Anger. It’s my default emotion. Whenever something is too hard or too threatening or hurts too much, I get angry. Probably one of the reasons is that I spent a lot of growing up being angry to avoid being sad and it kind of stuck. Is it the curse of red hair? Just kidding it’s probably not that.
I’ve had several conversations lately about prayer. I’m not sure why. It’s just come up a lot. Someone said to me, “I need to talk to God more.” I said, I just need to talk to God nicer. They kind of looked at me funny. They said they never thought to tell God they were angry or disappointed.
I talk to God a lot, but it’s usually when I’m frustrated or angry, when I don’t understand what He’s doing. Let’s face it; we’ve talked a lot lately about that. Sometimes I really let Him have it. But why wouldn’t I? He knows my heart. He already knows I’m angry. He also knows how He created me to be and knows everything about me. He’s not surprised when I tell Him I think what’s happening is unkind or unfair.
Maybe that’s not the way you want to approach things, and that’s fine. Here’s the thing about me. When I really think about it, the fact that I tell Him is actually a good sign.
I have various levels of anger, frustration or overwhelmed-ness (for me they kind of go together). When the train starts to wobble, when it just starts to leave the track, when I’m beginning to be overwhelmed but I’m still ok, I get louder. I talk about it. I express my frustration, usually loudly. I verbalize my disappointment. Is that always good? No. Sometimes it gets me in trouble. But for people that know me well, they know it means I’m still okay, generally speaking. All these words and emotions and all the things means I’m still trying to get myself out of the thing. I’m still fighting.
When the words stop, when it gets quiet, people start to get worried. One of my good friends pointed this out to me one time and I’ve noticed it ever since. She said, you might be drowning but as long as you’re mad about it or you’re talking/complaining about it, I know you’re ok. I know you’re still swimming. Once the words stop and you start looking frantic but not saying anything, that’s when we have to come after you because that’s when you need help and that’s when you stop asking for it.
When I think about the last few weeks, I know that’s true in life too. God and I had many conversations about all the things and I told Him I didn’t understand why He was allowing these things to happen and that I didn’t know if He was even good anymore. But then one day I stopped telling Him that, or anything, and just succumbed to the fact that I was tired of fighting it. When my people started talking to God for me I was overwhelmed because I knew I wasn’t talking to Him at all. I was going under fast; drowning was imminent. But He sent out a rescue party.
So I think for me, I have to keep talking it out with Him, telling Him how I feel, processing with words as I always do. I’m okay as long as I’m talking. And He knows my heart, so He’s not surprised.
But I am trying to intentionally talk to Him in the good times too. I need to talk to Him when I’m not angry. I’m making an effort to pray more so that every word from me won’t be either anger or a request. I want to intercede for my people, for myself, in the good and the bad.
I am battle weary, but I’m not ready to give up the fight. Life will get easier, I hope, but even if it doesn’t…even if we end up in the deep end yet again…I know He can keep me from going under.