For the past seven years, I have been in a temper tantrum of the heart and didn’t even realize it. My heart clenched its fists, stomped its feet and turned, determined to stay strong for the stand off. I settled into the status quo of a daily routine without passion. My seven year temper tantrum sucked the creativity, joy and vision for the future, right out of my heart. Over time, I became depressed, discouraged and hopeless. 1 Chronicles 28:9 says, "...; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts." The intent of my thoughts was to hold people accountable and shut them out of my life avoiding the pain of further disappointment and abandonment.
Ephesians 4:31 TPT says, “Lay aside bitter words, temper tantrums, revenge, profanity and insults.”
A few days ago, with cup of tea in hand, I sat in my cozy chair to listen to a sermon. The message immediately came to life and and brought truth. I began seeing the condition of my heart and God reaching His hand toward me. The following morning, snuggled in my chair with tea in hand again, I experienced a Holy Spirit double whammy as understanding flowed like a river while listening to a message titled, “Hypocrisy in the Church.” I grabbed my notebook as fast as I could and wrote, “You can’t be disappointed in not being supported when you didn’t keep your own responsibilities in order.” Ouch! "Papa God, this wound is opening fast and it hurts."
You see, my seven-year temper tantrum has been over not feeling supported. One disappointment after another as a single woman with two teen children soon to be adults, in ministry, working full time and burning the candle at both ends was taking its toll. I was showing signs of memory loss, my cognitive function impaired. I grew weaker and weaker as symptoms present, due to a year of extreme sleep deprivation, caused a mild nervous breakdown. If that wasn't enough, the sudden death of my father just months before leaving my church of 23 years, catapulted me into a five year whirlwind of pain and insecurity. Through it I kicked and screamed as the pain of being alone consumed me while the demands on my time grew as the new CEO of a crisis pregnancy center.
My temper tantrum caused me to shut down. The feelings of constant disappointment and lack of support caused me to withhold my gifts, my anointing, my true self. For a certain amount of time I was able to maintain my positive cheery attitude but my invisible temper tantrum began to consume my heart. I became disorganized, sluggish, unmotivated and I hid who I was because I came in agreement with a lie that I wasn't accepted. I threw a temper tantrum to the maximum level and my stubborn heart didn't just effect me, it effected my personal ministry to God and others.
The profound words ministered to me through these sermons opened my wound and were now flowing through my heart as a mirror, allowing me to see how deep the wound really was. I realized I allowed feelings of betrayal to stop the flow of blessing God was releasing through my life to others. I intentionally withheld my best because I gave up. I took back possession of the heart and the life I had surrendered as I crossed my arms and stomped my foot.
Suddenly confronted, I thought, “when will I take responsibility to keep my own life in order and leave behind the disappointment of not being supported the way I thought I should have been?” Whew! I passed a test, I'm learning something. I kept processing and thought, "if I had my life in order by keeping my focus on Jesus, daily, I would have felt supported because I would have recognized the support I did have. I would have seen the people who were present instead of seeing those who weren’t. I would have seen the love surrounding me and not those who couldn't love. In my confusion and internal turmoil, I would have let those reaching out, in, and I would have reached out in return." Whew! I passed again, I’m coming in agreement, the lies are being exposed, I’m seeing truth.
As truth saturated my heart the tension I carried all these years, the stiff fists and stance of resistance began to melt. I knew my heavenly Papa had enough, the temper tantrum was exposed and was coming to an end. I would soon be scab free without a scar in sight. I was right, He came after me, picked me up and held me until the kicking, hitting and crying ended. My body softened in His arms, I surrendered to His correction again. He held me while my breathing became normal and I was ready to forgive, ready for closure and ready to heal.
With eyes opened I saw clearly. I saw the evidence of the temper tantrum all around me, what a mess! The left over debris, ready to be addressed, confronted. I have a lot of work to do to pick up the pieces and the place to start is with repentance.
Papa, my Daddy, please forgive me for withholding who you created me to be and throwing a temper tantrum. Please forgive me for the hearts that have been hurt and for the trail of unorganized, unfinished assignments you gave me. I ask you redeem the time and mission. Restore me to the joy of my salvation and purpose in you. I surrender my heart to you, be it unto me, according to Thy word. I chose to forgive Papa, please help others to forgive me, fulfilling your call to love, forgiveness and reconciliation. Thank you for cleansing my heart and hearing my prayer, In Jesus Name amen.
Through the temper tantrum my heavenly Papa was waiting. He took my hand. He walked me down the path of healing into freedom. He revealed my heart, He grabbed my attention and He loved me through discipline and refining. He will never stop letting me know I am His little girl. He will never stop letting us know He is for us and not against us.
If you recognize where you have had a temper tantrum, God is here as your Papa to take your hand and walk you through the pain and hurt. He wants you to be able to sink into His love and relax in His arms. Our growth through temper tantrums is priceless. They teach us to trust, forgive and to see how easy it is to withhold who God created us to be. As you partner with your Papa God to take you deeper, know that pain exposed is freedom waiting to take its wings and lift you to the next level of maturity. God's plan is that all things work together for good and that includes our heartaches.
Papa, I'm ready for my next cup of tea.