"What did you expect to get from this season?" She asked.
"I guess I expected to be overflowing with rest and joy and energy. Which is ridiculous because I just had a baby, not a vacation to Hawaii."
Everyone has those moments where, when spoken aloud, they realize how silly their thoughts and life expectations are. We should really talk out loud more. Even if it's just to ourselves.
We were sitting in my living room, one baby in bed, the other milk drunk on my lap, and the distant chatter of our husbands on the porch swing. Yes we have a porch swing and yes my husband loves it more than me. I can't remember how the conversation started. Most of our conversations go that way haha. We start on one point and move, like a feather unleashed in the wind, from one topic to the next. Of course they all connect somehow, and we always come full circle. Because we are calculated conversationalists...am I right girls?
She was talking through a decision to step back from some things in her life to nourish other things, and she wanted to know my perspective, now that I'm slowly emerging from my nest of nourishment. And for a hot minute I was sad.
I was sad I didn't have some big one liner of wisdom to get her excited about this season. The season of exhaustion, work, sleeplessness and adjustment.
I was sad I couldn't say, man taking a step back for this season has filled my soul and refreshed my spirit.
Because the truth is, I'm more empty than filled. I'm more tired than refreshed. I'm more hungry than not and more thirsty than quenched. I feel like I'm walking away with a limp rather than a tuneup.
I heard a preacher recently, talk about Jacob from the Bible, wrestling with God in the middle of nowhere. He was teaching on this passage:
"During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two servant wives, and his eleven sons and crossed the Jabbok River with them. After taking them to the other side, he sent over all his possessions.
This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!”
But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
“What is your name?” the man asked.
He replied, “Jacob.”
“Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel,[a] because you have fought with God and with men and have won.”
“Please tell me your name,” Jacob said.
“Why do you want to know my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there. Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.” The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel, and he was limping because of the injury to his hip."
There is so much to unpack about these few verses, and I don't have the time or space for that here. I HIGHLY recommend Steven Furtick's series if you wanna dig deep.
I want to focus on this point that floored me when I read this story:
Jacob wrestled with God, got a blessing, and still walked away limping.
That floored me. Hook, line, and sinker. I felt like a giant fire alarm was going off inside my soul, alerting me to something I was missing completely.
If we reread the Scripture, we'll see the blessing came post-limp. Jacob, wounded, asked for a blessing, which he got, and the blessing was NOT the ability to walk straight again.
Are you following me?
The blessing was bigger than even Jacob himself. It was bigger than his comfort, his capacity, his mobility, knowledge or experience.
What he fought for that day would affect generations; literally all the way down to you and me.
Will that be said of me? Even as I sit here typing this all out, processing it in a linear form for the first time, I can see it more clearly. That's what this season is about. It's about the generations I will influence, for better or worse.
It's easy to think that because we don't star in a reality show or own a fortune 500 company, our actions and words and choices can slip by unnoticed. It's easier to live under the guise of being a nobody. But we're not nobodies. We are very much sombodies and there are people watching, even subconsciously, how we wrestle this life.
Jacob could have lived as a nobody. He could have wrestled for himself and his own relief. But for what could have been the first time in his adult life, he thought ahead of the game, for something outside of himself.
This nesting season has been a wrestling match for me.
If you'd asked me a week ago, how I was doing, I'd have been ashamed to admit it. But now, now I've caught the vision. My match isn't over, and I have a noticeably sized limp, but now I won't let go until He blesses me. Not for personal gain, but for generational redemption.
I want this little imperfect family of mine to change the world. I want to do hard things together and beat the odds. I want to redeem what's broken in our homes and families, and set our kids and grandkids up on an even sturdier foundation of faith. Limps and all, we will run towards the finish line. And I believe, with all my heart, it can be done.
So that night, sitting on my baby swag strewn couches, I looked my friend in the eyes and told her, "No, nothing I expected to happen has happened, but that's ok. God is doing something in me and while I didn't see it coming, it's good."
Very, very good.