Scars tell stories. They tell the stories of deep struggle. They show the wounds of hardships and the agony of the fight. Scars tell stories of skirmishes that leave us bloodied, beaten and broken. We see scars as marks of struggle, but when enough time has passed, we forget the hardships that caused them and celebrate the stories they tell. We glorify the outcome, forgetting the struggle that caused them. Let me share with you one of my scars. This particular scar is still an open wound, but I hope that one day, I’ll be able to look back at it knowing that it was worth the pain.
I am in the midst of hardship in my life and I want it to be over and done. I want this wound to be a scar so I can tell the story of how I persevered through the pain and came out on top. But I can’t, because I am still in the midst of the pain. I am in the midst of heartache, and it is hard to see whether or not this wound will ever heal. I want so much to skip past this chapter of pain and struggle and get to the part where I know it was all worth it. But if I’m being honest, I do not yet know if it is worth the fight. While I wish I could overlook this hardship and skip straight to the fulfilling outcome, I can not.
Here I am, in the midst of hardship. And it sucks.
But rather than ignore the process of pain that befalls us all, I hope we can share each other’s burdens and process through it together. A wise woman once said, “pain shared is divided.” Rather than skip over the pain or pretend like it doesn’t exist, let us share our stories of pain with one another. Let us wrestle with the hardships that leave their mark upon our lives together. Let us divide our pain by sharing it in community with one another.
Let me share with you a story of my pain. By doing so, I hope that one day you are able to share your stories with me too.
Over the past few months, I have been stepping out on faith only to be met with one closed door after another. Opportunity after opportunity that God has seemingly placed in front of me have all been in vain. The dreams I have had about these possibilities have filled my days with hope and excitement, but it has been all for not. I have been trying to dream of what lies in store, but each time I have been shaken from my dreaming and brought to reality, feeling dazed and disoriented.
I am trying to seek the will of God, but what do I do when God is not making my path clear? I am trying to be faithful with the opportunities that God is placing in front of me, but every time I put myself out there it seems to lead to another disappointing heartbreak.
I am reminded of Jacob wrestling with the Angel in Genesis. They wrestle all night long. All. Night. Long. But what we focus on is the blessing Jacob receives afterwards and not the hours long struggle that he endured to obtain it. Yes Jacob held on and was blessed by the angel, but he had to spend hours in the dark, not knowing whether or not he would lose his grip on his opponent. He struggled. He fought. His blessing was not guaranteed. He had to spend the whole night engaged in an altercation with someone who his feeble human strength could not defeat. Jacob struggled for his life.
I am in the midst of a wrestling match with God. And what I can tell you is that it is dark, difficult and disorienting. I am tired. I want God’s blessing and I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to wrestle before calling it quits. I am having difficulty seeing what good can come from this wrestling match with God. I’m sure I’ll be able to look back at it in a few years and see God’s hand in it all, but it is really hard to see where God is at work here, in the midst.
In the midst of struggle, it is hard to see the light. But, as Winston Churchill once said, “if you find yourself in hell, keep going.” Keep going. Keep wrestling. Keep holding onto the hope of sunrise. I am in the midst of a long, dark wrestling match. I have no chance of winning, all I can do is hold on for dear life and cling to the little hope I have that the sun will rise.