When you're a Jesus freak - life is pretty much constant wrestling.
i love that story in the bible in Genesis 32 where Jacob literally wrestles with God. When Cai chose the name "Israel" (meaning he who struggles with God) for Mollen's middle name, i loved the idea of her being a child who would wrestle with a Holy Father in ways that would bring her deeper in Truth. (There were other bits and pieces that went into picking that name, but that meaning was a wiggling piece on my conscience that filled me with a deep satisfaction).
And then there's that verse in Philippians that says, "Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out (or wrestle out) your salvation with fear and trembling," (and then because i can't quite stop there, verse 13 says, "for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.")
There's also the verses in Ephesians that talk about wrestling not against flesh and blood, "but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
It has always seemed pretty clear to me that in seeing and accepting my Father's utter love for me - and responding to it with even just my tiniest bit of faith - i was inviting a lifetime of wrestling; waging war against darkness - and also wrestling in my own heart. Sometimes that's how i find the Truth He reveals as i refuse to turn away from the questions that seem hard, and i struggle to resist complacency and bitter resentment.
And so i feel like we walk along - (i'm not one of those super confident Christians who can say with certainty how my Wild Father will act; he has never seemed tame to me) - and i never know when, exactly, there's gonna be a tussle.
But i guess i've learned that there is this sameness between the One who seems to crush me on occasion - and the One who beckons softly like a mama.
And so it seems natural that even while i'm gasping for breath, brushing the grass off my pants, heart pounding in a furious 'fight or flight' rhythm - i hear Him whisper gently, "You're mine. This here? This uncertainty and this vulnerability? This never ending feeling of complete inability and failure... That's got an end. i've got something for you... just watch."
And so timidly - i take some steps forward - waiting for Him to spring out of the bushes (which He might do too... you never know...)
i see a movement up ahead and i cock my head, "Is this it? Is this what we're waiting for?" i ask - full of hopeful trust.
"No. It's not... keep going..."
And so i do. Carefully. Intentionally... never sure where we're headed - but unwaveringly sure of the final outcome.
So i woke up this morning, quite honestly, a little undone. i missed a little sleep, i miss my husband who has been gone for two weeks, and i was feeling unable.
i got dressed in something presentable and choked down a piece of toast with my coffee, all the while allowing my mind to wander and be entertained by my tiny 2 year old buffoon.
Finally - i brushed the crumbs off my dress and pulled out the notes that i had written for my meeting with a pastor at one of those huge city churches - carefully scribing the details i didn't want to forget and printing off a few resources i knew i'd want at my finger tips. Then i crept upstairs and woke my teen and told her she was in charge and i climbed into my car.
i could feel a vaporizing inadequacy seeping from my pores and so i put on some of my favourite music - that soaks me in scripture and truth. Almost immediately i felt Him grab me from behind, and i spoke out loud all the vulnerability that almost incapacitates me in moments like this... We wrestled.
Finally my voice broke, and the sound came out in a cry, "Why do You even want me anyway?"
i let those words stand - as the music swept around me and my little car barrelled down the highway and i worshipped the God who wanted me - even though i couldn't fathom any good reason why.
At reception, i waited. i crossed and uncrossed my legs, pulling my dress down around my knees.Finally, warmly, the pastor invited me into a room so we could talk. i pulled out everything i had so carefully prepared - and she listened thoughtfully as i expressed to her how prayer had been transforming me. i told her how when we stand and vigil at that abortion clinic - our mission is twofold; first to be a sign of hope for the little ones who have been sentenced to death. Our presence speaks the truth that their little lives have intrinsic value. Secondly, our presence is a sign of mercy to the mothers who are exiting that clinic having followed through with the appointment that brought death. We want to stand there and be the last ones they see before they enter the clinic - and we'll pray earnestly and fervently while they're inside - and then be the first ones they see when they come out out of the clinic too. Hope. Mercy. Book ends that will bring healing to a broken land.
"And what does your sign say?" she asked me.
"My sign? Well... i usually carry one that i made. It says, 'you are loved'. When people ask me why i chose that message, i tell them that i truly believe that if mothers and fathers could really understand their own value as a human person - that they are loved by their creator - then they would be unable to take the life of the little one they carry. Then they'd understand that it's nothing they *do* that makes them valuable... It's what they *are* that has set them apart."
Hey Daughter... i hear His voice... That's why I want you. It's not what you do that has made you valuable to me - it's what you are. You're mine, and I like you.
And i'm undone.
i feel a connection with the little ones i pray for. The words i speak on their behalf - are words of truth that cover me too.
So i'll keep taking steps in this wild adventure - i'll struggle and wrestle... i'll experience joy and sorrow... i'll not conform to the pattern of this world, but i'll be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Then i will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will. (romans 12:2)
And then by His grace, i'll follow through and do it.
For more information on 40 Days for Life and to see if there is a campaign near you, click HERE.
To follow along on Calgary's vigil starting on September 26th, find, "like" and share our facebook page HERE. Check out our blog HERE.