When The Ones We Love Wrestle

stand guard, pray, and wait

In my early twenties this would have crushed me. I would have tried harder for approval and felt shaky when it looked differently each time.


My gage for measuring my success, even my worth, would be in how someone else responded to me. Which is nuts, but we’ve all lived like this and it only leaves our emotions all over the map.


I am not going to lie and tell you that I have loved every minute of feeling measured and sized up, because I haven’t. I’ve hated it and it’s made me feel further from this person when I know I’m supposed to stay close to them.


Sometimes when our loved ones are struggling, we have to get out of the way and keep our mouths shut unless we are praying for them. This doesn’t mean that we walk out; we just remove ourselves from the line of fire knowing they are fighting with us because they are at war with themselves.


People at war with themselves live in a place of inner chaos; you can love them without joining them.


Unfortunately, I have learned this the hard way. You cannot have a healthy relationship with an unhealthy person.


We must be available in the aching moments where they wrestle and war, wild like Jacob. Limping around as change seeps into their soul because receiving the blessings that we all long for takes us on a wounded journey till our name is changed. Availability doesn’t mean that we are the one responsible to fix or clean up messes we didn’t make. It means to simply stand guard, pray, and wait.



Sometimes we fix our gaze on the limp instead of the favor of God. In Genesis 32:22 we find Jacob sending his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons over a brook while he was left alone.



With two wives and eleven sons, I can’t imagine the noise level and madness that came from so many voices, so many needs, and only one of him. Lord knows that man needed some personal space. Jacob, whose name means “deceiver” needed to be all alone in the dark, away from all the noise to meet with God face-to-face.



It’s hard to watch the ones we love wrestle. And yet, deeper purpose runs through us, transforming us, when we have been left alone to wrestle. Sometimes all we need to do is get out of the way and let God do His thing. We grasp aimlessly at the nothingness wanting a sword or whatever we can place in our hands to fight off the enemy of our souls, our destiny, and our name-change-moment.



Yet in Jacob’s empty-handed moment, it was just two strong hands against another’s in face-to-face combat.



“Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day.” (Vs 24)


And the Man could not prevail, this angel of The Lord, had to throw Jacob’s hip out of joint.


Angel: “Let me go, for the day breaks.”


Jacob: “I will not let You go until you bless me.”


What’s your name?

“My name is Deceiver.”


That’s not your name anymore. This is your name: Israel; for you have wrestled with God and with men, and have prevailed.



To be set free we must first admit that we are not. Jacob knew what his name meant. He wore it like a label, heavy like a bag of concrete thrown over his shoulder and dead weight. Yet God gave him a new name symbolic of a character transformation.

I’ve done my fair share wrestling till my heart limped and my spirit soared high in surrender. I’ve watched the ones I love wrestle and I had to be the one to cross over the brook provided for and blessed.



Whether you are the one wrestling, or the parent watching your offspring or your spouse or a dear friend wrestle needing a breakthrough and a character transformation moment…you have to take your hands out of the mess. You can’t be the one who throws their hip out of joint until they are free, you simply cross over the brook and pray until you see your beloved blessed and unlabeled.



You’re going to be okay and they are going to be okay. Those who limp fly higher than those who avoid divine wrestling matches. You can do this, baby girl. My God is waiting to change your name to “favored one” and “one who no longer worries.”


Much love,




Linking up with the #livefree girls and Suzie Eller