In the aftermath of a “tirade” over missing towels, Lysa TerKeurst reflects on her struggle with raw emotions, then shares an insight that gave her new hope. This is an excerpt from Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions.
I’m sad because of the way I acted today. I’m disappointed in my lack of self-control. I’m sad that I accused my girls when later I found the towels in my son’s room. Go figure. And the more I relive my towel tirade, the more my brain refuses sleep…
What is my problem? Why can’t I seem to control my reactions? I stuff. I explode. And I don’t know how to get a handle on this. But God help me if I don’t get a handle on this. I will destroy the relationships I value most and weave into my life permanent threads of short-temperedness, shame, fear, and frustration. Is that what I really want? Do I want my headstone to read, “Well, on the days she was nice she was really nice. But on the days she wasn’t, rest assured, hell hath no fury like the woman who lies beneath the ground right here”?
No. That’s not what I want. Not at all. I don’t want the script of my life to be written that way. So, at 2:08 a.m., I vow to do better tomorrow. But better proves elusive, and my vow wears thin in the face of daily annoyances and other unpleasant realities. Tears slip and I’m worn out from trying. Always trying.
So who says emotions aren’t bad? I feel like mine are. I feel broken. Unglued, actually… I know what it’s like to praise God one minute and in the next minute yell and scream at my child — and then to feel both the burden of my destructive behavior and the shame of my powerlessness to stop it.
I also know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of unglued behavior… And the emotional demands keep on coming. Unrelenting insecurity. Wondering if anyone appreciates me. Feeling tired, stressed, hormonal.
Feeling unglued is really all I’ve ever known. And I’m starting to wonder if maybe it’s all I’ll ever be.
Those were the defeating thoughts I couldn’t escape. Maybe you can relate. If you relate to my hurt, I pray you will also relate to my hope.