Day 22 Angry and Ashamed
Day 22 Angry and Ashamed
Angry and Ashamed seems so opposite from Yesterday, Day 21. My words were authentic, my heart inspired by the thought of seeing Jesus, my groom, …and yet…there is that truth, hidden in my heart that only the two of us know…what is REALLY behind the veil. For many years I hid behind the veil of resentment…angry and ashamed.
Like Sarah I worry, when my groom sees the “real me” will he still want me…will he send me away? Am I worthy, really???
Why do these questions plague me so? Is it from past abuse, possibly my image of myself is wrong? Or…does my heart condemn me. Do I KNOW that behind that veil is an ugly, unworthy person – the real me – that only I see? Or possibly I DON’T see myself that way, because after all I’m “checking off the boxes of a good wife, mother, Christian…
- I am faithful sexually to my husband
- I feed, dress and care for my children
- I go to church
- I read my bible
- I help others…a lot
- I’m involved in the community or church
- I manage my money well
All the boxes are checked! If only EVERYONE would do their part…I could be happy!
This was me. I checked all the boxes. I was a pastor’s daughter, pastor’s wife, children’s pastor…my “mission statement” was “to be an accurate representation of Jesus Christ” and people who knew me would agree that I was, mostly.
But inside I was not happy. I had no peace. I was angry and ashamed on the inside while happy and peaceful on the outside. Everything around me falling apart. My family…it was their fault! If only they would straighten up – how I look on the outside would match how I feel on the inside. So I pray, “God make them straighten up” and it seems those prayers go unanswered … because things get worse and worse.
Then one day …. Well several years …God began removing my veil; in private, just between the two of us, so I could see what HE sees. Let me tell you, it ain’t pretty.
Have you seen this picture?
I’m guessing Jesus experience – when He removed my veil so we could see each other face-to face – was much like this picture. But He loved me anyway and stuck around. He didn’t “unfriend me” or “block my calls”, he loved me just as I am because He knew what he was getting before I was born.
The wife behind the veil when I married my husband was different than the wife I promised him at the altar. Love, honor, obey, sickness and health, you know the line…the vows I made to him before God and everybody and honestly, that truly was my heart! However, I thought the “ugly” in me was everyone else’s fault…so I didn’t expect what happened next.
Almost as soon as the honeymoon was over…a few months…and the real me came out. This was the “me” my parents and brothers and sisters knew. Resentful, angry, demanding, selfish. And this went on for d.e.c.a.d.e.s, don’t’ get me wrong, it was all done behind the veil of a good Christian woman.
As I said, I believed, falsely, that the problem was “everyone else”. If only they would _________ (fill in the blank). Sound familiar?
- My husband was like this person’s husband
- My kids would quietly obey
- My parents would have…
- My friends would…
- I had friends….
- I was married…
- I was divorced…
- I had more money, time, stuff
The list is endless, isn’t it? I can say these things about myself because I’m not alone. I know this. You struggle with it too…it’s called being human and it well, excuse my French, it sucks.
The Veil of Resentment
Unfortunately for me and everyone in my family I didn’t realize this until I was in my fifties. I went to several counselors; one for an entire year, about the condition of my family and every one of them E.V.E.R.Y. ONE of them said the same thing… “Celeste, this isn’t about your family, this about you learning to trust God.” Every time that was said to me I thought, “but I DO trust God; THEY are the ones who aren’t trusting God!”
It continued; my doublemindedness, putting on the veil then God gently removing it. Finally, one day I was sitting in my husband’s semi-truck. I was on a trip with him that lasted 6 months. Imagine being locked in a closet with your husband for 6 months and the only time you are “let out” is at a truck stop. I don’t recommend it.
God Opens My Hidden Album
I was sitting in the passenger seat, my back turned towards my husband and tears streaming down my face in anger and resentment – I don’t even remember what I was angry about. God said to me “you have got to get rid of resentment.” Then God opened the album of my life, the one I had hidden in the closet of my mind. The pictures God showed me presented “Celeste” as angry and ashamed and showed me just how deep my resentment was.
- There was the 2-year-old Celeste, folding her arms and stomping her feet.
- 4th grade Celeste slamming her bedroom door and “cursing” her parents, 4th grade style.
- Teenage Celeste shutting out her mother’s desire for relationship.
- Engaged Celeste throwing her $50 a month rent at her father.
The picture book continued…
- Young married Celeste resenting her husband’s job, his music, even his advances.
- The employee Celeste griping about her boss and her job.
- And now, middle-aged Celeste, still showing the same behavior in this truck; arms crossed, jaw set and tears of anger streaming down my face.
Then my loving heavenly father showed me the root of my resentment that started as a wound and festered into a way of life and he said to me, “now it is sin and you must repent”. Repent of a way of thinking so deeply engrained in me I didn’t even know it existed. I knew the resentment was there but I honestly believed it was everyone else’s problem, not mine.
Disappointment fueled by entitlement allowed resentment to become my primary emotion.
The veil was removed. I confessed it as sin to my heavenly father and repented. How do you repent? By consciously doing the opposite. What is the opposite of resentment? Emotions I longed for but looked to others to provide; delight, happiness, affection, LOVE. These were the emotions but there was a choice God called me to make and that choice is Gratitude.
Gratitude, the practice of thankfulness. Once I repented of resentment and renounced it, I asked God and my husband to forgive me and eventually my children, an amazing thing happened. When an event or thought arose that would normally unleash a flood of resentment I had the power of choice. Gratitude is still a conscious choice I have to make. Sometimes I make it in minutes. Sometimes it takes days, weeks, recently it has taken a month….it’s a journey.
The emotion of resentment was there but it no longer controlled me. It was almost as if I could see resentment and see gratitude right in front of me and choose one or the other. Even now, when I immediately choose resentment there is a difference. The Holy Spirit reveals it for what it is, damaging sin, and calls me to repent and suggests a different view point. Resentment still presents itself, however, it’s grip is gone.
Removing the Veil of Resentment
Resentment was the veil through which I looked at life. My groom, my redeemer, Jesus removed the veil but I kept putting it back on. I remember the day clearly when God revealed to me just how much he loved me; the day I could leave the veil off forever.
My counselor advised me I needed to understand how much God delighted in me. Delight. There was that word; the opposite of resentment. She advised me to read the Song of Solomon. I remember thinking, “I don’t get this, I just can’t make the connection between this love story between a man and a woman as an allegory between me and God.”
Then God spoke to me, “listen to the words this man is speaking to his bride, words of admiration and adoration and hear how she receives his love.
You have captivated my heart, ….
you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes,….
10 How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride!…..
How much better is your love than wine,…..
With great delight I sat in his shadow,…..
4 He brought me to the banqueting house,[b]
and his banner over me was love……
5 ….. I am sick with love.
I Finally Get It! God Loves ME…I can Trust Him!
As I read a realization came to me. God knew I needed someone who delighted in me. He saw that little girl full of resentment from wounds and gave me a man who loved me deeply. The words spoken by Solomon over his bride were words my husband had spoken to me, many times. But, unlike the Shulamite bride in the Song of Solomon, I would not allow him to remove the veil and receive his love. It was the veil was comfortable, all I had known and it stayed in place.
God delighted in me and loved me so much he gave me a man who delighted in me. That night I wrote a letter to my husband, apologizing for the many times I had not received his compliments, his love, his provision, his identity. I wept in his arms over refusing to follow his dreams – that included both of us and our family.
The veil of angry and ashamed is removed and put away.
It no longer hides me from my beloved husband or my beloved savior.
Covenenant is an Exchange
Remember the elements of Covenant we exchange; identity, authority, protection, provision and possessions. Today I have 2 covenant partners, my savior – Jesus Christ and my husband – Phil Davis. I have exchanged my identity as a wounded, resentful, self-serving woman with these covenant partners and
I am learning to live as a “much loved wife” and “daughter of the King of the Universe”. It’s an imperfect, human journey of honor that goes way beyond 30 days.
To Those Who Don’t Feel Cherished
I realize this post can bring up many different emotions and responses. For some it will be, “Yes, that is me, the wounded bride hiding behind a veil of anger and shame.”
For others it will be…”God knew you needed delight and gave you a husband who delighted in you…why hasn’t He done that for ME?” This post could make you feel more angry and more ashamed and more abandoned and resentful.
Others still will say, “I got something I didn’t ask for…my husband presented a different picture of who he really is, like the picture of the two men at the computer. I’ve been robbed by his lies.” I understand. While I was hiding behind the veil and my husband delighted in me, he was not perfect either and honestly, he was as different after marriage as I was.
To all of us I say… the foundation of this post is Gratitude. Practicing Gratitude rather than resentment and anger, which lead to shame and hiding.
I encourage you to do as I have done, find someone to walk this journey with you. God does delight in you and you can live with the veil removed in freedom and joy, like the photo above.
I offer a program called “Dancing Through Life”, where we look at the “Fiery Darts” of the evil one in Ephesians 6. Darts that wound our soul, often flung by those we love the most. With the help of the Holy Spirit we remove those darts and invite the healing, cleansing blood of Jesus to cleanse, repair and heal those wounds.
You can find more information about that process here. Dancing Through Life.
About the Author: Celeste Davis, is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ with a heart to walk fully in Covenant with Him. As Founder of The Wellness Workshop, Celeste’s passion is to teach women and impact their families to “Be Nourished” as opposed to dieting or trying different life strategies. We nourish our bodies with God-Made Food, our Souls with God-Made Relationships and our Spirits with the Word of God and Prayer. More Info about Celeste.