Pause

Take a moment to notice any lightness or tension in your body. Are you full of energy or feeling depleted? Are your shoulders tight? Are you thirsty?

Ask God how you can take good care of God’s love embodied in you today.

Breathe in deeply and breathe out slowly four times, remembering God’s care and love for you with each breath.

And hear these words from Jeremiah 29:11:

I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.

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Listen

He said to Jacob, “What’s your name?” and he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name won’t be Jacob any longer, but Israel, because you struggled with God and with men and won.”

Genesis 32:27-28

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Think

Jacob didn’t prevail in the sense of leaving his all-nighter wrestling match unscathed or unchanged. He prevailed by refusing to give up seeking God’s blessing, even when seeking a blessing probably seemed a bit of a stretch, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of a wrestling match with an unidentified divine being. His wrestling partner gave him a new name after the match came to an end. Prevailing doesn’t always mean winning; sometimes prevailing can mean that we are changed and transformed through our struggles. God won’t necessarily give us a new name like Jacob, but God will see the change within us.

Can you think of a time in your life when you felt like you were stepping out into the world as a new version of yourself? Perhaps a truer version or a more at-home-with-yourself version? What did you have to struggle through or move beyond in order to embrace who God created you to be and to become? God knows and calls you by name!

Katie Strednak Singer

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Pray

Holy One, thank you for creating and calling all of your creation good! Thank you for guiding me as I continue to be and to become the person that you created me to be. Thank you for grace, joy, community, and transformation. Amen.

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Go

No matter what you are wrestling with today, remember that God goes with you along the way. Together with God, you can make it through hard things!

God has said:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

Isaiah 43:2

Katie Strednak Singer

Rev. Katie Strednak Singer currently serves as Associate Pastor at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in McLean, Virginia. She loves creation care, traveling, cheesy puns, puppy videos, sharing meals with friends, and frequenting Virginia’s tree-lined trails with her partner, Scott, and their two dogs, Peace and Indiana Bones.

Preludes, Book 1 L. 117: No. 10, La Cathédrale Engloutie

Garry Bailey

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