Please see Part 1 of Gretchen's post from last week...
Even though I acted out in my anger and it was something that was a part of me for all these years and what I associated myself with, it was never the truth about me. Contrary to the deception, my identity was never to be established in anger. Christ is the only one who has the right to define me and what He says about who I am in Him looks and sounds nothing like the accusations the enemy has hurled my direction. Satan littered my thoughts with his native language—lies. He can speak nothing else. He isn’t referred to by Jesus as the father of lies without merit. Ever the opportunist, he looks for the smallest of openings to inject lies into our mind and swells with pride as they enter our thought process and spread like poison. I know this so well. I know how a thought so casual and unassuming can make its way in front of my mind and without realizing it, I’m starting to entertain ideas like: I’m married to the wrong man and I’m being denied true happiness, or that I need surgery to make certain parts of my body flatter and other parts fuller, or I’m not a good wife or mother and I’ll never be as good as my husband or daughters. When these thoughts start to generate, either I’m going to amuse them and allow them to breed and grow into something destructive, or I’m going to “take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). The former is what I used to choose. The latter is what I choose now.
What I’m about to say is so important it must be said. While I’ve been set free from the hold anger has had over me, it does not mean that I will never be angry again. Heck, I’ve already faced multiple situations where my initial response, simply out of default, is anger. It’s not that I’m even angry in the situation but it was such a normal reaction for me. In the present, I’m learning how to reprogram my reactions and my thoughts. I am inundating myself with God’s word and allowing Him to cover me in truth and teach me who I am. In essence, I am taking on the mind of Christ and learning to speak and recognize His native language in all matters of my life. Like so many other things, this too is a process and something I will be working on and implementing into my daily living until it becomes my way of life—my new normal. I’m not here for Jesus to do a quick 'fix it and forget it' work in me, which is good because He doesn’t tend to work this way. No, I am in this with Him for the long haul. The next thirty-five years are going to look much different than the previous.
As for Satan, I have this to say: the last thing in the world he ever wanted was for me to discover the truth about myself. I am thoroughly convinced that he is aware and knows exactly the powerhouse of a woman I will be as I continue to become whole in Christ. My potential was never a secret to him, instead it’s the very reason he kept close company. He knew all along that if I continued to believe anger was my source of power, I would hold fast to it and not Christ (my true source of power). What I couldn’t see was how I wasn’t powerless without anger; I was powerless with it. Not once was I in control of it. It owned me and the enemy knew it. Unfortunately for him, he has been exposed and Jesus has rendered his methods of deceit ineffective. The authority he once sought over me has been restored to the only One worthy of such power. However, I’m not a fool and I know his thirst for my destruction and appetite to spoil my witness can’t keep him away for long, but I’m not scared. I’ve been collected into the arms of Christ and it is here He will keep me.
"So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most" (Hebrews 4:16).
Gretchen Foster is unapologetically in love with Jesus, wife to her stud of a husband Matt, and their two daughters (Presley, 10 & Marlo, 5) affectionately call her mom. She is grateful to call Flatirons her church home and has been doing so for six years.