An angry heart revealed and healed; how to recognize the brokenness triggering your control-driven rage and accept forgiveness and healing from God.

An angry heart revealed and healed

Ruthie Rearing 2 Comments

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Once per week during March and April, Rear Release Regroup and MTO (Mom Time Out) featured a special guest focusing on “mom anger” – how to cope with those “blow it” moments!

These dear moms have offered words of encouragement, support, and wise tips for when that old temper flares!  This is a valuable, practical resource – and if you’re visiting for the first time today, you may want to check out these other amazing posts from the Mad Mom Makeover team!


Join us for the Mad Mom Makeover! For moms who need encouragement to control frustration from moms who've been there!


This is the last installment of the Mad Mom Makeover Series.  My guest is Wendy Munsell and she has quite a life story.  God has healed Wendy of some very life-scarring incidents from her growing up years, and she has much to offer regarding Christ’s healing power.  She is a wife, mom, grandma (of 17 – WOWZA), and such a sweetheart, I know you’re going to love her message to us on how to recognize where anger is coming from and what to do in order to begin the healing process.


An Angry Heart Revealed and Healed


It took an unbelievable amount of Godly conviction for me to finally give voice to my prayer request. With voice shaking, I confessed to the room full of women, most of them young mothers like myself, “I’m having a problem with getting really angry with my toddler. Sometimes I feel so furious when she won’t obey me or she throws a tantrum.”


Sometimes I feel furious when my toddler won't obey me! #MadMomMakeover Click To Tweet


At that point I felt a combination of relief at having finally gotten my secret out in the open and shame that my friends now knew the worst about me. The leader of the group, my pastor’s wife, looked at me and gently protested, “Oh, no, Wendy. I’m sure you’re not an angry mother. You just need some tips to help you with your parenting skills.”


For a moment, confusion flooded through me as the full significance of what she had said sunk in. My jumbled thoughts bounced back and forth between, “Oh, good, I’m not really an angry mom,” and, “But, wait a minute, then why do I feel so much rage sometimes?” to, “Oh, no, I said too much!”


An angry heart revealed and healed; how to recognize the brokenness triggering your control-driven rage and accept forgiveness and healing from God.


My favorite defense mechanism of hiding came to the rescue in full force. I smilingly agreed with my sweet friend, said something about appreciating any advice they could give me, and silently resolved to never, ever open up about my “anger problem” again. And I didn’t for a very long time.


My friend was right for the most part. Up until that point in my life, struggling with anger had never been much of a problem. I was an easy-going, compliant child who had transitioned smoothly through the teenage years, and, until becoming a mother, thought of myself as pretty even-tempered.


The situation I now found myself in on a daily basis was surprising and frightening. There was no explainable reason for the intensity of my emotions. Sure, the constant battles between my strong-willed daughter and myself were unpleasant and exhausting but, even so, my over-the-top reactions didn’t make any sense to me.


Unfortunately, I did the only thing I knew to do… I tried harder. I read books, listened to radio programs, and combed through magazine articles looking for ways to effectively change my daughter’s behavior. I reasoned that if I could only get my out-of-control two-year-old to behave then I wouldn’t get so upset anymore.


As might be expected, it didn’t work. Oh, there was improvement in that my daughter’s behavior changed. She stopped throwing hour-long kicking and biting temper tantrums and began obeying more often than she had when she was younger.


But she seemed wired to know exactly when and how to push my buttons, and when I would least expect it, her little scowling face and emphatic, “No, I won’t!” and “You can’t make me!” had the power to make me tremble with rage. We were locked in a battle for control; I was determined to make her obey and she was equally determined that she would not.


The pattern seemed set in stone; it was a three-step dance that we repeated daily:


  • Defiance (Daughter)
  • Discipline (Me – usually in anger)
  • Apologize (Both of us.)


Eventually God got through to me that maybe I was going about this all wrong. I began to realize that I was responding more to the underlying fact that she dared to challenge me than to her specific behaviors. Something broken and vulnerable in me was being triggered by my daughter’s repeated challenges.


The Bible says:


“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3 ESV)


Perhaps even the hidden wounds of an angry mom?


When I began to see that the conflict between my daughter and I was not just about

1) getting an unruly child to obey and

2) me learning to control my temper, the whole scenario changed.


God showed me that I was vulnerable to having my authority challenged. I operated from a place of insecurity and I relied on anger to empower me. In some ways I equated being angry with being strong.


Most disturbingly, I discovered that I was using anger in an attempt to scare my daughter into obeying me. The unfortunate result was that I ended up resorting to getting mad more often. Also increasing was the level of anger itself; it scared and grieved me.


How God reveals our anger motives #MadMomMakeover Click To Tweet


But it wasn’t until I took my sin to the cross of Christ that I began to see change. Confessing my anger to Jesus was the first step in a long process that has required me to humble myself over and over. Repentance, which is turning away from sin, in this instance my anger, has meant that I turn from blaming the one who has caused me to become angry and instead ask Jesus to show me the wounded place in my heart that is being triggered.


Each time the Holy Spirit shows me my brokenness I have a choice… to yield it to Him or not. This has required going places emotionally and mentally that, frankly, I sometimes would prefer not to go. But each time I come to Him like the song says, “just as I am,” Jesus meets me in the midst of the pain and the mess.


“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (John 1:9 ESV)


Jesus forgives, heals, and transforms; nothing, not even the anger I once thought too horrible to confess, is too hard or too ugly to bring to Him.



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Wendy Munsell is a homeschooling mother of seven and grandmother of 17… almost 18! She and her husband of 38 years moved to Fort Worth, TX from their home in Maine with their youngest child a little over two years ago. In addition to helping her husband lead a weekly small group in their church, Wendy volunteers as an advocate for a ministry that helps women exploited by sex trafficking.

Wendy writes at her blog, Blessed Unravelling, to encourage others in their walk with Jesus Christ. It is her desire to share the news of God’s love with those who suffer from spiritual and emotional wounds. She has firsthand knowledge of the the joy that comes when we allow Jesus to “unravel” us.




Twitter username: @MunsellWendy




Come join us at MTO!

Click on the link to join MTO (Mom Time Out), a closed facebook group for when you blow it!

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MTO is a closed Facebook group for moms in the trenches, tired of reacting to daily conflicts or annoyances with anger or frustration.

At MTO you will find:

-A place to share your story and interact with others who have been there too.

-Support, encouragement, Scripture Pillars, Goals, and a plan of action for attacking those feelings of overwhelm and frustration.

-Daily pick-me-ups {Scripture, inspiration, or a devotional}

-Community – moms coming alongside and lifting up one another

Click on the picture or any of the orange links to>>> join MTO today!

Come on, mom – we’re waiting for you!


Capturing joy in the transitions of parenting; RearReleaseRegroup


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Comments 2

  1. Wendy,
    Such a truth-filled post. When challenged, it is our weaknesses that rear their ugly heads. The wounds we thought were part of the past come rushing to the forefront of our emotions and the anger builds. This post is so needed. I pray it gets in the hands of many young Mamas!! I’m scheduling this to share everywhere!
    Blessings and smiles,

  2. Lori, this older Mama still needs to keep remembering the lesson of not lashing out in anger when wounds are triggered too! Although I’m a long way from where I once was there is still a long way to go… sigh. I’m so grateful that Jesus loves us enough to look past our actions and into our hearts. Thank-you for your encouraging comment and the shares… hugs!

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