After a long, arduous trek that left her battered, bruised, and nearly crushed, she arrived at a spacious place.

She basked in the sunshine and smelled the wildflowers. She breathed in the mountain air and twirled as she danced in the beauty around her. She frolicked through the high green grass as her heart soared to new heights. The view was breathtaking. She never wanted to go through a hike as she’d just been on again. But standing here — it was worth it.

She sat down and pulled out food and drink from her backpack. It felt like she’d been given a new life. The journey there has been longer and harder than she imagined, but she was grateful for this new season. One by one, she began to meet new friends on this beautiful hilltop.

Her heart felt so overwhelmed by good that it might explode. She was learning new things and playing new games. She was so preoccupied she didn’t see the storm coming. Then, in what seemed to be in a split second, a terrible storm blew in, and everyone went their own way to duck for cover.

On her way to find cover, she slipped down the side of the hill and twisted her ankle. Landing right next to a bolder, she tried to stand up on her good leg, but she slipped again, ending up under a tree. Another boulder caught her from continuing her downward slide.

She sat there for a minute but realized this wasn’t good enough shelter, and no matter how bad she hurt, she wanted to find where her friends were sheltering. She got back up, but pain shot through her ankle. And during her last tumble, her other leg was bruised, scrapped, and bleeding.

What is going on? Why did that storm have to come? Maybe it’ll pass. She waited a bit with hopeful anticipation. It’ll pass; I know it will — it has to! 

But thunder roared violently, and the lightning cracked, striking the tree right beside her. A fire broke out, and smoke billowed beside her. It’s okay; the rainwater will put it out.  

Once again, she was wrong. She got up to get away from it. Now, wincing from the pain, she made her way down further. There was no way to back now.

She was in survival mode. While limping downhill, a snake slithered out in front of her. Overcome by fear, she fainted.

When she came to, she was completely soaked through. She had a stream of water running around her. She looked up to see how far she’d fallen and knew she’d never be able to get back to where she was.

How long, O Lord? She cried out. How long will You forget me? You’ve already taken me through the valley of loss and the valley of death. Why did You bring me back? Haven’t I been following You? You were the one who led me on this journey, and it has only left me broken. 

She curled her knees to her chest. Rocking herself back and forth, she wept. She didn’t try to stop herself this time as she did when she twisted her ankle or scraped her leg.

She briefly looked up to see the backpack she had was washed away in the distance floating down the river. She’d never be able to retrieve it now.

What else do You want from me? Why must I go through so much of my life alone?   

The tears that poured out were deep and bitter.

Why would You give something I wanted so badly only to take it away? Following You doesn’t make much sense. If this is what it looks like, no one looking at my life will ever want to follow You. 

She put her hands over her mouth and screamed. Why do You insist on hurting me over and over? Why do you break my heart time and time again? What am I doing wrong? Why can’t You just allow me to have what I’ve always wanted? Why does Your hand keep blocking me? What have I done to You, and why am I Your target? I just want to have a normal life. I don’t want more than that, yet that’s the one thing You won’t allow me to have. I feel like I never fit in, and I’m always the odd one out. I hate it. It’s too hard. Why Lord? Why do You hate me so much? Why do You keep letting me down? 

She felt hesitant to use such strong words, but she couldn’t hide them any longer, and she knew He already knew what she was feeling.

She didn’t say anything. She looked at her surroundings, trying to figure out how to get out of this mess, but she didn’t have a clue.

“I need you to wrestle with Me.”

She looked around wondering why that thought had popped into her head.

It came again.

“I need you to wrestle with Me.”

I’ve already wrestled with You in my last valley. Why do I need to wrestle You again? Why can’t You just let me live my life?  

“Because there’s more I want to show You. Ask Me, my child. Seek me, my child. Knock on the door, my child.”

But what if You don’t answer the way I want You to?

“Ask, my child. Seek, my child. Knock, my child.”

But it’ll be too much for my heart to handle if You don’t come through. I asked You to use me in the ministry, and I left shattered by it. I asked you to heal my loved one, and You took him home. It’s too painful to ask again. 

“Ask, my child. Seek, my child. Knock, my child.”

She sat for a moment. Where else have I to go? Despite her misunderstanding of Him, God had never left her. She knew the only reason she was there on earth was that He chose to have her there. And to be fair, He never promised her an easy life. Although she questioned His ways, she had to trust the heart behind it was good. She’d seen His protection and mysterious provision over the years. And even her deepest pain she’d seen Him use for good. But she was tired. These back-to-back losses of hers seemed too much for her heart to carry. She didn’t know if she had the strength to wrestle again. She just wanted to tap out. Couldn’t He find someone else to wrestle with?

She looked upward, took a deep breath, and began to wrestle with God. She asked. She knocked. She sought. And she waited. But nothing.

She wrestled again. She asked again. She knocked again. And she waited. Nothing happened.

Why are You asking me to do this? If You’re not going to answer? 

“Ask, my child. Seek, my child. Knock, my child.”

Ugh!! She groaned in frustration as hot tears streamed down her face.

She asked. She knocked. She sought. And she waited, but still there was nothing.

Tears blurred her vision as cried through her asking, her seeking, and her knocking. Still nothing…

She started to give up, but again He said, “Ask, my child. Seek, my child. Knock, my child.”

She continued her struggle barely able to ask, trying desperately to seek, and faintly knocking…

Then just at the break of dawn (Psalm 46:5; Genesis 32:24), she relented and collapsed into Him.

It was only then that she heard something… The beating of His heart for her.

He was not fighting with her. He was fighting for her.

He wanted her — all of her, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

His breaking of her was His kindest decision, and if there were any other way to give her healing, He would have done it, but this was the only way.

“You, my darling girl, are worth everything to me. If I didn’t spare my own Son to save you, I wouldn’t spare the mangling of your heart to heal you. I love you with an everlasting love. I will never stop pursuing you. I will never stop fighting for you, and I will never ever stop loving you.”

With tears of relief now pouring out of her eyes, her wrestling became a loving embrace. She was not being kept from anything. Instead, she was being held by the hands of love itself.