Monday, August 10, 2009

Why I'm Writing About My Anger

This journal entry is one of many included in the book I'm working on...

Journal Entry (January 18, 2006)

We started these book study groups at Friendship Factor today. I just hopped in with this one group who was talking about the importance of friendship. I didn’t really want to be in that group, but the one I hoped for was full (all the books were gone). So I sat and listened to all these women talk about how special their best friends were to them. And I felt like total crap…

I just don’t have a friendship like that. I mean, I’ve got a best friend, but they’ve all got these groups of best friends. They babysit for each other. Their husbands stay home with the kids so they can all get together one night a week. It’s like a big community (it is taking everything in me right now not to call them a clique because of my jealousy).

Anyway, one part of the book that the leader read to us was about sharing our burdens with one another. It talked about how women tend to “put on a happy face” and we never really tell anyone about our struggles and hurts. I actually felt a little teary as she read those words – she was describing me!

The leader gave us an exercise at the end to help us grow more comfortable being open with others. We each had to write a TRUE AND PERSONAL prayer request on a slip of paper. But no one needed to put their names on the papers (phew). It took me a few minutes to gather up the courage, but I finally decided that no one was going to waste their time trying to analyze my handwriting and figure out who wrote it. I wrote, “please pray that I will stop yelling at my kids.” I folded the paper in half, dropped it in the basket that was going around, and barely resisted the urge to stir the papers up a bit so mine wasn’t right on top.

I waited for the basket to come around again so I could take home someone else’s prayer request, but when it got to me it was empty. A woman from the group came rushing to drop her prayer request in, looked at me, the empty basket, and my empty hands. She shrugged and handed it to me and walked out.

I felt so snubbed! Of course, it was the ever-popular Maria*. And she didn’t even bother to say a word to me – the nerve. I slipped that paper into the back pocket of my jeans and went to get the kiddos from childcare.

Tonight, getting ready to toss in a load of laundry, I was checking pockets. I was in a crabby mood thanks to Pat being away and the kids being horrible! And then I grabbed that stupid piece of paper. I thought to myself (actually, I may have even muttered the thought out loud), “I suppose she needs prayer that her new designer jeans will fit after she accidentally lost five pounds!”

I opened and read, and began sobbing. Loud, hiccuping, snot-dripping-from-my nose sobbing. Her prayer request said, “that I won’t shout at my kids this week, and that my husband will be supportive of me.”

I still can’t believe it! Maria, the picture of patience, married to the son of one of the most well-known and well-respected couples in the church, a woman who I was certain had the perfect life and had everything ‘all together.’ That woman yells at her kids, too?! And not only that, but her marriage isn’t perfect?

I feel so free! There is something in knowing that I am not the only one, that someone who I thought was perfect is messed up too, that makes me hate myself a little bit less. If I feel like scales of blindness have been taken from my eyes and a fifty pound weight has been removed from my shoulders, I wonder how other women would feel with this knowledge?

What if I dared to tell people a little bit about my anger? Could I make such a difference in one woman’s life as Maria has just made in mine? If other women knew that I, the head of women’s ministry, struggled with yelling at my kids, would they hate me and throw me out? Or is there a chance that they might feel completely freed?

Oh, Lord, thank-you…

* Name changed


  1. Oh Tyler, never feel bad about being angry. I think that is a normal feeling in life - it is how you handle that anger that matters.

    I always feel better about my own problems after hearing about others stuggles. Whether it be about parenting, weightloss or the mulitiude of other issues I deal with, knowing that I am not the only one struggling makes me not so alone.


  2. Love this! I can totally relate. It's so great when God works in our lives this way... :)

  3. You are making a difference and you probably won't even know how much until we all get to Heaven!

  4. Tyler,

    I'm just now making it over here. Still haven't visited all the other blogs of the wonderful ladies I met at She Speaks. You're the first!

    Thanks for the kind words on my blog. I'm so happy to hear your appointments went well too.

    Thanks for asking me about my book at the blog thingie. When I stumbled over what I had prepared, I knew I needed to commit some more time to the pitch. Just so you know, I presented it very smoothly and confidently in the actual meetings, largely because of your quizzing me. :)

    I love this post. So real and so transparent.

    It's funny when you were talking about how other women have this little community of friends who all go out and watch each other's kids, I was thinking that I don't really have that either. I've had seasons of certain friends that I did babysitting swapping with. And I've had a group of women I taught a bible study to that really bonded. But I've never had what you described either. I can go weeks without really haveing a meaningful conversation with another woman. I think that contributes a lot to my struggle with depression. I tend to get very wrapped up in my home responsibilities, isolate myself, and never really get that day to day deep connection that women need.

    Thanks for your honesty. I pray your book sells millions of copies! :)


  5. took me a minute to collect my thoughts (I hear pneumonia does that to you)... it is SO powerful because every woman has had this experience. EVERY woman can relate to this- not the very same issue with anger but everything else and you wrote it all so beautifully. Expressed it beautifully. it is very powerful indeed.

  6. That was very powerful. I can so relate to what you said about not having a group of friends who gets together regularly. I feel that I am on the outside looking in too. I really enjoy reading your blog and love how real you are :) Keep it up.


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