A wrestling walk

I write this because I assume there are other women who do this, somewhere on God's green earth.

I tell my husband a few minutes after he gets home from a long day at work. Which equals a long day of work for me as well. My neurons are firing all in disarray and I ask him please can I go for a walk while he puts the children to bed. They are sleepy-eyed and already pajama-d, so how badly could it go, right? (Don't ask.)

Late dusk. In the cobalt hews of the very end of the day's light, I start my walk vigorously. Ipod replacing the tape cassette Walkman of my teen years. I need to wrestle over something with God. He knows I've got the gloves off when I wear sneakers instead of flip flops. This is going to be a long walk, pacing back and forth in front of your house, waiting for a call to come through from the on-call husband, pulling you dutifully back inside the house as he leaves in a hustle. You might have a cigarette in hand, pulling deep down as if to draw Truth through your lungs and in to your blood stream. The pain of friends intrudes, and you sink into prayer (because we  have no other way to give). You keep pacing, and saying things like, "Really, Lord? That's what you want to give up? This is what you want me to pick up? Instead of cursing along with me as I host the biggest-know-pity-party-yet, God gently pulls. Through those convictions of the heart.

First fireflies of the season. Moon melting into the top of the large pine. Dark, lonely deserted home on my parent's homestead. A hayfield full of white wildflowers, reminiscent of stars breaking through the mist. People you miss come floating up like bubbles through the night air.

I realize that, at least for me, I can't have one foot in the "she's just a little anxious sometimes" pool and the other in the active, crazy, wild mother who does great and strange things with her children like canceling school for a bike ride to identify wildflowers, or sitting in the middle of the cramped back seat to comfort a child sick with seizures (my kids tell me I still get the most points for just that - cramming my motherly rear into a spot designed for Twiggy 5 year old).

The thing about wrestling is it means you care about the other person's opinion. (Lord, help me remember these words when I have four kids in my house 14-18.) You really don't want to go against them so you're making your case and trying to get around to some kind of compromise.

Well, I have news for you. In case you have not discovered it yourself, God does NOT tend to compromise. He extends us grace and mercy, but His truth is immovable. Remember when Moses was in front of the burning bush and having his first face-to-face with God? Moses asks,“If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” (Exodus 3:13) In typical esoteric God style (meaning, good luck buddy, you're not going to have much info, you're just going to have to TRUST me and follow my signs along the way), God replies, I AM WHO I AM. Helpful, right?

But when I'm done wrestling, yes, it is helpful. There is rock-hard Truth underneath my feet. I AM WHO I AM. You can stomp and kick and fight over the little piddly details. But I AM WHO I AM. There will be no compromise. If you feel the slippery fingers of conviction sliding up over your heart, telling you that you need to change something in particular, you either do, and obey God, or don't, and end up in a mess. (note: you may also feel like you end up in a mess if you DO obey God - that's happened to me a lot.) I go to bed thinking, I AM WHO I AM. Just like if I asked my earthly Papa, He would say, "I am your Papa". Or my husband, "I am your husband". It demands no more explanation. That is their role in my life. And God? He is who He is. And He is always faithful.