thirty days of no yelling, and I’m almost two weeks in. This morning my husband called me right after he got to work to let me know he had dropped the ball in a commitment and needed me to pick it up for him so he could focus on the big meeting he was walking into. I’ve been launching a book, running my new website, producing an online class, and handling a move, all with four kids surrounding me. The rage started rising up in me and it was coming fast.
I think it threw me off because it was my husband who “set me off”, not my kids. I know it’s not his fault, nobody can make me yell and lose my temper- that was all me. But I’d been so focused on not yelling at my kids and breaking that bad habit that I wasn’t thinking at all about husband.
What hurts the most isn’t the fact that I haven’t yelled in a week and a half and I just exploded, totally breaking my streak, it’s what I know my words did to him.
I belittled him, made him feel stupid, told him exactly what I thought of the mistake he made. Once the yelling started it felt good- like everything I’d been holding back was set free in the best way- so I kept going. I hurled demeaning words like an Olympic athlete going for the gold, and I didn’t stop until every single one had been thrown.
After I finished, the hurt lingered in the air so thick, I had to hang up the phone. I didn’t want to deal with the results of what I’d just done. I knew I had just destroyed the man I love right before he walked into an important meeting at a job he already feels belittled in. I started doing laundry and tears fell down my face.
Why is this hold on me so strong? I don’t want to use excuses to try to set myself free from the hook of responsibility in raising my kids and remaining in a happy marriage. I want to stop looking around at all the reasons I am like this and look inward at my heart, what God sees.
Why do I yell? Why do I feel the need to say hurtful things when I’m angry?
I don’t want to do this for the show, I don’t want to do it so I can log onto Periscope at night and give a good report, I need to be doing this for Him. Sure, accountability is a strong motivator and a huge help, but it can’t be my only drive. I need to stop suppressing the urge to raise my voice and start digging through my heart to find the root of why I do it. I need to lift that root out and hand it over to the One who is calling me to be more than I am in this moment.
It’s tempting to just call on grace, apologize to my husband, let it go and carry on. I know there is grace for my mistakes and I can start over, but grace is not an excuse to ignore the root of a stronghold in my life. Something in the dark depths of my heart is holding me tight, and I can’t move past this. I can’t just leave that there and, “oh, grace.” No, that’s not enough. If what comes out of the mouth stems from the heart, than playing the grace card is just a band-aid placed over an infected wound.
Not yelling needs to start with my heart. I need to grasp the cloak of Jesus as I choose to go another way, find another method.
Not yelling is an act of worship.
I am called to more than screaming to make my point. I am called to more than using my gift of words for evil. I am called to be holy, set apart from the rest. I’m called to be better than this, to strive, to move towards God’s call on my life. I am called to live on purpose and not play the victim to my circumstances.
So what then? What now?
I know self-control isn’t enough. I have to deal with the actual issues and causes.
I know I can’t do this in my own strength. I need Him every second of every day.
I know my mouth speaks what’s in my heart. I have to let Jesus in and clean house.
I know this can’t be an act. It has to be an act of worship.
So I make the dreaded apology phone call, I kneel at the Throne of Grace and humbly accept what I do not deserve, and I walk forward, my pride behind me. Because I cannot do this, but He can, and He wants to. It’s why I need a Savior.
I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.