We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:5
Grief makes us mad.
We often see it as rage when we’re in the thick of grieving. Rage is most easily defined as violent or uncontrolled anger. That’s when we want to cry out, “It’s not fair!” or succumb to screaming or intense wailing. It’s not rational, and is usually impulsive. It very clearly signals a loss of control and a focus on fighting for our rights. This can be harmful to those around us, especially if it’s directed at children. Rage causes more problems for us, as we have to clean up the effects impulsive words have on whoever they were directed at.
Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. – Proverbs 16-32
Anger is a part of grief, probably the most immediate and common emotion. Whether you’ve lost a close loved one, a relationship, or the life you wanted, those losses have to be grieved, and one of the side effects is anger. So, we have to find a way to express our anger that helps us heal, but doesn’t cause others the need to. We have to do it slowly, in a way that sets us free from it, but doesn’t hurt anyone else in the process. How do we do that? Well, we have to talk about it. Give it a name. I’m mad that my spouse left! I’m mad that I have grow up because my mom died! I’m mad that my dreams for my family are shattered! Being honest about our anger, and sharing that truth with God in prayer, in our journals, with a close friend, and in our support groups will give us that freedom. We can go for a walk and tell a tree. Any of those help us get it out, and release us from all of they physical, mental, and emotional stress it causes.
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger. – Ephesians 4:26
Writing about it, talking about it, praying about it…all of those give us an outlet other than rage, other than stuffing it down inside, and they sets us free to move forward. Repressed anger, resentment, and bitterness can fester within us and actually keep us from healing. Go for a walk or a swim, hit the gym, but work out the aggression in a healthy way. Just don’t lie down for the night with anger brewing within you. Get it out, and let it go. Help yourself and sleep well.
“Lord, this whole thing has me pretty mad. Please help me to understand what’s happening. It’s not the way it was supposed to be, and it isn’t fair. Here’s why….”
You are not alone. Others have made it through hard times, and so will you. If you’ve found a way to accept and even enjoy yourself, will you tell us about it? It’s in our struggles that we really come to know God and know ourselves.
Your story can bring hope to someone today.
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