Friday, January 8, 2010

The dark mirror.....

In counseling the other day, our wonderful counselor talked to us about a variety of very important and helpful things. She talked in depth about forgiveness and how vital it is to forgive others who have wronged you, so that your sins can be forgiven as well. Poignant and appropriate counsel for sure.

She also talked about the metaphorical mirror our spouse holds up to us. When we're dating and new and shiny, we see all these good things about ourselves when we look in the mirror. We see how loved we are, how worthy we are, how beautiful we are, and we feel really good about the reflection we see in that mirror. But over time, that same mirror begins to show us some of our more negative attributes, as our spouse sees them. Now it shows us how picky we are, how lazy we are, how argumentative we are, and of course that makes us feel uneasy.

And since then I've been thinking about the darker sides of me reflecting in that mirror. Particularly last night when I was feeling quite full of ugly emotions and thoughts that I really needed to wrestle to keep under control. In fact, I needed to put myself to bed very early to prevent that ugliness from spilling out and causing problems in my marriage. Those feelings just keep creeping up and I keep having to stomp them down, and sometimes I wonder, and this may weird out some of you who aren't used to hearing it mentioned, but I wonder if it isn't the Devil weeding his way in and trying to make me my own downfall? I do. The concept of the Devil is relatively new to me as a believer, and at first it weirded me out, but truthfully, you can't believe in God and not the Devil, we don't get to pick and choose what we believe, it is what it is, and if God is real (which I believe he is), then so is his nemesis.

So, is the Devil working on me? Is he planting ugly thoughts and irrational emotions in my mind and heart and trying to get me to make a stir so big in my marriage that it could cause a relapse in our recovery? Would he care enough about little old us to do that? From what I'm told, you betcha! God loves marriage, and the Devil hates it. So, it stands to reason that we're in a battle to keep on the side of God and to keep Satan off our doorstep.

Now, these ugly emotions I'm referring to, you might be wondering, I would be, what are they? They're jealousy, anger, no make that RAGE, and hatred. Pretty ugly stuff. But their genuine and honest human emotions, we do ugly really well. I feel like I've got these emotions wrapped up pretty tight, and contained in one dark and dingy corner of my life. They're neatly channeled in one direction and thus far, I've done pretty well in holding them back and talking myself down when the urge strikes to just explode these emotions everywhere and then the debris and aftermath fall where they will. But where would that get me? The Bible says....

James 1:20 (NIV)

20: for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.


Ephesians 4:26–27 (NIV)

26: “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,

27: and do not give the devil a foothold.

Being filled with anger does not bring about the sort of behavior and life that God desires from me, its quite the opposite actually. As for the part about not going to bed while still angry, I guess I didn't do that last night, but I feel that it was better to go to bed feeling secretly, insanely angry (and whine about it to God himself) then to tip my hat that I was angry, have to explain why and potentially lose my cool (which I work so hard to keep) and have a totally unnecessary fight, for nothing! Now, maybe I'm wrong (chances are that I am), but I woke up not angry and feeling better, so I think I'm back on track!

But that last part, do not give the Devil a foothold. That is what I am talking about! Being that the Devil is described as quite cunning and clever, he no doubt has noticed that anger is a weakness in me and goes for that weak link hoping to cause something to break, he does this in all of us while he's attacking all the good that God is building up. If God wants it up, Satan wants it down. So its best to be aware of your "ugly" and keep it in check at all times.

My "ugly" is sooooooooooooo ugly, and I hate that its there at all, but its checked and monitored and to this day, thank God (and to God the credit really must go, since I am not this composed without lots and lots of help), its well contained!

What's your "ugly" like? Do you know what it is? Do you do a good job of being honest about its existence and keeping it in check?



The Family Stone said...

Great post, Katie. I think everyone's ugly is uugggly, mine included, but I think that not everyone acknowledges it. I am very honest in revealing my weaknesses, my ugly, to myself. I am not ashamed of being human or having these ugly emotions, nor am I ashamed of my need for a Savior. I also lean on others to help me when it rears its ugly head. Jealousy is the one I deal with the most.

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