I was totally about to pull a “Jacob.”That’s probably not really a thing, to pull a “Jacob,” but in my mind, in my walk with the Lord, it totally is now.
Earlier this week, I had an argument with my husband. Not shocking, married people do that sometimes. What you see on Instagram isn’t always what real life looks like. But I digress… he and I both said some things that really actually hurt each other. I insulted him and he insulted me back. It’s not right, but it’s what it was. And it was over something SO silly: housework.
If you’ve read my blogs in the past, it’s my firm understanding of scripture and the desires put on my heart that I be home with my children, for their sake as well as that of my marriage, rather than chasing career and financial endeavors. That’s not something that’s always been on my heart, but rather it’s something the Holy Spirit has grown in me since becoming a mom in 2009, a Christian in 2011, and a wife in 2014. But, in true Godly fashion, this isn’t just handed to me.
I’m in a season of waiting. Still.
It’s getting so close to being reality, but I’m still waiting.
But back to the argument over housework, I left the room so full of anger and rage because I thought to myself, ‘How dare he even think to come back at me for him having to take out the dog, do the dishes, and help with laundry?! He should carry half of the household burden because I still make half the income!” Didn’t he realize that I only still go to work every day out of respect for him, because respecting your husband is obedience to God? And I decided on my own (for those few minutes at least) that I was going to quit my job the next day with or without his go-ahead.
Irrational, I know. (I’m 26 weeks pregnant; cut me some slack, people. Just being real).
I holed up in a dark room for a few minutes and just sobbed. Quickly, my rage turned to sadness turned to a humbling of my proud heart before God. I didn’t say anything, but I know He heard my heart anyway. My pity party became just a quiet moment of real and raw brokenness before Jesus. At that moment, my husband came to me; heart already prepared to meet mine, and heard me out. We sought each other’s forgiveness a few times throughout the remainder of the evening and praise God, all’s well.
But then… a message came back to me and I’m so grateful. Just a few days ago, I listened to a pastor teach on the story of Jacob, and I realized as I talked this out yesterday with a group of ladies I’m in Bible study with that I was totally about to be a Jacob.
Quick re-cap on Jacob as I can recall it:
Jacob was one of two sons to Isaac, named “Ja-cob” meaning “heel snatcher” because he would snatch the heel of his brother, Esau, holding him back and taking his place.
Jacob was promised to inherit his father’s blessing by God. He was also his mother’s favorite. However, he was not his father’s favorite.
When Isaac was scheming to disobey God’s command to pass this birthright down to Jacob and give it to Esau instead, their mother schemed with Jacob to disguise him and dress him up like Esau so that Isaac would think he was blessing Esau, but would really bless Jacob. And boom, Jacob obtained that birthright blessing, but by deceit rather than trusting that God would do as he promised.
God met Jacob there and Jacob had this dream or vision where God’s blessing was reaffirmed to Jacob, that it would still happen the way God said it would.
So Jacob goes to a town to find work where he finds second-born, Rachel. And Jacob really likes what he’s found.
Jacob agrees to work 7 years for Rachel’s hand in marriage, but after those 7 years, that is not exactly what Jacob gets. As it turns out, Rachel had an older sister, Leah, that the father could simply not marry off to anyone. So being that she was the first born, when it was to be the wedding night of Jacob and Rachel, the father kept all the lights off and sent in Leah instead. Come morning light, Jacob realizes what’s happened and is pretty upset (probably didn’t feel so nice to be on the receiving end of the trickery, I bet).
Being that he really wanted to be with Rachel, however, he agreed to work another 7 years for the father to win the hand of Rachel, also. And so he does.
Eventually, he has a moment where he’s really faithful and trusts the Lord when it comes to inheriting some sheep and makes a deal with the father and winds up inheriting every single sheep that his father-in-law owned. But it was about 20 years of painful work before this all really paid off.
Also important to note, some idols go missing one day and he issues a death sentence to anyone found with these things, and turns out, Rachel is the one who had them. So Jacob loses Rachel.
But then, Jacob hears that Esau is coming to kill him again, and instead of trusting that God put this plan in place for my life and He’ll bring it to fruition, he begins sending Esau things, like gifts, trying to assuage his brother. God’s trying to speak to him and he’s not listening, so the angel of the Lord comes and Jacob literally wrestles with him until the angel touches his hip and finally, Jacob cries out to God for his help and the Lord blesses him for this.
Esau arrives and he’s got this softened and prepared heart toward his brother, and invites him home. But God had told Jacob to go to Bethel so he decided to go there. Unfortunately, though, he stops about 15 miles short of Bethel because of some financial opportunities, and this really costs him: two of his sons wind up in a lot of trouble, and his daughter is raped.
Eventually Jacob does make it to Bethel, and the plans of the Lord are ultimately fulfilled – as always – and the rest is history.
So how did I almost do this? Well, the Lord promised that I’d be home with my babies, just not when. Some things that day had threatened what I believe the Lord is setting up and is totally capable of providing for, and in my upset over the argument I had with my husband my first thought was that I would just take it. I wasn’t going to wait on my husband’s (but ultimately, the Lord’s) time, I was just going to rebel and make it happen myself. A lot like Jacob and the birthright blessing promised to him, no?
I’m so glad that the Lord came into that incredibly aggressive and rebellious moment and softened my hardening heart! I think about it – had I done such a crazy and truly ridiculous thing out of spite because I believed my husband to be walking in some sort of rebellion himself, how is that even close to me walking in submission to either of them? It’s not! It’s me taking the ends and creating the means, rather than letting God bring me through the appropriate means to grow me, shape me, and prepare me for what being a stay-at-home mom is really all about.
I can’t even begin to guess who would have been the Esau coming after me to kill me, and running me out of my home, but if I could venture one, I imagine it’d be the bank. I might have wound up in a horrible spot working a crappy job because we need to stay afloat for the next 14 years (seven years for each kid maybe, like the 7 years for each wife Jacob had?). But what would have happened if my rebellion led to the loss of one of them, like Jacob’s loss of Rachel? Or the suffering of my children, like that of Jacob’s children? Until FINALLY, after years and years, God finally walks me into the place He wanted for me all along, but with a story riddled with my sin and lack of trust and hope of Him?
The pastor I heard teach on this said it hilariously, but best, he said “He whom the Lord loves, He beats the snot out of.” (You can laugh, it’s supposed to be a bit of a joke). He said something about Jacob had to be broken, had to be hurt in order for Jacob to really walk in the fullness of the plan for and call God had on his life.
And sometimes I wonder if that’s us. Or me, at least.
I’m not a soft lady all the time. 22 years without the Lord, I was brought up to be a strong, independent woman that could run with the boys, okay? I wasn’t supposed to need a man to support me (funny story, I desperately need one, the man Jesus, okay? But my husband, too). Sometimes, I think I’m a real (pardon my French) hard ass. But I’m not, ultimately.
I’m thankful God stepped in, so grateful, before I did something really stupid (I don’t really believe I had the guts to do it anyway) but to usher in reconciliation in my marriage, rather than allowing more resentment and anger to run rampant, reeking all kinds of havoc on us. I’m grateful He said ‘No, we’re not going to do that. Just trust Me,’ because it didn’t work out for Jacob for a long, long time. But also, that He allowed me enough pain to bring me back to that place of submission, because sometimes, yeah, I need these really hard moments that totally wreck me to remind me that I’m fragile, that I don’t have it all together, that I need Jesus, I need my husband, and that it’s okay to be broken hearted because it’s then when the Lord is so near.
And when He’s near to me, I’m reminded how good He is.
But I want to be clear: please don’t mistake my story, or Jacob’s for that matter, as me saying that God will just beat us up if we’re not well behaved. Jacob’s trials, and even the argument I had with my husband, were born out of disobedience to God and a lack of faith and trust in Him. God isn’t the kid with the magnifying glass and we’re the ants He’s trying to set on fire like the movie Bruce Almighty jokes about. He doesn’t want us to have to go through these things, I don’t believe, but sometimes walking us through them is necessary – but that’s because of us, not because of Him.
So if you’re waiting on something, anything – don’t mistake His promise for “Go out and make it happen!” Wait for His call to action, and His provision. He’ll come through. He’s faithful. Always has been, always will be.