Struggles that Change You

Some days you just can’t find the energy. Some days it’s difficult to find grace…for yourself or anyone else. Some days the “peace that passes understanding” just seems all dried up. Today is one of those days.

My most recent Facebook post: “Lost another Pink Sister from my support group in the wee hours of the night. I feel all dried up this morning. Know my God holds me close, but the peace is hard to find right now. Please pray for a cure for this devestating demon before the world loses too many more beautiful young lives!”

I hate posting…or even thinking…these kinds of thoughts. But some days there really isn’t much else to say. Another lovely young woman was taken from this earth in the wee hours of the night. In the wee hours of her life. In the wee hours of raising three lovely children to adulthood. And in the wee hours of the morning, I struggle with my emotions.

My struggles brought me face to face with Jacob’s story in Genesis. When Jacob is finally arriving back at his father’s homeland to face his brother (whom he stole their father’s inheritance from) he sends everyone away and wrestles with God, in the wee hours of the night. And at daybreak, God dislocates Jacob’s hip and then blesses him and his descendants for all time. Jacob becomes Israel (wrestles with God) and the father of entire nation.

It’s a rather confusing tale, but the take-away for me today, in the midst of my own struggles with pain and fear and sorrow, is that no one wrestles with God and remains unchanged. Jacob was given a new name, a new identity, was blessed beyond measure; but was also broken–he forever after walked with a limp because of his damaged hip.

Our journey with faith is often messy, and many times filled with pain and struggle. God has never promised a perfect, pain-free existence on this earth. But He has promised to remain by our side in the midst of the pain and struggles. Our struggles, both with our own faith and with life itself, will scar us. But if we allow ourselves the chance, in the midst of these struggles we will be blessed by His presence and peace.

Each day breaks fresh and new. Each day we are given a new start, a new beginning. Daybreak. Dawn. And it was at daybreak that God chose to bless the man who struggled with Him. The man who questioned. The man who sought answers.

I am convinced that while we must come to God as dependent children, He understands that we still have questions, still have struggles that we can’t comprehend, pain we want erased, sorrows often beyond measure. And He is there to offer us daybreak…a new day to look forward, not backward. A day to once again feel His presence and grace fill our lungs with life. To fill our hearts with praise and thanksgiving and peace…and joy.

Today I mourn the loss of another beautiful woman…I mourn the loss of ALL those who suffered the devastation of cancer. But deep inside I feel peace brewing up slowly through my veins. Peace because these beautiful lives are no longer in pain and suffering, even though those of us left behind miss their presence.

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