Because I want to be intentional about expressing my gratitude even when I don’t feel like it…
Day 25: When I read the story of Jacob the Shyster as he wrestled with the man in the night, I wonder exactly what he was wrestling. I know, I know! The story goes that He wrestled with an angel or some type/shadow of Christ Himself; but when I look at his story from the lens of my personal life, I do believe that he was wrestling with himself: against his past, his cheater practices, the relationships he had burned up along the way, the anger at being tricked by his uncle, the self righteous victories of tricking everybody else, the fear of retribution from those he had hurt, the complicated relationships he had created by marrying the wives he had, the uncertainty of his brother’s response… all of these things came to a head, chased him down like a dog in the night and grabbed him at his weakest moment.
I do believe that he wrestled his own clarity.
Only we ourselves can know the fights we have inside ourselves as we take in our failures and fears all at once. More than any other battle we might face, grappling with ourselves places us in that same situation as Jacob-turned-Israel. All night long, we find ourselves locked in a fight to the death–not necessarily our mortality, but the inward pieces that we must conquer in order to move forward. Will the fear win, or the faith? The endurance or the desire to quit? The purpose or the pain? The guilt or the forgiveness? The love or the bitterness? The confidence in our righteousness or the shame?
As I hit the glorious age of 37, I know what it is to be locked in that epic battle. I have stood in the throws of agony as my baser self (knowing that it could not defeat me) left me with a touch of who I used to be. I carry the scar of transition into wholeness, into the shedding of a thousand skins–of lying, cheating, worthlessness, despair. As the sun rises on who I was purposed by God to be, I drag my weary body into the sunlight, my soul limping on towards my salvation.
In case I have not made it too plain, I am grateful for being a new creation. I am thankful for fighting myself and winning. More than just another birthday, this January day is a testament to the power of God to transform while leaving a little bit of reminder of where I have come from on my way to where I am going. My name has been changed.
I have wrestled with my own clarity and won.