Susan Isaacs File:
Reviewed by Dale Lewis
Angry Conversations with God
by Susan E. Isaacs
"Blending an imaginary couples counseling session “because God and Susan were not getting along” with her refreshingly raw, highly volatile autobiography, Angry Conversations with God is a must read!"
The old school line of thinking would state that Angry
Conversations with God by Susan Issacs borders on blasphemy or being sacrilegious. They
might even put it on the banned book list. Although raised in that old
school mindset, I found Angry Conversations with God transparently honest,
painfully truthful and overflowing with redemptive value. Although not
her intention, Susan Issacs is not afraid of offending fellow believers
knee deep in the comfortable and safe.
Blending an imaginary couples counseling session “because God and Susan were not getting along” with her refreshingly raw, highly volatile autobiography, Angry Conversations with God is a must read! In this deeply personal retelling of her therapeutic journey, Isaacs is transformed when the easily created “God” in her mind is slowly replaced by the real God of unconditional love as she rediscovers mercy so amazing in Jesus.
Issacs is definitely crotchety and sarcastic in her approach to remembering her past . . . thus the “snarky but authentic spiritual memoir.” This girl can write . . . and has done so in a variety of diverse media. The dialogue between Isaacs, God, Jesus (with Rudy, a counselor as moderator) is candid, touching and downright hilarious. At times, I would have enjoyed reading more of the counseling session dialogue instead of going back to her life’s story although her approach was well-balanced. Here’s a snippet of one of the more tender sessions:
Susan: “But is it God who’s showing up? Or is this all just my imagination?
Rudy: “You said it yourself: even your skewed ideas have truth in them. I wonder if there’s someone responsible for the shift in your image of God.”
Susan: “The Holy Spirit. Maybe he’s here too. Maybe there’s some comfort in that.”
Susan’s story is vaguely familiar with Matthew Paul Turner’s recollection of his childhood in Churched in that the church reeked its havoc on her while growing up. Her humor disarms tough topics like darkness, church life and alcohol, eating disorders and sex which all conflicted with her faith, family and career choice. As the reader, you can’t help but be pulled deeper into her story.
There are too many
of her insights that could be quoted in this review so I’ll just
share a few revealing chapter titles: “The Nice
Jesus on Every Wall,” “Breaking Up over Dentistry,” “Cheating
on Jesus,” and “New Lease, New Life, New York.” Isaacs's
two chapters “My Own Private September 11” and “God’s
Scorched-Earth Policy” were her most poignant thoughts and stirred
within me an empathy for her as well as a reflection of me and others in
Don’t hesitate to pick up a copy of Angry Conversations with God immediately if not sooner. You will not be disappointed!