I get angry when I’m afraid.
Not my icy kind of anger. No, that’s reserved for more genuine injustices in the world. I mean the downright, take-me-by-the-fists-and-start-punching-and-running kind of anger. Normal, even kind comments become an insult as soon as they reach my brain.
It’s a miserable conviction to realize fully. It’s easy enough to see in hindsight, after you blow up at Person A over what they said, that you felt threatened. Your self-imposed dignity, your history with that person, everything in your heart screams that “NO! YOU CAN’T BE RIGHT ABOUT ME! I’M NOT THAT KIND OF PERSON!”
What’s miserable is the creeping realization that the bucket of irrational anger is usually fueled by quiet doubts and fears.
Why did they say that? Am I really _?
In my case, the things I kick and scream at are usually the things that wounded me in the past.
What if they don’t speak to me because that mutual friend said something about me? | She keeps giving me that look, it’s probably my earrings and the fact that I’m dating instead of courting. | No, I am not innocent and naive! Do you even KNOW the hell I’ve lived through? | They clearly don’t want me around, just like every other group of girls.
I get so, so angry over the way people think, or what I understand them to probably think, because I am afraid I’m not good enough. It’s been a chronic plague ever since I can remember. I threw myself into my school because a) I had no real friends and b) I felt compelled to excel by doing. And this compulsion to do good enough hasn’t gone away.
This past summer, and even a few weeks ago, when talking with my parents about jobs, I had to try to squash an irrational burst of frustration because a part of me was terrified that I couldn’t live up to this, and I couldn’t meet their expectations. And the longer I’ve observed this and started pushing back against it, the more I’ve seen it everywhere. I usually finish a gym session in a terrible mood due to a) low blood sugar and b) I don’t think I did well enough. And I’m always certain I didn’t live up to the expectations of my S.O. (who always corrects me that he loves me, even when he’s a kindly tyrannical superior officer at the gym).
Fear like this is a terrible way to try to live. It’s also poor theology.
Something else that makes me mad is when people don’t get it (shouting at them that “YOUR WORLDVIEW IS INCONSISTENT! ACK!” doesn’t do much, though).
And yet. And yet. My worldview has slipped so far from reality in so many areas.
I’m terrified I can lose God.
Any time I walk through a drought, any time I get tired of the same old thing, or I feel a disconnect, I panic. It made me a clingy friend, and a paranoid believer. I never doubted my salvation, but as soon as I didn’t — don’t — feel God there, I freak out. I know that I can’t lose Him, but I react as if I can. Fear is the ultimate terrorist, striking beautiful moments awry.
I read a post and heard again later on the radio that what we love drives our actions. Our thought process, though important, only does so much. Our emotions are not reliable guides, and yet, they need to be harnessed. Love is the only thing that overpowers fear: not logic, not anger, not anything else.
Fear runs you ragged; Love can heal you as you walk through it.
And I don’t want to be so afraid, so full of doubt and sorrow, that I beg Him to hide. I want Him to stoop down and write in the dust (for dust I am) whatever He will. His absence aches, when I don’t feel Him close to me, but we see as in a glass darkly: His absence is a reminder that this is not my home. The excellence I strive for, and want to want to strive for, is not mine to hold, much less to have. It is given to me to give: it doesn’t come from me.
Christ is the measure of all things. He alone is enough, and He isn’t finished with me yet.
He said “You’re never gonna lose My love,
Go ahead and try”
So you drank from the river ’til it all ran dry
But oh, even then, there is hope, there is grace–
even Hell is not a God-forsaken place
– Andy Gullahorn