No Longer an Angry Mom

I used to struggle a lot with my temper. In the run-up to my son’s exams, daily blow-ups were a fixture in our household. After every incident, I would pray and ask God to change me. At that time, we were still relatively new to New Creation Church so I would deal with sin the same way I was taught in the past. I would confess my sin, ask for God’s forgiveness and vow not to do it again.

I also employed all kinds of strategies to try and stop losing my temper—by counting to 10, taking deep breaths, leaving the room, screaming into the pillow. I even made a poster for my children to wave in my face. It read, “Mummy, you are raising your voice! Please leave the room NOW to cool down!” Needless to say, none of them worked for long.

I spent a lot of time wondering why God was not answering my prayers and changing me. This sense of failure added to the guilt and worries I had over the impact of my actions on my son’s studies, leading to even more angry outbursts. I dreaded the year my son had to take his Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE). I couldn’t bear to think how I would turn out when I was already so out of control in a normal school year.

However, when we were 7 months into the PSLE year, it suddenly occurred to me that our days had been incredibly peaceful! Even my children and husband all agreed that my temper had improved a lot.

The truth is, in the middle of the year before, my family faced new challenges that caused me to desperately seek Jesus. I began to play Pastor Prince’s sermons in the car, read grace-based devotionals and the Psalms, and declare out loud that I am the righteousness of God in Christ whenever I was fearful.

These constant reminders of Christ’s finished work, His love and my unassailable position in Him, gave me such peace, security and joy to face all the challenges. It even extended to the area of my son’s studies and I have not had to use any of the past strategies to control my temper.

When I returned to work and had less time to guide my boy in his studies, to manage my anxiety, we took to praying together every morning as I sent my children to school. We would start by reminding ourselves of what Jesus has done, our right standing in Him and how the blessings He deserves are now ours to receive through His finished work. Then, we would pray for God to give my son the desire to study and empower him to act out this desire. We asked for direction on what to study, how much to study and how to study. Praying over this every day has really contributed to the peace I had over the coming exams.

Praise be to God, my son did well for PSLE! We were amazed when he got an “A” for his Chinese as he had been getting only 50 to 60 marks since Primary 5. His aggregate score was also sufficient for him to get into the school he wanted and the Lord has been showering him with favor in his new school since then.

We are really humbled and overwhelmed by His goodness. My temper has become much better. There has been no more daily flare-ups and I can count with one hand the number of times I might have gotten irritated since that year. Thankfully, these things have never escalated to the same intensity like before.

It is very clear to me now that when I was preoccupied with my temper problem and trying by my efforts to overcome it, I was bound to fail. Victory only came when I was no longer focused on the problem, not even on trying to solve it, but focused instead on Jesus and His finished work. All glory be to God!