I was on Twitter a few days ago, and there was this pastor who had a good amount of followers. He tweeted “It is never right to get angry at God. Ever.”
Now, I understand that each person is allowed to have their own opinion on who God is, but how does that create a relationship? Personally, I get angry with my friends, I get angry with my parents, my siblings, my grandparents. That’s a natural part of a relationship. But, you talk it out, right? To share that you should withhold a natural emotion from someone that you’re supposed to be in close relationship with to thousands of people, portrays such an unauthentic way of communication.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I’ve been trying to be more vulnerable about where I’m at in hopes that it would help others remember that they’re not alone. Ever since I was little, I’ve been an extremely anxious person. Throughout the years, it became more prominent in my life and progressed into depression as well, and it became easier to isolate myself. I felt like too much. I felt like not enough. I was so confused as to why this was happening to me. I felt alone, scared, and stuck. I seemed to have a more difficult time doing simple things than all of my friends. I grew more uncomfortable with leaving my house in fear of having a panic attack. I felt trapped in my own body.
The reason these two things interconnect is because if you’re struggling with mental illness, or heck, even if you’re not, you may be angry, scared, exhausted, frustrated. You may be questioning God as to why it’s you and why you have to go through the things you are going through. I don’t have ultimate authority, but I want you to know that it’s ok. Your feelings are valid and important, and the God that created the universe can handle your questions and concerns. Think about David’s writings in Psalms. They are a cry for help and a processing of feelings, and we are allowed to do the same. We are allowed to wrestle with our beliefs, our thoughts, our emotions.
Stigma and the facade of perfection is real and can be especially strong among followers of Jesus. If I could leave you with a few things, I would say: You are allowed to cry and scream and punch pillows. You do not have to pretend everything is perfect all of the time. You are allowed to be on medication. It does not mean you don’t have faith in God’s ability to help you. You are allowed to be angry and scared and frustrated. It does not make you a bad person. The idea that you are not allowed to take certain emotions to Him is not from God. Your feelings are real and important and “[He] knows everything [you’re] going to say before [you] start the first sentence” (Psalm 139:4 MSG). He gets it. He understands the why. He knows you. He can handle it.
words by Ashley Jesus and photo by Arianna Taralson