Wrestling with God

You’re limping, people say as I approach with my irregular gait. 

Oh yes, I answer. I have been wrestling with God.


Wrestling with lost relationships.

Wrestling with grief that keeps arising.

Wrestling with change in my dwelling places.

Wrestling with shifting family dynamics.

Wrestling with changes in my body as I age.

Wrestling with faith and church.

Wrestling with what friendships look like

Wrestling with what forty years of marriage looks like.


Wrestling with You has made You real to me.

Wrestling and turning over and flipping me and sometimes throwing me down.

Until You pin me with your word.

Your truth.


You are a shield around me, and the lifter of my head


When I allow your arms to shield me instead of fighting you,

the wrestling stops.


I struggle.

I ponder.

I ask why.


You flip me over on my back in the middle of the night

A position that forces me to look up into the stars

and recall the vastness of your universe.

Still, You see me and hear all my questions Why?


You are my shield around me, and the lifter of my head


Even when flat on my back from all the musings

You take my head, and lift my chin, and direct me

to see only 



You touch the sinew of my thigh

Mark me with a limp.


I am changed.

I am stronger.

I am bolder.

For somewhere during the match, I dared to come face to face with my fears

And lay them down.


Jacob was alone when he wrestled with You.

He had just sent his family and everything he owned across the river.

Solitary in the night

is where he met You face to face.


In lonely places

we meet you

and wrestle 

and ask all the why questions

and shake our fist into the night.


You push back.

Back and forth we circle.

You pin us to the ground, 

over and over again

until we find the boldness to say

when light just begins to rise at dawn

I will not let you go until you bless me



I wonder what God said to him in that blessing.


Jacob walked away, limping.

His life was changed.

His name was changed.

He came away stronger, even with the limp in his walk.


It is said that we carry unresolved stress in these bones that keep us standing, 

that bear our children, that support us as we walk forward.

It is said that the hips are the seat of emotions


I am recovering from surgery to restore my hip.

My gait will change. I will be stronger.

But I will always bear a scar from the place on my hip where the incision was made.

It will be a reminder of the nights I wrestled with God 

Over the weight of grief and sorrow I carried in my body 

from decades of caregiving and mothering, 

the nurturing I was designed to carry, 

but became broken from the weight of it all.


I will begin again

with a new hip.

A new walk.

And a scar as reminder that brokenness made me stronger

and allowed me 

to wrestle with God

and dare to seek him, face to face.



Psalm 3:3

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,

my Glory, and the lifter of my head.



Image credit:  Unsplash: New York Public Library

Vina Mogg
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