Angry Conversations with God
By Jennifer E. Jones
About one chapter into reading Angry Conversations with God, I emailed the woman who sent it to me and wrote, “This is like The Shack for the rest of us.” While the latter’s main character wrestles with his daughter’s murder, Angry Conversations’ author Susan Isaacs deals with self-proclaimed “middle-class, White girl problems,” such as her up-and-down acting career and lackluster love life. She takes the Lord to task over His seeming neglect, and the result is her own hilariously honest spiritual memoir.
Rarely do you come across an author so willing to raise her hand in a figurative room full of Christians and say, “I’m unhappy here,” but Isaacs is just that woman. Without an ounce of fear, she puts her personal journey of faith on display pitfalls, missteps and all. After reading this book, you’ll feel like Isaacs is a personal friend, or better yet, that the two of you are one in the same.
Isaacs begins the book by wondering aloud if God is good or even cares after a year of calamities that culminates in seeing her ex-boyfriend and his new love kissing in a park. Slapped in the face by her circumstances, this disgruntled Bride of Christ drags God to a couple’s therapist, and the three of them (occasionally four when Jesus joins in) sort out their issues.
As a writer, Isaacs sits down at the table with you and talks with candor about her deepest emotions. She fully embraces her convictions, even when they conflict with each other, and begs the question that some Christians dare to ask when faced with hard times: “God, why are You doing this to me?”
Angry Conversations with God is also a view into the life of a working actor and screenwriter. As a reader, you get to see Isaacs bounce between New York City and Los Angeles while looking for any work she can get her hands on. She makes it into the Groundlings, the prestigious L.A. comedy school. She performs with a comedy sketch group alongside Arrested Development’s Tony Hale, and among the bit parts that she lands, she is casted in a memorable episode of Seinfeld in the ‘90s.
While she chronicles her highs, she is equally as candid about her lows. She goes into detail about how she unwittingly became an alcoholic. She slips in how she suffered from an eating disorder. She even takes you through her father issues. And all the while, she’s able to make you laugh, often at her own expense, as she battles her demons the best way she knows how: humor.
I recommend this book with only one reservation. Her occasional use of profanity might warrant me giving the book a PG rating. While I found most of the references relevant and tolerable, there were a few that I felt were unnecessary. That aside, Isaacs gives a real-life perspective that helps deal with life's disappointments and tragedies. As she confronts her selfishness and doubt, you will find yourself seeing your true motives and relishing how God's love blankets them all.
Angry Conversations with God is an entertaining memoir that's meant to inspire, sometimes commiserate, but always give permission for Christians to come boldly to the throne of God and lay out our praises and problems. As Isaacs discovered, He proves to be able to handle them both.
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