Friday Reviews: Angry Conversations

Have you ever felt like you and God needed couples counseling? I know there have been times in my faith journey when it would have been helpful. I know that even more after reading an amazing book by Susan Isaacs titled Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky But Authentic Spiritual Memoir. Isaacs shares her personal journey with God with wit, honesty, and a refreshing realness that shares her struggles with God – struggles to which most of us can relate. Work. Purpose. Relationships. Feeling abandoned by God, and hearing a friend describe faith as a love story, Isaacs decides to take God to couples counseling, “because we’re not getting along.” This book resonated with me so strongly that I couldn’t put it down – even when I had to get up early for a trip to St. Louis. Isaacs creates such a brilliant and hilarious picture of the beauty and delight of a living relationship with God. Even in the fighting, the frustrations, and the silence she makes you long for God. I’d rather be fighting and frustrated with a living God who passionately loves me than be obedient to an impersonal god. And this coming from someone who craves peace in life.

Here’s a great quote from the book:

I thought I was over him! So why did my heart still rip? Why did I still feel this sorrow? I got this strange sensation that God was with me. And he was angry. He was very angry–not at me and not at Jack. God was angry at the pain I was going through. I wondered if that was why God hated sin, because of the destruction it caused. For a moment I felt awe for a God who loved me enough to hate the things that hurt me without hating me for causing them.” ― Susan E. Isaacs

I walked away from the book with two significant feelings and challenges. First of all, it truly created in me a desire for more intimate conversations and moments with God. I just wanted to be still. No agendas. No requests. I wanted to chill with God – in a hammock, with a great breeze, no conversation. Okay, maybe an occasional one-liner from God about Pat Robertson or cheesy Christian merchandise. But really, I crave to delight more in the Lord and talk way less about my desires. Plus, I laughed. A lot. Isaacs is hilarious and very real with a dash of irreverence. (That’s code for “she sometimes uses words my mama told me not to say.”)

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Angry Conversations

Have you ever felt like you and God needed couples counseling? I know there have been times in my faith journey when it probably would have been helpful.  I know that even more now that I’ve read an amazing book by angry-conversationsSusan Isaacs titled Angry Conversations with God: A Snarky But Authentic Spiritual Memoir.  Isaacs shares her personal journey with God with wit, raw honesty, and a vulnerability that fleshes out struggles with God  – struggles of which most of us can relate.   This book  resonated with me so strongly that I couldn’t put it down – even when I had to get up early for a trip to St. Louis.    I read the last half of the book last night in bed and throughout it I had an incredible sense of God’s presence with me.  Isaacs creates such brilliant picture  of  the beauty and delight of a living relationship with God.  Even in the fighting, the frustrations, and the silence she makes you long for God.  I’d rather be fighting and frustrated with the living God than be obedient to an impersonal god. And this coming from someone who craves peace in life.

I walked away from the book with two significant feelings and challenges.  First of all, it truly created in me a desire for more intimate conversations and moments with God.  I just wanted to be still.  No agendas.  no requests. I just wanted to chill with God – in a hammock, with a great breeze, no conversation.  Okay, maybe an occasional one-liner from God about Rush Limbaugh or cheesy Christian merchandise.  But really, I crave to delight more in the Lord; way less talk about desires.

The challenge I walked away with was wondering how I’ve created God in my image.  A key part of Isaacs’s journey is understanding the voice that she has forced upon God  based on her experiences, her own voice, and the people that have come and gone in her life.  It is difficult to assess that on your own because you are so enmeshed in it.  But reading this book and seeing Isaac identify the voice that is her voice and not God’s voice, I wondered what of me is in my view of God.  That isn’t an overnight discovery.  

Angry Conversations is a treasure in an age of rampid prosperity gospel messages from the church and Christian leaders.  We think we are owed so much by God and get royally pissed when God seems to not hold up his end of the bargain.  There is no bargain.  We aren’t owed anything.  What we are gifted with is a God who will be our God.  Desiring anything more is pure greed and abuse of our relationship; not to mention evidence of our inability to understand what we truly need and how God truly loves. No one wants to be used – God included.  I’m deeply grateful for that reminder by Susan Isaacs.