It starts out in my chest. My heart races like a thoroughbred at the starting gate. It quickly leaps to my brain where the thoughts swirl around one another like the white waters of the ocean. Overall, there is a lack of peace. I calculate possibilities, trying to make sense of it. This is how worry wears me down. But that’s not the worst of it.
Worry triggers anger too.
I could be sitting at the kitchen table, minding my own business, aka allowing my thoughts to tumble toward worst case scenarios, when an unwitting son does something benign but just troubling enough to spark the embers that smolder in my mind. I’m triggered.
I’ve learned over the years that we can’t carry on in worry. It’s destructive to us and it’s harmful to others too. And yet, women…..worry. Moms, worry.
We worry about our kids’ health, academics, friendships, social media use, and spiritual growth. We worry about providing for them, giving them an example of a healthy marriage, and whether we are being “good enough” moms. The results can do much more harm than good. Here’s what the Bible says about it:
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath
do not fret—it leads only to evil. (Psalms 37:8, NIV)
Anxiety is anger’s access point to our hearts.
There is a direct connection between our lack of trust in God and our anxiety, which leads to anger. Distrust ushers us unceremoniously into a panic. Does God know what He is doing? Does He see me? Is He sure this situation is for my best? When we doubt God’s control over our lives and that His Sovereign nature is for us and not against us, we race down the rabbit hole of fear and worry.
Ultimately, the root of our anger is often a lack of trust in God. Personally, I come to this point when I have not been drawing near to Him enough. I’ve forgotten Who He is. That He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, sees each sparrow fall from its nest. I forget that His thoughts about me outnumber the grains of sand on the seashores of the world.
Is anxiety eating you up? Is it devouring you? Are you worried and troubled and triggered and angered? I’d like to invite you to remember with me:
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. (Psalms 37:4-6, ESV)
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28, ESV)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11, ESV)
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (Matthew 6:25, ESV)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13, ESV)
The anxious mom robs herself of joy, peace, and hope, setting herself up to invite angry reactions into her parenting. God is eager to forgive us, console us, and empower us.
Trust that God hears you. Trust that He is present in your circumstances. Believe that He is worthy of your trust, and cut off anger’s access to your heart.
For more insight and encouragement about triggers toward anger, please, pick up a copy of Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses by clicking here.
Also, please note that this article is addressing the everyday struggles of worry and anxiety that many feel. It is not a dialogue about more serious cases of anxiety disorders etc. that may benefit from therapies and other treatments.