Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)
TITLE: Wanting to Strangle the Ex Angry
By Douglas Sowers
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The others in the jail don’t believe me. They say my daughter is safe. Sure, the judge did not believe that the ex was lying, that I need to pay child support for her. But Anger knows better. The next day, Anger is fed. I told my daughter to improve her relationship. She believed me and went to lunch with her mom. Lunch ended with mom trying to commit her to a mental institute, just to get more money from me.
Anger looked back to the height from which I had fallen, flying to Kenya to be full time missionaries. Then came the screaming, demanding to go home. Long pacing nighttime prayer sessions. Trying to save the marriage, I gave up the overseas work. Excitement was getting a higher Bible degree and finding Missionary work at home. But the screaming returned. Stop spending 40 hours per week! Don’t spend so much time with your boss! Give up all missions and all contact with your boss or we’ll get divorced. Once again the long pacing prayer sessions crying, demanding, releasing my will. The music isn’t working, I’ll try news.
Oh joy, a job as a chemist and a new house. Though it is across the country, her demands are met. Anger reminds me what she did then. Stop contact with any of your friends, don’t join any church. Let me go to Law School. Quit your job and go to Law School, though you hate it. Anger says, “She was emotionally abusive. You lost all will to oppose her. You were afraid to confront her. She is dangerous. She can beat you. Your whole life is destroyed. There is no hope to recover. Give up. Give up. Give up.” I cringe and burrow deeper under the covers. Changing to sports talk finally brings sleep.
The next morning, a still small voice says, “I can use you. See that prisoner? He needs to hear about me.” Slowly I tell the other 35 prisoners about Jesus, one at a time. The mood in the jail changes. Bible study changes from three to twelve. Prayer group grows from four to twenty four. Lives are changed forever. Then the Judge sees his error and I am released.
Is Anger vanquished? Oh, no. I move from the jail to a broken car parked in a trash heap. Anger points my walk to the soup kitchen for lunch and the free bread to take for dinner. Then it reminds me of the walk to work, me with a BS, a MA, and a JD reduced to factory work at my age, nearly 50. Of long walk home through the worst drug dealing neighborhood during the thieves’ hour. Just to sleep in the car and start over. On a cold night, I stay at a shelter only to have my coat with all the child support receipts stolen. Anger screams in sick joy when she faces the judge and denies receiving the money that I can’t prove without receipts.
Anger keeps reminding me of how trapped I am. Biblically I do not meet the standards and can’t marry again. I am steadily holding on to God, but I have slipped and am clinging to the frayed ends of the rope with my fingernails. Then my daughter’s boyfriend discusses having her mom murdered. Anger screams, “Yes, yes, yes. If you are too wimpy, then let go, end it. There is no hope otherwise. She will constantly destroy your life.” Another voice says, “Hold on.”
Slowly healing happens. When I learn my ex committed adultery, freeing me to remarry, Anger said, “Rejoice.” God, said, “Weep for her. She may never repent.” Tears came. She still hasn’t turned to God for healing but is still spreading her pain. I still weep.
As I listened to the voice of God, healing came. Some years later, I could sleep without having to drown out the voice of Anger. God began showing me the new job he had for me. I began to date; my adherence to God’s way was rewarded with a precious pearl, my new wife. Anger was such a liar!
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