The Word Weaver
Inviting you to know & embrace Jesus Christ
Deb Weaver
"Overcoming Mama Anger With God's Help"
by The Word Weaver, Deb on September 13th, 2013

I need to share something with you that I’m not proud of.
 
But I need to share it anyway.  I hope that you’ll read to the very end.  Please. 
 
I have always loved my kids.  I have not always loved them well. 
 
Oh, we’ve hooted in laughter and whispered secrets from our hearts. We’ve played, wrestled, tickled, and hugged.  We’ve shared wondrous, glistening moments of love, togetherness, and grace.  
But there have been other—darker— moments as well.
 
I’ve seen the horrible news stories about Shaken Baby Syndrome, and I’ve cried for the tragedy and for the Mamas.   But—and this is the part that hurts to say out loud—I never had to wonder how a Mom could reach the point of losing it. 
 
I confess:  I’ve come far too close to doing the unthinkable.
 
I clearly remember those endless hours in the middle of the night.  Of how frightened and frustrated a new Mama becomes after she’s tried every one of her tricks.  And. Nothing. Works.  Nothing silences the screams of her baby. 

How could I stand in criticism and judgment of other desperate women when I came almost a breath too close to shaking my firstborn?  How grateful I am that I had someone to whom I could hand her in the nick of time.  How sad I am that I had to.
 
My temper wasn’t only relegated to nighttime nether worlds.  It affected day-times too.  Things would be running smoothly with my temper seemingly under control when suddenly I’d strike an unexpected, invisible match and explode.  In the moment, my anger felt like an uncontrollable, consuming fire.  My children were in the line of my verbal blazes.
(Photo credit:  Carrie Lalonde-Cellan, 2009, Used by permission)

I screeched at the top of my lungs with rage radiating from every pore of body while watching my child quiver in fear.  More times than I can count.  After one incident, my son whispered tearfully (and so bravely), “When you yell, I get really scared.” 
 
Once in complete seriousness, I threatened a sassy preteen (the compliant one!) that I’d take her to a foster home if she couldn’t live with my rules.
 
...It’s okay.  Stay with me—I know.  I know.  My heart breaks over all this even now.  I wish I would have been different then.  Mature.  Consistently compassionate and kind. 
 
I wasn’t.   But I am a different person now.  That’s the good news. 
 
Did this happen daily?  No.  But it occurred enough that it was a clear pattern that regularly marked our lives from the birth of my daughter until she was nearing the end of elementary school and then, in periodic outbursts after that.  
 
I controlled by fear for far too long.  Though they may not have put it into words, they knew—don’t cross Mama.
 
Each time after my anger cooled, I’d weep before God, asking Him to change me.  (And He did.  He has.)  I’d also go to my children and ask for the gift of forgiveness.  It was graciously offered.  Every. Time. 
 
And I learned something during this process.  The more you genuinely apologize and seek forgiveness, the less you want to have to do it again.  You desperately want to be different. 
 
One evening after I’d screamed at the kids that afternoon (probably over the ridiculously silly reason of wanting their rooms cleaned), Hubby walked in and intuitively read the atmosphere.  He sent me off to buy dinner and time for myself.  As I drove, I berated myself for once again losing it.  I was so sick of myself that I flipped on the radio for company.  The promo for Charles Stanley’s radio program, In Touch, played.  Immediately it caught my attention.  The announcer said, “Did you know that you could do just one thing and change as a result?  Stay tuned for Charles Stanley’s message.” 
 
During the commercial break, I wondered, “What could be that one thing?”  I needed to change this area of my temper more than I needed to breathe.
 
Charles spoke about spending time in the Word of God.  He said, “If you will do this ONE thing, I guarantee that you will change.” 
 
I thought, “One thing?  What’s the catch?”
 
He continued, “If you will spend time in the Bible every day, you can’t help but change.  If you prayerfully read God the Father’s Words, the Holy Spirit of God will begin to work in your life and increasingly transform you to be more like the Son of God.”
 
I have found this to be true.  I began to read verses about anger.  I memorized them.  I wrote them down on index cards and carried them around with me.  I cried in repentance over them. These verses were especially meaningful, and I prayed them repeatedly: 
 
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  (Ephesians 4:29-32, NIV)
 
The outbursts became fewer and farther between.  The eruptions spewed less.  The anger wasn’t as red-hot and did not last as long. 
My children are adults now.  Ali is twenty-four and A.J. is eighteen.  They choose to spend time with me even now.  We talk, play, laugh, argue, and cry together.  Their love is a humbling, priceless gift in my life. 
 
Did that season of rage impact them?  Undoubtedly.  There are ugly, battered pieces of emotional baggage marked “Mama’s Anger & Me” that they’ll carry into their futures.  In time, they’ll need the Lord’s help to fully unpack those suitcases.  He can be trusted to do so.
 
Could I dwell on my failures as a Mom?  Yes.  There have been times I have.  Although I deeply regret my sin and the resulting consequences, I also know that my beloved children have experienced the change in me. 
 
I am now very different because Jesus Christ and His living Word transformed me.  Was it work?  Yes.  Did it happen overnight?  No.  Do I still occasionally yell?  Yes.
 
But rest assured, people can change.  It’s a process.  It comes slowly.  Change is not without tears.  It’s not without time.  It’s not without wrestling with truth.
 
So, why do I tell you all this?  Why reveal things once hidden? 
 
I’m cupping my heart and sharing it in my shaking hands because there are other parents out there who have blown it with their kids.  Again.  And they need to know that there is hope. 
 
There truly is hope.  His name is Jesus.
##
Copyright 2013, The Word Weaver, Deb Weaver



Posted in My Journey with God, Hope & Healing    Tagged with Transparency, Anger, Children


22 Comments

Leslie Franklin - September 13th, 2013 at 10:17 PM
Very Transparent, Real, and BEAUTIFUL!! Great read!! I think we all do this as Moms with the Verbal Blaze...I tell myself daily (many times) to Respond not React!
The Word Weaver, Deb - September 14th, 2013 at 7:51 AM
Oh, Leslie, thank you for stopping by to read and to comment. It is such a fearsome responsibility we have as Mamas! I appreciate you letting me know your thoughts and your empathy.
~Karrilee~ - September 14th, 2013 at 12:31 AM
Oh my brave sweet friend... thank you. Thank you for being brave and all out there and honest. I think at any given moment in motherhood, most of us have surprised ourselves with the intensity and fierceness of anger that can rise up. I love how God reached in and gave you a tool to help you to overcome... isn't that just like Him? He comes through for us... He is strong, when we are weak... Praying for you and all of the Mama's out there (myself included!) who have lost it momentarily... grace, grace! We shout it out... rain down!
The Word Weaver, Deb - September 14th, 2013 at 7:52 AM
Karrilee,
I appreciate you taking my shaking hand and offering grace. He is amazing and His grace is precious!
Kristin - September 14th, 2013 at 8:49 AM
This is EXACTLY what I needed to read this morning. I went to bed last night asking God to change me. A few weeks ago I joined the HM challenge and we are reading through Ephesians!! In Chapter 2 right now but I couldn't help but smile to see that the verse you referenced was from Ephesians too. Thank you God I am on the right track. I will keep doing that one thing and I have hope that change will come.
The Word Weaver, Deb - September 14th, 2013 at 12:47 PM
Oh Kristin,
I'm so thankful that God used this to encourage you. Being in the Word and letting it dwell in us is definitely the right track. May God make us into the women He intends us to become! Thanks for commenting!
donna - September 17th, 2013 at 2:56 PM
So BTDT! Having four amazing children ages 7 and under, there were too many moments I had to humbly apologize and ask forgiveness for me anger. Even when asking forgiveness I had to learn MORE than one time that I should not say "Please forgive me....BUT if YOU wouldn't..."! AH! NO! I needed to learn to just say MY BAD. Not adding any responsibility to my kids. They were just being kids. They are now 15,16,19, and 21. I have asked my older kids if they recall my yelling fits and they honestly say...not really. PHEW! I thought for sure I damaged them right into "mommy issues" therapy! Of course they do remember some moments...like the time I let them play in the snow but yelled at them for throwing snowballs. o_o...okay, can we say major PMS moment! Still, I am grateful that God gives gives an incredible ability to extend forgiveness to parents that see they are wrong and strive to yield more to Him.
I have come a looong way...but it is still a struggle at times. I am a slow learner and thankful He is so very enduring towards me :). THANKS so much for your candor and willingness to let us see we are not alone in this struggle.
Awesome words of encouragement!
The Word Weaver, Deb - September 17th, 2013 at 3:20 PM
Thanks, Donna! Yes, I am ever grateful of God's patience and persistence with me! Being a Mom is the toughest thing I've ever done! How merciful that God's grace (and often, our kids' grace) covers us even when we mess up.
Angela - September 19th, 2013 at 6:00 PM
Thank you for sharing something so humbling and near to your heart! It's amazing how much we need Christ! It is also humbling how even through all our faults. God is faithful and can even bring healing to the harm we cause our children. I am so thankful for that. Anger is a huge issue on both my husbands and my family. I struggle to resist anger and currently and constantly deal with outburst. When I visit my parents and brothers. It is a hard road but I know God will give me wisdom and strength to walk through it. Thanks again for sharing!
The Word Weaver, Deb - September 19th, 2013 at 6:30 PM
Thank you for reading and sharing this with me. I appreciate the understanding and grace in your words. God is so faithful and patient with us. I am grateful beyond words for Him!
annette @ A net in time - September 19th, 2013 at 6:20 PM
i appreciated your words.. . thank you.
The Word Weaver, Deb - September 19th, 2013 at 6:31 PM
You are welcome. We get to stand together at the pool of grace and marvel that God loves us and that He's mighty enough to work in our lives. Thank you for reading and commenting.
Michele - September 19th, 2013 at 7:23 PM
Beautifully written! There is no doubt in my mind that everyone that reads this will shake their head only in agreement and understanding! Sharing it for that reason.
The Word Weaver, Deb - September 19th, 2013 at 7:29 PM
Thank you, Michele. Being a Mama is the hardest job ever--I'm so grateful that God can use us despite us!
Amy - September 23rd, 2013 at 7:28 PM
Hopping over from the (in)couraging writers group. I'm not a mom, but this resonates for me. Some of my mom friends talk about anger. And, I worked on a Shaken Baby Syndrome prevention program, the Period of PURPLE Crying (www.purplecrying.info) that educated new parents and caregivers about inconsolable crying and self-care in those times. It is SO easy to snap in those stressful situations. So glad to hear you have (are) healed(ing).
The Word Weaver, Deb - September 24th, 2013 at 10:10 AM
Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Amy. What you do is important!
Cindy Fincher - October 5th, 2013 at 6:30 PM
Hi Deb, first I want to say "thanks'! for stopping by my blog @ Small Town Girl.....Big Dreams and leaving such kind words. Second, LOVE YOUR post about mama anger. I love your transparency and I too struggled with this when my kiddos were toddlers. Thank goodness the Holy Spirit didn't let me alone and the grace of God helped me to change. The more we can be authentic as believers I think this allows Jesus to shine more completely through us to those who need Him. Blessings to you! Cindy Visiting from #TellHisStory
The Word Weaver, Deb - October 5th, 2013 at 7:41 PM
Thank you, Cindy, for stopping by! Transparency is one of my goals. Thank you for your words of understanding!
Beth - October 13th, 2013 at 10:49 AM
Oh I just love your honestly. Thank you. My boys are both grown but I remember those days all too well of mama anger. Blessings to you.
The Word Weaver, Deb - October 14th, 2013 at 8:37 AM
Thank you, Beth. I appreciate your understanding comment. Being a Mama is the hardest (and most important) thing ever!
Lisa - January 21st, 2014 at 10:22 AM
So good of you to humbly share. I think there are many moms out there who struggle in this area, ashamed to admit for whatever the reason. Thank you, God is so good. From a mom who still slips up and yells, then refocuses "the lens". Prayer, praise, and the Word, strong weapons to help overcome.
The Word Weaver, Deb - January 21st, 2014 at 10:41 AM
Lisa, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Yes, God IS so good and gracious! I'm also grateful that He's handed us the weapons we need.
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