"God can't ever just nudge you, can He? You really need to be bludgeoned over the head sometimes."
For as much as I like to think God and I have developed some pretty strong communication skills, it does seem that He needs to go to extreme measures with me when it comes to certain lessons.
In the last week, its become clear that there is one lesson I am supposed to be working on while sorting out this cancer mess.
And that would be getting my head around my relationship with anger.
* * *
A few months back, my therapist and I spent an entire session on the fact that the idea of expressing anger paralyzes me. Of all the emotions - its the one I fear the most. I grew up in a house where anger was a thing to be feared - manifesting in either drunken rage or the silent treatment. The result? A developed fear of expressing anger that rivals my fear of snakes (which - for the record - is immense).
Even despite the safe space, the role playing, the lengthy conversations, I still couldn't express anger in that little office.
I felt blocked.
* * *
"There is a big mass of anger sitting in your abdomen that needs to be released. Does that surprise you?"
It was Saturday after chemo and I was doing a distance session with my intuitive. And no, this did not, in fact, surprise me. I laughed quickly before revealing that my therapist and I had been working on my relationship with anger for months. Turns out anger existed in my world - I'd just been stuffing it down. Over, and over, and over.
* * *
Just two days later, I sat across a Skype session from my trauma coach. After she asked me to close my eyes, connect with my center, and describe what I was feeling, this happened:
"I'm not sure what I'm feeling. Its a negative emotion. But not sadness. Or fear. Or loneliness. But its negative. I'm not really sure what it is."
"Know what it looks like to me? Anger."
So we have a pattern. Anger seems to be an issue begging to be examined around here.
* * *
If I'm honest, I am angry.
I'm angry at people I expected to ride this wave with me who haven't.
I'm angry at my body for continuing to retain fluid long past my patience level.
I'm angry at my luck in developing cancer twice before forty.
I'm angry that my hair fell out.
I'm angry that we still don't have a gentler treatment for this disease that chemotherapy.
I'm angry that just when things started to get good, the rug got pulled out from under me.
I'm angry that my life looks nothing like it did just three months ago.
And, if I'm being brutally honest, I'm angry at God.
And that's where things get tricky.
* * *
"Honestly, if you told me you weren't angry with God, I'd be asking what was wrong with you."
This from one of my most faithful friends. After she said the words, I breathed a little easier. There was not fundamental flaw in my faith. This anger - its normal.
Its not really the cancer that I'm angry with God about. I'm not sure I agree with the line of thought that says God doles out both joy and suffering. While He endures it alongside us and gives us the courage to walk through the muck, I don't think God hands out painful experiences willy-nilly. So its not on Him that this disease has befallen me again.
But what about all the unanswered prayers? Why does it seem like some people find theirs answered overnight, while it seems that my consistent prayers of the last six years have somehow gotten stuck at the bottom of God's inbox? What is up with this delay? How does He decide which prayers get answered and which aren't worthy of response? Do some people's prayers just happen to align with His will so they get theirs, and the rest of us have to wait, and wait, and wait to see what is in store? And if that's the case, can't He just throw us a bone and clue us into what His plan for us might be?
Thats why I'm angry.
Because it seems I'm not the only one who has to be bludgeoned over the head when God and I are communicating.
And I'm growing weary of our disconnect.