August is a blur. I have a few memories of August. Morgan had a birthday, Susie got engaged, my grandpa passed away, I bought Chinese for family dinner on my way into RVA, there was food on my shelf in my refrigerator that I didn’t put there, and I did a lot of driving. A lot of driving. I’m getting Midlothian Turnpike confused with 29 North. It’s odd living in two cities. I spend the night in Richmond on Sunday nights and make it into work in Cville on Monday at 1. Then I go back to RVA Wednesday night and back to Cville for work at 1 on Thursday. That’s a lot of I-64. And gas. And coffee. Not only is August long gone, but we’re almost halfway through September. Oh brother.
To say that I have questions is a far cry from reality. I feel like I wander this earth with only questions. This idea of taking every thought captive is almost a joke. How do I fight against the thoughts of death? A friend asked if mom was saved. Thank God she is. He said, “well I know it feels like it doesn’t help, yet, it kinda helps. Ya know?” He’s right. It doesn’t help take away the pain when I watch, helplessly, as she chokes on the yogurt she’s eating. It doesn’t help when she looks at me and begs me to not force her to eat anymore even though she’s lost 20 pounds in a month. But it does help. It softens the blow. But there’s still a blow.
Mom reserves her words these days. She communicates with pointing, with her eyes and with breathless words. But when it’s time to say good night, she looks me in the eye, and as if it’s the most important thing in the world she says, “I love you”. I tell her the same, kiss her on the cheek and head to bed. There’s a piece of me that seems to die a little bit every day.
I look at other believers and think, “How did they do it? How did they go through this type of pain and make it through still so in love with the Lord?” I think of how easy it should be for me to sit back, trust the Lord, acknowledge that He really is in control, He has a plan, He’s using this for His good. I should have grief, it’s normal to be sad, it would be unnatural for me to not be! But why can’t I just rest in knowing the Lord is in control? Why am I so angry? Why am I fighting so hard against the One person who has promised to be with me through thick and thin? Why can’t I talk to Him like mom can? I went to Bible school for goodness sake! I should be better than this. But I’m not.
Maybe this is what wrestling looks like. I thought it was just a figure of speech. I never knew that I would get to the point where I would have to wrestle with the Lord. You see, I think very highly of myself. I think that I will not make bad decisions or want something the Lord won’t give me, or that I will be totally fine with how He leads in my life. I’m so very naive. But there I was, driving home from Cville, or from Richmond, or, wherever, I can’t even keep up with where home is, but there I was thinking. I saw me standing before this huge giant, this beautifully huge giant. He had His arms open. He just wanted to hold me. It seemed so easy to just let Him, but I couldn’t. I turned around and walked away. Why? I don’t know. I simply can’t believe what’s happening all around me. I want to rest assured that He has my back, I’ve been trained that He does. I’ve been told and I believe that He cares. I’m told He’s trustworthy. At so many points in my life I’ve rested in this assurance, I’ve known a peace while resting in Him, trusting His ways for my life. So why can’t I lean back on those times? Have I forgotten them? Am I just another Israelite who forgets how good God is? Maybe I am. Maybe this is what wrestling feels like. I’m holding the map in front of me, but then there’s the road I’m standing on and I’m getting mixed messages.