture tells us that our profession/paycheck is our identity and our worth, all wrapped up in one. And I am slowly seeing:
I am more than what I do for a living, and so are you. We all are.
In all of this time “off,” I have felt much of my anger dissipate and forgiveness take root. It has taken a lot of prayer, some grieving, and some painstaking letting go. And, if I am completely honest, I am not “cured.” Some things, when remembered, still bring a boiling anger to the surface—but it is much more short-lived, and much more easily handed over again in prayer.
I return to you today, because I want to share an observation from my journey with anger. It all centers on one of those questions that I just haven’t been able to let go. One of my main frustrations and questions for God during this season has been “why?” Why did He allow me to be in a place where I was mistreated and not SEEN for who I really am? (Why did I allow myself to be mistreated?) I have asked this over and over again.
Then, today, as I sat in a Starbucks (I joke that it is my new office), with a former student, telling her the crazy story about how I was hired at the job that brought me to Pennsylvania, introduced me to some of the most special students/people I have ever known, and was also the place of some of my greatest pain (and some of my anger), I realized something HUGE.
It was all for GOOD.
There was a lot of good that came out of the past nine years—more good than the bad, more good than pain. When you come to the end of all of your anger and lack of understanding the past, and you see more good than bad, there is a lot of peace. When you look back and realize that even in the places of pain, God was sowing good, you can’t help but stand in awe. It doesn’t undo what has been done, nor repair all of the relationships that have been frayed, but it does make the journey worth it. It does make you stand in that place in your heart where you have been thrashing around and crying “why?” and instead, begin to lift your hands and voice in worship.
When you journey with God through your anger, rather than allowing it to rot into bitterness, it is amazing what He shows you. It is amazing the gifts he gives, even when we are still struggling to unclench our fists. He shows up, even when we don’t want to. He guides us through the anger, even in the moments where we don’t want to deal with it. And if we are patient (with ourselves), He brings us through to places of healing.
As I said, I am not finished with this journey and there are still unresolved questions. But today I feel like one of them was answered. Today, I feel His peace.