J is a business advisor who privately struggled with unpredictable bouts of anger. Here is his testimony of recognising how his unhealed father wound still haunted his thoughts and behaviour as an adult and the healing he experienced through Jesus Christ. Praise God!
My anger was often unpredictable and irrational.
People who know me well would usually describe me as funny, laid back and easy going. While they are not wrong, I have been known throughout my life, especially to those who are close to me, to have anger issues. Sometimes the littlest things would trigger a rage that I wasn’t able to control.
On the surface, it didn’t really seem to affect my life as it wasn’t severe and it only impacted a small number of people, usually close family members. But in reality, it put a great deal of stress on those closest to me.
The bigger problem was how unaware I was of this issue.
It wasn’t until I was in a serious relationship with a lady who is now my wife that it escalated. My anger issues got so out of control that on several occasions I was physically hurting her. It was very clear that I needed to seek help.
I had known my mentor way before all this, but this was the first time I shared my struggles with her openly. After completing a detailed questionnaire and a conversation about my past, it became clear that my anger issue went way back into my early childhood.
My parents are loving parents who provided all that I needed in life. The only thing that was lacking was time spent with my dad because his job required much travelling. I actually don’t recall much of my early childhood – perhaps because I was lacking a father figure.
Though I didn’t have much intimacy with my dad growing up, he is a man with high standards.
When I was about 16, my parents decided to send me overseas for school. I recall a scene where I was in a car with my parents and some friends on the way to a school interview. My dad was trying to do some last-minute preparation and he asked me to spell a simple word in English, but I couldn’t. He immediately got really upset and yelled at me in front of my family and friends.
I felt really embarrassed and felt I wasn’t good enough for my dad. In fact, my childhood was dotted with similar situations like this one. Many were harmless on the surface, but all of them led to me constantly telling myself that I wasn’t good enough.
I didn’t realise it but I was carrying this deep rooted thought into my adult life.
This outwardly confident, funny and easy going man was in fact, deeply wounded inside. No one would be able to see that until something triggered it. All of a sudden, it became clear where my anger came from.
Whenever I am put in a situation that pushes my button to think that “I’m not good enough”, this irrational and unpredictable anger lashes out.
Through my renewal prayer session with my mentor, I was able to identify this deeply rooted wound which gave me the first glimpse into where the problem lay. Through prayer, I brought this issue to the light and handed it over to Jesus. I asked God for protection and forgiveness. I closed my eyes and “saw” Jesus just holding me and embracing me. He didn’t say anything as if He was telling me “In My eyes, you are good enough”. Instantly, tears begin streaming down my face.
I felt like I didn’t need to try harder or perform better and that I’m good enough just by being me. The interesting thing is that God’s promise has always been true, but I was so hung up on performing for my earthly father that I neglected to realise that God, through the death of His only Son, makes our broken and imperfect lives complete, should we accept His invitation to follow Him for the rest of our lives.
I knew before I could heal, I also needed to forgive my father.
Forgiving my father was probably the most important step I took. That session was only the beginning of my healing process, but it was necessary as it helped me unpack the problem and apply the right remedy.
It has been about two years since my first renewal prayer session and I have seen great progress with my anger issues. By the grace of God, He has given me access to my past so that I can face my deepest wound head on. By giving it up to God, I have been able to go through my healing without the burden of my wound.
As I experienced forgiveness, I was able to forgive. This removed the biggest block to my path to full recovery.
Satan will take every opportunity to use our past wounds to hold us back from living life the way God has designed for us. Only by bringing it into His light will healing and transformation be able to begin.
There are many other areas in my life that I need God’s presence. My prayer is that as I grow older in age, I will keep in step with the Holy Spirit as Galatians 5:22-23 so wonderfully reminds us. By doing so, I can live a life that produces the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.