I was at the end of my rope. My anger toward my 2-year-old daughter, Darcy, was getting worse. "Oh, God," I prayed again and again, "deliver me from this anger right now! I'm afraid I'm going to kill Darcy in one of my rages." But each prayer seemed like it bounced off the ceiling because nothing ever changed.
Whenever I tried to figure out what caused my anger, I concluded, "It's Larry's fault!" My husband, Larry, worked as a policeman and real estate agent, had a flying hobby, and he was never home. I hated him. "If he would just stay home and help me, I wouldn't be acting like this." It was easy to blame him.
During one particularly angry day when I'd hurt Darcy again by kicking her, I remembered Larry had left his off-duty service revolver in the top dresser drawer. It seemed to call to me and I thought, "I must take my life, otherwise I'm going to kill Darcy." But then the Spirit whispered, "But what will people think of Jesus if they hear that Kathy Miller has taken her life?" Only the thought of smudging Jesus' reputation made me not use that gun that day, even though I had no hope of deliverance.
But God was faithful. A few months later, God began the healing and deliverance process. God didn't answer my prayer for an instantaneous deliverance, but little by little over the following year, He revealed to me in many different ways the reasons for my out-of-control anger and how to lay hold of His help.
One major step was the morning I confessed my sinful struggle to the women in the neighborhood Bible study I led. They held me accountable and prayed for me. I saw the truth of James 5:16 in action: "Confess your faults to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much."
At God's prompting, I also made a choice to love Larry even though I didn't feel any love at all for him. Love is a choice for another person's highest good. With that truth came the knowledge Larry wasn't responsible for my happiness. Even if he never changed, I could receive God's help to be the contented woman He wanted me to be.
I also learned disciplinary techniques. Instead of trying to motivate obedience with an angry voice, I consistently gave my daughter meaningful consequences. It became evident anger is not an effective disciplinary tool. My patience increased.
Not only did I become a patient mom, God also healed our marriage. Today, Darcy is a 43-year-old wonderful wife and mother of two. She calls me her best friend. Larry and I will soon reach our 50th wedding anniversary. We love being with each other and ministering to others side by side.
There is always hope with our great God, even for child abusers.
Kathy Collard Miller is a wife of one (for almost 50 years), mom of two, grandmother of two, speaker, author and lay counselor. She and Larry live in Southern California. Her newest book is her story of God's deliverance over being an abusive mom and about God's healing of their marriage: No More Anger: Hope for an Out-of-Control Mom. Kathy has shared her story world-wide and on The 700 Club. KathyCollardMiller.com
This article originally appeared at just18summers.com.
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