“I’m broke and don’t know what to do.”
Usually, this is my first thought when I wake up. It often leaves me bitter and angry for the rest of the day. I’ve always lived in anger. I don’t why, but even from a young age when I woke up I was just plain angry. I’ll find myself getting really angry every time I feel like someone is challenging my authority, or that someone is insulting my intelligence, or if I feel like someone is just trying to pull a fast one on me. I think this is because I was bullied as a child in school. But whatever the case, when my wife tells me to do something with the wrong tone, even though she doesn’t mean it like that, I get angry and we fight.
For people that know me, they may not see that anger, because I’ve learned to mask it. But I’ve been concerned lately about my anger issues, because with a wife and three (soon to be four) kids and bills that are behind, life can get really stressful.
I need help, I told myself one night a while back. I have come to realize that I’m weak and can’t fight life’s battles by myself anymore. The stress of life and my anger problems can be overwhelming. I was tired of not being able to sleep because of life and worrying about making my kids’ tomorrow better in every way. I was only 25, but I found myself at my wits end, having panic attacks and living in anger because I felt like I couldn’t provide as well as I wanted to.
So that night I did something that can sometimes be hard for a man to do: I spilled my guts to God, and told him I just couldn’t do it by myself anymore. I laid it all out and said how I was feeling.
“I know you have always been around waiting for me to accept you,” I said. “You’ve showed me signs and I’ve ignored them. You’ve forgiven me for more than I deserve. I have always loved you but now I need you more than ever. God, please come into my life and change me. Help me see the things that I cannot. I love you and I’m completely yours.”
The next day there wasn’t a pile of money at my door. I didn’t win the lotto and I still had bills to pay. But for once I felt bright inside. Those huge problems in life felt smaller because I realized that He has my back, and will show me how to live my life in ways that will teach me how to be a better husband and father.
For instance, between my wife and I, we’re usually working at least two jobs in order to pay the bills, and the money we do get goes toward paying the bills we have, and buying essentials like milk and food and gas. And if we’re doing all that and still behind on bills, I’m learning to give the rest to God and trust that he’s watching out for us.
I say this because we do have our part to play in how our lives play out, and it’s important to see. Some people don’t believe in God because when they ask for something, their problems aren’t all solved. But that’s not how it works.
I’m not perfect; I am still learning from my own mistakes. But with the strength God gives me I learning how to be a loving, forgiving, and patient father. Through His words in the Good Book, He is making me feel like the right choices are so much easier than giving into temptations. He reminds me of the beautiful things He has blessed me with, like my children and my wife and the fact that I woke up. And I know that these things are privileges, not rights, and I want to do my best to steward those privileges well, every day.
Even though we still struggle financially, I’m not as mad because I know that God is there watching out for me and helping me make the right decisions. Because everything is possible through God, and this life is only temporary. One day I will be with all my loved ones again in a much, much better place. So while we’re here on earth we just have to weather what we can and make it through the day—but all the while remembering that God is there ready to help us, and ready to be the greatest father ever. So why waste time getting angry?