He stood in the doorway of my bedroom, arm across his forehead as he leaned against the frame. I knew that stance well. He was thinking. He asked about my night with the young people last night and my vision for where this thing called Family Ministry was headed. He’s done it a thousand times before (asked my opinion that is), but every single time– I feel like I’ve somehow arrived when my dad directs the words “what do you really think” my way. I was excited to share my vision and he was excited to not only hear what I thought and bounce ideas off of each other, but that I was willing to take baby steps with my leaders. That’s real growth for me! I barely took physical baby steps as a toddler, let alone metaphorically.
Then the whole conversation shifted when he glanced around the room and said, “It’s coming together nicely.” “What is?” I looked up at him curiously. “Your room.” “Oh. Yeah. There’s still stuff that I’m not sure what to do with. I feel like I should hang onto it, but there’s just not enough storage space.” “You’ll get there.”
He walked out and headed to bed, I looked up from my journal and took a hard look around the room myself. There’s a five-shelf bookcase in my cove. A four shelf shoe rack. Plastic containers are rolled under my bed and the one in the corner. An entire closet with up-top shelving. That doesn’t even count the regular furniture holding my clothes! Why on earth am I holding so tightly to this stuff? Is any of it truly important in the end? Or am I guilty of having value displaced?
Those questions sat heavy as I turned off my light and crawled into bed. They sat heavy, because there’s something about my quiet room at night that allows a serious amount of room for my heart to wrestle. Maybe that’s my problem! Maybe I’m holding way too tightly to certain people and things that aren’t truly supposed to be important in the end, or even just to be seasonal. Maybe I have valued them more than I should? Maybe there’s just not enough storage space in my heart for all of this. But every single time I think that, something else happens that makes me certain I’ve been right all along– I am placing proper value on the right people in my world right now. But if I am, if that’s true– then why all of the questions, why all of the wrestling?
I rolled over and heard my Father say, “You’ll get there.”
“Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” (Genesis 32:28)