Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Getting Good and Angry

Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

That's what you say when the Resurrection dawns, and that's what I said at dawn this morning. Because sometimes it takes awhile for things to dawn on me. Like what a spiritual victory looks like. Here's what mine looked like.

Recently I've been struggling, really suffering, with feeling wronged by a friend. It hurt. A lot. Misunderstandings always do, especially if they have any depth to them. And this one went pretty deep.

In response to this struggle, I did something I realized this morning I have never done in a situation like this ever before: I confronted the person with my hurt and got angry at him, to his face.

It resolved nothing, sadly, but that's not the point. In the past when I've felt hurt and angry, I've done every manner of thing do avoid directly dealing with it. Beating myself up and forcing myself to "be better so this wouldn't happen" was my first choice years ago, then I advanced to adding layers of getting all nasty and bitter and hateful. I also tried the cool, sophisticated, intellectualizing approach. And all sorts of crap in between, including trying to convince myself that none of it mattered.

But I couldn't deny that this mattered without denying the Lord Himself. Getting nasty was like spitting into the wind. I quickly realized that the only option left was to feel the hurt, until such a time arose as I might actually speak to said person.

That went down, nothing was resolved, but, as my husband said, I did what I could.

And this morning, I realized I actually did what I couldn't. I have never confronted someone in an angry exchange, ever. (Not an adult, anyway!)

I have this feeling that my father was praying for me in heaven. The two phrases that came to me yesterday was first, to "Let Go and Let God," and then to take it one day at a time. My father, an AA devotee, had these phrases as signs in his garage for years.

My anger solved nothing, but I owned my sense of injustice, spoke out, accepted the non-resolution, and handed it to God, acknowledging that He is Lord, not I; that He is worthy of all my love and worship, regardless of whether I am hurting or not, and that He is big enough to fill me with joy, despite what I can't fix. I let it go to Him, since He is the author of everything in my life to begin with.

And this morning I suddenly realized that this is the victory. The "joy of heaven to earth come down" is literally to know that one has faced a spiritual crisis and won. The funny thing about Jesus' victories is that they seem like such defeat when you are smack in the middle of them.

Objectively, this doesn't fix anything with my rectally-investigative friend who, though bent on separation, can't seem to resist reading this. But God will manage. He always does.

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