The last time I felt anger was the middle of June when I shouted the F word multiple times in my work wife’s car. The emotion of anger hides hurt and confusion and usually, disbelief.
This morning in church I felt anger. It wasn’t the anger of June. It was the anger that I felt in Spain. A very specific type.
It was the week Ferg was teaching. He was leading us through some visuals and I remember there came a moment where to me, everyone was wrong. He was talking about the flowers we saw in our brains meant hope and light and a lot of other fluffy words.
I went up to talk to him after, because he was wrong and I was angry. The flowers in my field brought anxiety, depression and a whole hell of a lot of others things.
Yes, in reality I was just angry at the words he was speaking. The words being spoken were knocking against what I found to be true.
Ferg gave me wisdom that week (well, he gave me a LOT of wisdom that week). He reminded me, over and over again, that my words had power, and if the color of the flowers were bringing me anxiety than I could just change them.
I try to use that wisdom in my life a lot “change the color of your flowers”. If you don’t like something, you have the power to change it.
Today, the anger at words came and I had no ability to change them.
I was in church and I was asking God for wisdom for a friend of mine. Really, I was asking for hope.
And then we sang a song called “Take Courage”. It’s a song that holds hope.
Exactly what I was asking for right?
The lyrics read:
“take Courage my heart.
Stay steadfast my soul.
He’s in the waiting,
he’s in the waiting.
Hold onto your hope
as your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing,
He’s never failing”
That’s great right? A reminder that He is there. The God I believe and have followed and loved, is in the waiting.
And as I sang the words I reached for my journal to write and I realized something:
I don’t think I believe that promise.
Then I got kind of angry inside.
It feels as if I have a group of humans who are on the edge of something. They might be doing beautifully living life, being present, moving their worlds forward; but regardless, they are waiting for the next thing.
And in the quiet, calm, empty places of their lives, they are reminded: waiting.
I believe waiting is active. I think most of our lives, even rest, are actually verbs. Even in rest we are moving forward. Because rest brings us fullness and fullness brings the ability to become more than we were the day before.
But, active waiting, going about all the things, with all that you are, knowing that it’s been days, months, years, waiting for the job, the person, the epiphany and choosing to believe that after days, months, years, believing that God has been there becomes hard.
Sometimes, I do admit, that disbelief is comparison. Comparing stories and lives and truth. Sometimes the disbelief, is just a plain desire to choose not to believe (which I stubbornly live in occasionally).
Today, though, my anger came from “this, again?”
I was angry for myself and for my friend and for the long list of humans I know that are waiting.
I’m not asking for instant gratification. Please don’t hear that.
I think, I might even know, that my anger is probably not even directed at the God that is supposed to be in the waiting.
My anger is directed at the shame.
Shame is powerful.
There is so much shame in the waiting.
It lives there, ready to pounce. Ready to remind you that you are waiting because you aren’t enough. It’s in the shadows of the waiting. Trying to drag you in. Trying to tell you that you are waiting because you are lacking.
That whatever God, deity, higher power you serve, has decided you aren’t worth it because of xyz that you have done.
It’s just not fucking true.
(I only use the F word when I’m mad and I find myself in a bar sipping a mimosa getting progressively angry at shame).
Shame hides in my waiting. It tells me that I am too much, I am too heavy, I am not personable, I don’t belong.
It creates a long laundry list.
And in the nights of sleeplessness or in the days (I.e. Last Thursday) where I feel not good at what I do, incapable of figuring out behavior of tiny humans, incapable of engaging them. In the nights where I feel like I don’t have a person, Shame waltzes in to leave a note in my room that reminds me that all of those are the reasons that I am “in the waiting”.
This morning, without knowing it, I got angry at a God who is apparently in the same waiting that the shame is.
That’s a lot to take in.
And really, I don’t feel that aggressive about my own waiting right now. I feel aggressive for the humans around me, who feel as if they are in a pause, a waiting.
And I can’t change the color of their flowers.
But what I can do, is try my best, to remember that shame has no place in my waiting. To speak out the shame occurring in others.
And to make space to find God.
Because I still don’t know if I believe he is there.
And as per my mantra.
(And it’s ok for you too.)