A journey from Anger to Happiness

Hey, did you know its International Happy day?

I did not even know there was such a thing.  You either? Well, I am glad I am not the only one.

It's been a while since I have written a noteworthy post; I know you all were enthralled with the snow day pictures and the New Year's update.  Yet I have not posted anything from the inner workings of Tammie in a while.

Mostly, its because I have been run over by a full time job called teaching.  My days are very long, my work demanding in every way, and the end of most of my days look like me crashing on the couch five seconds after walking in my front door before going to bed a few hours later; very non-typical Tammie.
Sailing is my favorite :-)

So, I figure it was time for a heart-to-heart post: What is God doing post.  Simple, non-detailed answer: A LOT.

So here's to keep'n it real:

First, it's been a very hard year (school timeframe).  The "aha" moment for me in the Fall was, "it's a hard place, not a wrong place."  You can read about that here.  Yet God in His gentle compassion and love did this.

Since January I have faced more challenges from external sources, which have triggered internal frustrations.  Then I got frustrated that I was frustrated.  Then I swung between spewing anger and internal rage causing me to behave unbecomingly, and in my opinion, unacceptable.  Anger is not my friend.  A few years ago I remember (with such clarity now) saying to someone (I have no idea who), "I don't really get angry..."

Time to swallow those words.

Knowing that anger is a secondary emotion I have spent much time examining my soul, asking God to show me what is under this anger.  For several weeks I saw nothing except a cloud of frustration.  Anger is an emotion, emotions are not wrong but it is what we do with those emotions that can be wrong.  "Be angry and do not sin" is a hard verse to apply when you are very tired, human and blind to your own stuff.  Most of us are, and we need help to see behind, beneath and around our anger.

God, in His Grace showed me... Grace and Truth.  Some of His finest ingredients! (John 1:17)

First, He showed me through a conversation with a colleague, that I could apply some grace (not their word but it meant the same thing) to some areas.  I was upholding some high standards; very few were reaching them.  I was working hard to help these be attained, and when those were not met, I would feel the pressure of failure.   I was getting really tired of pushing and pushing others to meet those standards.  My colleague showed me how I could lower the standard a bit and it would make it easier on everyone.  He was right.  I drove home that day rejoicing over grace, as I realized it had been nearly killing ME.

Second, the undercurrent of frustrations in my being were prone to erupt and burn hot like volcanic lava.  I was seeing fruit from the state of my soul, it was not pretty.  So... through a dream and a short conversation God has brought some light.

A small almost unperceivable light, almost too simple, yet has grown brighter and continues to light up my darkness.

The conversation went something like this:

"What vulnerable emotion is under that anger, Tammie?"... my friend asked.

"I am just frustrated at this, at that, at them..." I said.

"Tammie, take your eyes off of those things, those are outside of you.  What's the emotion in you saying, what is the anger guarding and protecting?"

"It seems too simple, but... I am a failure."

I was almost immediately overwhelmed with the emotions that flooded out as I said those four words.  Even now, I feel the tide rising in me.

"What's the Truth, Tammie?" my friend pushed.

It was hard for me to say what I knew I should say, "I am not a failure".  In that moment, it was like the eyes of my soul looked around inside myself.  Everywhere I looked in my soul, on every place, I saw those words etched.

My friend and I ended our conversation.

God and I continued that conversation all through the night.  That statement was like a layer of fat attached to the tendons of my soul, but whatever I did, it was still attached, ugly and immovable.

The next morning, I sat before the Lord in our quiet place and I asked Him to speak to this new knowledge I had gained through the episode the night before.

In the quietness, He whispered not "you are not a failure" but....

"I will not fail you."

It was the most wonderful thing I could hear!   

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.
28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

Psalm 73:26-28

 It was not about me, because Yes, I do fail!  But He Gives Grace...

My failures do not define me and through my dream, I realized I don't have to hold onto them!

I am not a failure; I am a Child of God...

By this I know that You are well pleased with me,
Because my enemy does not triumph over me. 

Psalm 41:11

He sees me just as He sees Jesus.  

Now that is something to be Happy About!!

Happy International Happy Day!


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