Wrestle vs. Run

“Babe, you’ve wrestled with God a number of times in your life…but you never ran away from Him.”

I looked up to see Barry smiling in my direction as he spoke.  I was slightly downcast, feeling as though my blog has become an absolute beast.  🙂  I never really intended for this to be more than a hobby…something to catalog life in the ministry.  The good times, bad moments and encounters with God.  But, within the last two months things have escalated beyond what I could have ever expected or wanted.  Don’t get me wrong…I understand that there are blogs out there that get hundreds of thousands of hits per day…I am BY NO MEANS in that category.  And in the depths of my heart I hope that I never am. 

So, I guess in a lot of ways I’m back in the wrestling ring.  Asking God the tough questions, taking risks and seeking after truth.  But, in all honesty I feel closer to God in the midst of this season than ever before.  And when I get overwhelmed and feel like running…I make the choice to run to Him.

11 thoughts on “Wrestle vs. Run

  1. The day I realized the impact of the words you and so many others were speaking, was the day my heart broke. It broke because the people of whom you speak about are dear to my heart; many of them have been an inspiration in my life. They have been my biggest cheerleaders. They have prayed with me through difficult circumstances. I can say those things for you and Barry, too. When my own family life left me wanting – even as a small child, I found hope, healing and restoration because of the dedication of these pastors (including you and Barry) to the mission that they know God has called them to: to reach people and build lives. Regardless of the hurt we may experience from others, God is still God, and he will work through an imperfect person whose true heart and desire, is to see God be glorified in each of our lives. Through all of this, my heart hurts, because I know and love you and Barry. I am a testament to the love and grace that God has poured out from your life into mine, and your genuine hearts to see the kingdom of God reign in the hearts and lives of people all throughout the world. Regardless of the good or bad, I recognize that God is sovereign, and I must not view God out of my perceptions of other people or pastors following him. I must search into the word to find God’s character – to find His heart for me, and consequently his heart for others.
    …Somehow, throughout many of the events of my life, and the heartache and deep pain that I experienced, God has allowed me to see past the faults of others to see the true heart of a person. In the few times that I couldn’t see their hearts, or all I saw was black, the Lord showed me life from the other persons perspective – so that I could release them into true forgiveness of my heart –sometimes over and over and over again (and I am not referring to the people spoken of in your blogs). I am not solely speaking of the time spent with those spoken of in these blogs. I speak of the entirety of my life. As the saying goes- hurt people hurt people, but healed people heal people. (Please do not take this saying the wrong way, obviously we are all in agreement that God is our true healer, but we can also not deny that He uses people to begin works of healing in others, otherwise, why would any of us have ever, or continue to have a heart for ministry to others?)
    I decided a while back – that for my life, I am going to take the meat and throw out the bones. Throw out the bones?, you ask. Yes, throw out the bones! God has certainly gifted me in certain areas, and allowed His grace to flow through me to others because of it, but I certainly reek of my own selfish ways, too. When I see what I perceive to be an unhealthy thing in someone – I certainly do not pattern my life after them. However, I also assure you that there are things in me that others would not care to follow me in either. I make the decision to allow God’s grace to flow through my heart, soul, and mind to them, and earnestly seek the Lord, asking that He would show them the error of their ways, or that when I go to them, to let them know how something negatively affected me, that they would respond with an understanding and repenting heart. Unfortunately, we all have “blind” spots in our character and lives. This is why we must align ourselves with the word of God, and listen to His still, small voice-to see what loving correction the Father wants to speak to us.
    We would all do well from taking a class in interpersonal communication. It is so very important to validate the feelings of others, while still lovingly speaking truth from God’s word, and showing regard for another by taking the time to look into another’s life to see where they have come from, what they have seen and how God is using them – regardless of their hopeless flaws.
    I do not seek to bash any of the writers, or people written about, but to speak of my own perspective – where I have been, what God has given to me through the revelation of his word, his holy spirit and the voice of those in my life, whom I have chosen to give authority to speak into my life.
    My hope in all of this is that each one of us (me included) would invite God into the deepest places of our hearts, to search us and know us and to see if there is any wicked way in us, and to lead us into the way of everlasting. I learned at a very young age that we have been born into a world of sin, and no one is perfect-no, not one. I had to learn what it meant to run to God in the midst of difficult situations, and not from him. I pray that the words written on these pages would not divide a man in his soul from the people of God, and more importantly, God himself.
    Above all else, I pray that God would be glorified in all of our lives, and that we would not allow the human errors of all our ways to deter us from seeking the only perfect one – Jesus Christ.

    1. Dear Annonymous,

      Thank you for your beautiful and heartfelt words. However, when you respect and love a human so much that you refuse to confront their false doctrine and wrong behavior…you are committing a great injustice to the body of Christ.

      It is evident that you are still under that mindset…or you would not be afraid to attach your name to your comment. Living in fear of what others think is draining…because it is still a form of control. You and the ones you love, serve and respect must be held accountable for the wrong actions and false teachings they are leading the church with.

      I have joyfully and totally forgiven, but I will not be silent when people are being led to believe a false doctrine.

  2. And you have encouraged me and many others. Thank you for being real! You are a friend I am proud to have!

    BTW: I laughed SO HARD at the picture of Jesus on your page. Not out of disrespect, simply because that used to be Barry’s screen saver on his computer. During that time we had a puppy and when we would ask him where Jesus was…he would run to the computer. 🙂

  3. You are doing a fantastic job Jana, praise God for your blog as I see so many hurting people leaning on you. Don’t give up, hang in there as this journey will be so worth it and will redeem all the years you were robbed!

    1. Angela thank you so much! Sorry I haven’t been making the blogging rounds much lately. I can’t wait to catch up on your page. Much Love – Jana

  4. I stumbled on your blog looking for women in leadership but I can totally relate. I asked my prayer group last week to help me put God first and not be so self-centered. The blog has a way of doing that to me and it’s not right. Hope you are doing ok.

  5. Don’t give up. You will always have to fight for your integrity as a writer. The second you begin to compromise your content is the second you begin to be dishonest.

  6. Keep running to HIM! You are changing lives even if you don’t feel it. While the guilty may be offended, those who have struggled with hurt and fear for many years are free. You are helping bring freedom and if no one else thanks you for that, I do. Thank you Jana for sharing your story and MY story and the story of so many others who read your words. Thank you so much. Love you.

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