Trusting is not something that I have ever found easy to do. As a child, I learnt that this world was dangerous and I couldn’t trust anyone. I developed defense systems to protect against any harm I perceived might happen. Any time I would feel unsafe I would lash out in aggression or if that didn’t work I would cry and attempt to leave the room. I wanted people to stay away from me – they were not safe. I lived by very rigid rules and expected those around me to live by the same rules. My emotions were out of control: Up one minute, depressed the next. I was often angry. As I grew older my desire to be so angry diminished, however I didn’t seem to be able to switch it off. It would brew inside of me, bursting uncontrollably out of me. Hurting whoever happened to be present with me. To be angry is not always harmful; in fact sometimes it is the correct response. However, the anger I exhibited was harmful. Most of the time it was out of context, and uncalled for. My children were frightened of me. I was frightened of me. I was ashamed of my behaviour. I was sick of hurting those I loved. Where did this anger come from? Why did it consume me so much of the time?
I had built up a storehouse of unresolved anger. It was filled with every hurtful event, every moment someone had failed me. What I didn’t realise was, not only was this storehouse filled with my anger, but it was also a resting place for the enemy. I didn’t know it was there. I didn’t ask for it to stay, yet it came to rest in a part of my soul. While I didn’t choose to have it attached to my soul, my stored anger gave it permission to dwell there. It was avenue for it to bring harm to those I came in contact with and myself. It provided fuel for the already lit fire of anger that I had burning in my heart. There was only one way to deal with the enemy and that was to deal with my unresolved anger. I had to let God into my anger and allow His healing. Dealing with my unresolved anger removed the resting place for the enemy. Effectively closing the door, preventing penetration of my heart.
I would like to say that not wanting to be angry was all it took for me to stop. But in reality it took a lot more then the wishful thinking. In my counseling sessions I slowly whittled away at my anger, choosing forgiveness instead of resentment, acknowledging and speaking out my hurt and pain, being listened to, letting God into the dark areas of my soul, learning to let things go, practiced relaxation techniques, changed my thought patterns etc. However there was one aspect of my anger that took a while for me to give up. Even though I could see how it was hurting those around me and myself, I felt I needed it to be safe. The cost of losing my anger seemed too much of a price to pay. I didn’t know of any other way to keep myself safe.
God could see my struggle to surrender this anger. He knew my fear. He could also see the harm that this anger was causing me. In His mercy He gave me a vision. In this vision I saw myself standing in a space that was very clinical, empty of anything. If I looked to my left or right there was nothing; no distractions, no harm, no fear, just stillness, a sense of calm, and a freedom from weight. I felt rest, like I was free from my struggle. When I looked above I could see this beautiful golden light forming a protective, almost ‘ozone-like’ layer above me. But when I looked at myself, I could see a demonic army attached to me. In my mind I thought that I needed this thing, I believed it kept me ‘safe’. However, when I looked closely at my life, my past, I could see the images of self-harm it showed me, I could feel its anger toward me and my loved ones. I knew I had to let it go. This thought created fear in my heart. With what would I replace it? Who would protect me now?
Before me stood God. I couldn’t see all of Him He was too big; it was a bit more like seeing His big toe. He felt strong, commanding, like nothing could come against Him. I could have been afraid, however, he felt really warm and loving. He asked me to choose Him over the false safety I had found in the enemy. Let Him be my Lord, my safety. When I made the choice to let Jesus be my protector, He revealed that the golden layer above my head was His angels. He said to me, “This is my army, a legion of angels”. He spoke to the thing attached to me, “Much bigger than yours”. Then He said to me, “Do not be afraid of the enemies’ army for my army is greater. I am the Almighty God, the Commander of this army (referring to His legion of angels)”. When Jesus had finished speaking, I spent some time praying in the spirit and declaring out loud that God was the Commander of a big army. Nothing could come against Him. While doing this I felt a release, at which point, I knew that God had set me free from this tormentor.
I had chosen to believe a lie, opting for a form of protection that was shallow and harmful. It seemed to hold so much truth to me at the time. I actually believed it was a better option than God. I thought that it was my way, I had come up with a clever way of prevent others hurting me. I didn’t realise I was just choosing the option the enemy of this world offered. I was allowing him to destroy me. The enemy provided the fuel and I chose to use it. He was sitting back laughing at my demise, while I suffered in the consequences of my wrong choices. I couldn’t save myself, my anger wasn’t protecting me. The only person who could protect me was Jesus, the Commander of the army. My safety was and still is in Him. Without Him I was unshielded, vulnerable to the enemy and outside of His protective love. I had to surrender my defense of anger and give Him control. I needed to allow Him to be my protection. It took my action of choosing Him and speaking out His truth, to bring this protection. Upon doing this, God defeated my enemy.