Being Confident of This

Grace for the work-in-progress woman

Choosing the Struggle

on March 2, 2014

Yesterday was Five Minute Friday, and while I avoided it for a day, I can avoid no longer. 🙂  So, I’m joining up with Lisa-Jo Baker and the rest of the brave free-writing crew.  The word for this week: choose.  Join us if you like!

choosing the struggle, rough day, feeling defeated, struggle with discouragement, hope for the weary

“Choose you this day whom you will serve…”

It’s the first thought that runs through my head.  And the obvious choice.  Yes, I choose Jesus.  I want to serve the Father.  I want to follow hard after Him.

But some days, the choosing is a struggle, isn’t it?

The choosing is easy enough when the sun shines and the warm breeze blows and the blessings flow and joy abounds.  But those days when the fiery darts strike in quick succession? And just as you rise, the wind gets knocked out of you once more? Those days the choosing feels near impossible.

And that’s exactly what our Enemy wants, my work-in-progress sisters, for us to feel helpless! Incapable! Paralyzed! Weary! Defeated! We just want to cry, “mercy” and throw in the towel, admit defeat.

Those lies about our failings will carry us right away if we let them, won’t they?  Carry us right away into a sea of despair, a void of apathy, a pit of depression.

What if we choose the struggle instead, sisters?  In those times when we can’t find it in ourselves to choose joy, when we can’t count our blessings for the crashing waves before us, when we feel incapable of making a choice at all, maybe it’s enough just to choose the struggle.

Even though we may not be winning, we choose fighting the good fight.   We don’t give up, we don’t give in. Even though we fear defeat, even though we falter for a step or two, or even a mile or more, we choose to press on.  What if we throw off the chains of perfection and choose instead the road of imperfect progress? And maybe even some days that road looks less like progress and more like simple survival.

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is

and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

Hebrews 11:6

So by faith, we wait on the Lord.

By faith, we cling to the promise of grace and we seek His face.

By faith, we choose the struggle.

And some days, that’s the best choice we can possibly make.

Let’s choose it together, sisters.

It’s the choice that leads to victory!

Jen 🙂

Sharing with #TheLoft.

You may also find me linking up with some of these lovely places.


19 responses to “Choosing the Struggle

  1. Jedidja says:

    Thanks for this devotion. You write so open and powerful. Yes, let us choose the good things with the help of our Lord. Every single day. Even in the dark hours.

  2. Amber says:

    Oh my goodness, Jen. Your words here are encouragement to my soul today. I find my eyes watering at this: “In those times when we can’t find it in ourselves to choose joy, when we can’t count our blessings for the crashing waves before us, when we feel incapable of making a choice at all, maybe it’s enough just to choose the struggle.

    Even though we may not be winning, we choose fighting the good fight.”

    Just yesterday, I was talking with God about the struggles in my life, and I told him I felt sometimes I was fighting a losing battle. But you’re right. Some days, it’s enough just to choose to fight the good fight, win or not. To choose the struggle, even when you can’t seem to find it in yourself to choose joy quite yet.

    Thank you, sister.

    • Yes, Amber, I think so often the Enemy convinces us that if we’re not experiencing immediate victory, then something must be wrong. I think in some situations the only joy we can find is in knowing that it won’t last forever. I love the encouragement of others to choose joy and focus on our blessings, but in my darkest hours those words make me feel like a huge failure. We all have those days when it’s enough just to survive with our faith intact, yes? Thanks for stopping by. It’s always good to know we are not alone!
      Jen 🙂

  3. Jen, I am so thankful that I found you today over at Michelle’s. This is the perfect encouragement for a Monday after a crazy weekend. Thank you 🙂

  4. You’re so right. It is so much easier to make the choice to follow God when the going is easy. Thanks for reminding me to remain faithful during the tough times too, and thanks for stopping by my blog. Us Jens have to stick together I think. 🙂

  5. Jenn Hand says:

    Choose the struggle.. i loved this post.. was so blessed by your writing.. just reading your sentances was just filled with such thoughts of victory.. thank you!

    • I’m so thankful for encouraging comments like this. I was afraid this post might come across too dark and depressing. You think I would learn by now to just trust the Lord with these words…
      Jen 🙂

  6. “By faith we wait” – and that is where the most important part of the struggle is lived! I am with you, choosing the struggle – choosing to wait on Him! Gotta love a girl with fight!

  7. Rebeca Jones says:

    This is wonderful, Jen! This line jumped off of the page at me: “What if we throw off the chains of perfection and choose instead the road of imperfect progress?” So often in the midst of struggles I put things off if I can’t do them ‘right’. Progress halts and my struggles are magnified. I like the idea of consciously choosing to ride through it rather than fighting the waves. Beautiful post!

  8. […] “But I wasn’t patient!” I cried. “I was so angry and so disappointed and I struggled, I really struggled, not to say mean […]

  9. Rebekah says:

    Love this, Jen! I so needed this beautiful reminder, because choosing the joy really is hard sometimes. But I can choose Jesus, and I can choose the good fight! Love you, friend!

    • Yes! I’m so glad you get it, Becky. Instead of feeling guilty about not finding joy in it, we can find victory in choosing Him, choosing to fight. Thanks for stopping by tonight!
      Jen 🙂

  10. Leah Adams says:

    What a timely post! This….. ” But those days when the fiery darts strike in quick succession? And just as you rise, the wind gets knocked out of you once more?” is where I am, as you know. Thankfully, my faith is strong, and not in danger of flagging. However, it is wise of us to recognize those times for what they are…the enemy trying to defeat us. Thanks for this post, Jen. thanks for your prayers.

  11. Chris Malkemes says:

    Hi, Girl. Coming to you from “The Loft” Nice and a great reminder of the power of choice. We see ourselves as the WIP (work in progress) but He sees us as His masterpiece created from His skillful beautiful hands…cutting away what doesn’t please Him is a good thing. A hardened heart cannot be touched. 2 Samuel 10:12 The Lord will do what is good in His sight. ~Chris~

  12. Ruth says:

    I love this post Jen! I am in the midst of a struggle at the moment and it such a great reminder that we must fight the good fight of faith during this time. Thank you so much for sharing this at The Loft! Always encouraged by your posts! 🙂 God bless!

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