the wrestle

  I spent today at one of my favourite places on the planet. 

Hillary’s Boat Harbour is located north of Perth on the beautiful coast of Western Australia. Ever since friends from Melbourne relocated back here 10 years ago I’ve been a regular visitor to see them and always included some time at Hill’s (as I like to call her). The pool, the beach, the array of restaurants, cafes, shops and pamper spots all ably supported by Perth’s magnificent weather. It’s an annual highlight. 

Today, though, there were a few tears as I remembered last year’s visit here. 

I came for 2 days in March 2015 and they coincided with the last two days before the  printing deadline for my book (check it out HERE). I was quite literally in the final throes of labouring to birth a project that had been 3 months in the production, 8 years in the procrastination and 12 years in the living of the message – all preparing for this one moment of hitting “send” and authorising it to go to print. 

Tonight I sat at the same restaurant where I had sat to write the blurb for the back cover. I remembered spending more time on those few sentences than in any other portion of the book. It took me hours and hours and the longer it took the harder it got. 

I was absolutely smashed by insecurity, self doubt, overwhelming fear; paralysing intimidation. Who would read it anyway? Who am I writing this for? (Not just the blurb – the entire book.) Had I been kidding myself through the whole process? Who am I to think that this might be something God was calling me to do? Have I wasted this time and money on a futile project?

I remember indiscriminately sending messages to so many people asking for help – something I’d not done through the entire project. I got increasingly distressed as I processed their replies – some conflicted with what I had been previously thinking; others conflicted with each other. My panic escalated further still. 

I sat in the restaurant no longer able to maintain my composure or conceal my tears, getting sympathetic looks from fellow diners and passers by, as I did the wrestle

You may be familiar with the wrestle. That moment of conflict where the choice has to be made to dig in and fight or to give up and run away. 

That moment where your resolve is weakened by doubt and your confidence is smashed by fear and the initial courage and boldness that fuelled the start of the venture seems to have dried up. The wrestle. 

Those moments where truth is primed to fall as a casualty to the voices of negativity and self-bullying. Where you start to question everything …like, actually everything …set adrift from the anchor that was empowering you to press on and do difficult things; to believe for something extraordinary. 

The wrestle. 

The prayers and encouragement of my support crew; a stubborn resolve to not have another thing go unfinished or unrealised; that undeniable sense of call and purpose that had been confirmed and reconfirmed, all converged to see the finish line crossed. There were more tears – of relief, pride, exhaustion, gratitude, humility – as the final document was emailed by the designated time. 

Since it was published, the book has been purchased by hundreds of people across Australia & different parts of the world. The message has been heard by thousands. The moment of holding the finished product in my hand was overwhelmingly fulfilling. I know in the deepest part of my know-er that the wrestle was worth it!

Today, as I sat at that restaurant again I was so grateful that I did the wrestle. I thanked God for the grace and power to push through in those final hours. I would do it again. I would. It was worth it. 

But then I wondered about the times when I may have avoided the wrestle or given up short of the reward that was waiting on the other side. I feel the sting of regret. 

And then I thought of the areas that feel like wrestles now. Those circumstances that are feeling hard to push through. Those situations that are overwhelming in their intensity, unrelenting in their attack on my heart and my energy and seemingly beyond my ability to withstand. And I let this moment whisper its encouragement – keep wrestling, don’t give up, press in and press on, hold fast … it’s worth it. 

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