Loving a God You’re Angry With

I was in adoration for the first time in weeks. I sat in the very back of the chapel and looked at Him with resentment. I had no words for Him out of pure stubbornness and my guarded defenses. I stayed in the chapel for all of ten minutes before I told Him in prayer I was done. Looking back, I now know that I was definitely being melodramatic towards God. But come as you are, right?

I was harboring anger towards God for months but it came to the point I didn’t want to have anything to do with Him. Upon moving to my new college alongside my brother, everything I was looking forward to didn’t meet my expectations. My relationship with my brother was becoming strained, I was unhappy at my college, and overall, felt a deep lack of companionship. I had place my trust in the Lord and it did not reap the positive outcome I thought it would. I felt hurt and betrayed by the Lord when I knew that He never relented, which left me even more confused and withdrawn. If He was perfect love, why was I angry with Him?

When you are in a personal and intimate relationship with anyone, it is guaranteed that there will be seasons of anger and resentment that slowly push it’s way out from within. Sometimes there is a notion that there is no hurt or pain within the personal relationship with Christ, but in our humanity, we easily find ourselves hurt from our own mistrust in the Lord. When we start to mistrust His plan, we start to question His authority, causing us to back away from what is true. It is a (often unintentional) self-inflicted pain we feel, as we detach ourselves from what we know is supposed to bring us comfort, peace, guidance, and grace. Yet, we still find ourselves angry with God, like it is His fault.

Be Open and Honest in Prayer

I know for a fact that my season of anger could have been so much easier if I was practicing authenticity in prayer. I wasn’t being direct with God about my emotions, as I felt like it was wrong for me to feel anger towards Him, so I didn’t let myself. I convinced myself that this was something I had to fix before I brought it to God. However, when God says He wants ALL of us, he really does want it ALL. He wants us to come to Him with our desires, emotions, thoughts, feelings, dreams, etc. By hiding our emotions out of shame or a desire for control, we become passive aggressive children of the Father. This is exactly what the devil desires of us: to push farther away from the Lord out of our own fear, shame, and lack of faith in God’s ability to intervene in every situation.

Be real. Go to adoration and tell Him how you feel. Don’t hold anything back and lay it all on Him, as He did for us on the Cross. Our God is a God of love and forgiveness, slow to anger and rich in kindness. By opening up to the Father, He yearns to pursue us even harder, outpouring His love in every which way. He will not reject you because of your anger towards Him, but rather, prove His love to you over and over again. In fact, you can find this honest and authentic form of prayer in the Psalms. In many of the passages, you see people of faith crying out to God in times of desolation. Praying with the Psalms may help verbalize the emotions that may be hard to communicate to God. You can find some great passages at the bottom of the page!

Get Spiritual Direction

I promise you that half of this entire blog are things that I learned in spiritual direction, so shout out to Sister Mary Catherine for the wisdom. Moving on. While going through a season of anger, it is so crucial to have someone to talk to; especially if you find it difficult to be completely open with the Lord. A spiritual director can be anyone from a priest, religious brother/sister, or adult that you can look up to regarding their own faith and relationship with Christ. Spiritual direction gives you the opportunity to process your own walk in faith while receiving guidance to move forward in your relationship with Christ. If you find yourself a little lost or weary in receiving spiritual direction, an open conversation with your Youth Minister is always a great place to start.

Don’t. Give. Up.

It’s so easy to back away out of anger. It’s so easy to say that this is not worth fighting for when you feel hurt and betrayed. However, the Lord does not sway away from us just as easily as we do to Him. He keeps fighting, keeps pushing, and keeps pursuing. However, He will not force Himself in to heal us without our consent. We too, must keep working towards opening up, growing in trust towards who He is, and praising the Father amidst the storm. Before Peter denied Jesus, He said to Peter, “Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22: 31-32) The devil works slow and steady in our detachment from the Lord, like slowly breaking us down: or sifting. However, the small and humanly effort we put into the Lord, even the size of a mustard seed, He multiplies. So fight the good fight. It’s worth it.

With the help of my spiritual director, authenticity within prayer, and the drive to keep going, I found myself finally open and at peace in my relationship to the Lord. It took hard work and sacrifice, but it was like finally being reunited with a best friend. I pray that this season of anger strengthens your relationship with our God and brings you closer to His heart. Let Him love on you, even if you may not want it. Do not let your anger reap and turn to bad fruit, but sow it into the driven pursuit of truth.

St. Peter the Apostle, pray for us!

Scripture and resources:
Psalm 10, 13, 143 – Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies
Psalm 22 – Plea for Deliverance from Suffering and Hostility
Psalm 25 – Prayer for Guidance and for Deliverance
Psalm 26 – Plea for Justice and Declaration of Righteousness
Psalm 37 – Exhortation to Patience and Trust
Psalm 38 – A Penitent Sufferer’s Plea for Healing
Psalm 42 – Longing for God and His Help in Distress
Psalm 43 – Prayer to God in Time of Trouble
Psalm 61 – Assurance of God’s Protection
Psalm 62 – Song of Trust in God Alone
Psalm 69 – Prayer for Deliverance from Persecution
Psalm 77 – God’s Mighty Deeds Recalled
Psalm 88 – Prayer for Help in Despondency
Psalm 102 – Prayer to the Eternal King for Help

Litany of Trust