The Tree and the Wrestler

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There are days I wish I was like a tree. Trees are magnificent. They have roots. They grow deep where they are planted. Yet they experience a fierce amount of change. They cycle through all the seasons: blossoming in Spring, fruitful in Summer, changing in Autumn and finally death in Winter. They stand sturdy in the face of all of these changes, along with the multitude of weather that each season throws at them. 

From where I’m sitting, I can see touches of gold, red, and orange on branches. I can also see the trees taking on rain, bending and shifting with the wind, yet they aren’t moved. They stand firm.

Lately, I have felt more like a leaf on a tree than anything. It started with the beginning of the summer, when I knew I was being called into a time of rest and being alone. When the Lord calls on me for these times, I’m usually pretty resistant. I shouldn’t be. In this way, I wish I were more submissive. But I fight because I hate being alone. Silence can be difficult for me. And rest? For a girl who derives energy by merely being around people, rest is foreign to me most times.

Rather than this being a time of rest, it’s been a time of wrestling. I’m asking questions I feel like most people ask when they’re nineteen or twenty and in college, trying to figure out who they are. I tell myself that at the age of thirty-one, I shouldn’t be asking myself who I am or what God’s really calling me to, but I am.

It’s also been a time of tears. I used to lie to myself and say I wasn’t a crier. Such a lie. If the Lord keeps our tears in a bottle and records them in a book, then I’m filling an ocean and rivaling a set of Encyclopedia Britannica. The tears I cry come from a place of struggle that has no words. I know they come from Jesus cutting away things that don’t count and things I hold dear that keep me from coming fully into Him. Even as I sit here writing, tears come again. They sit on the surface, reminding me that they will always take the opportunity to make me a fool, especially in Starbucks.

Most of the time, my tears are my only expression of hope. Even as they whisper, “Where are you Jesus?”, I know the answer, though silent, is true. He is near. I don’t fully know how to sit in peace and rest… yet. Perhaps that is the point of this struggle. Maybe one day, I’ll be like the tree, steady and sure. But today, I’m more like Jacob. Driven by an internal wrestling I can’t escape and I pray Jesus won’t let go until He get what He wants for and from me.

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