Turning to God with our Tension by Jenny Erlingsson

by | Nov 10, 2022 | The Love Offering Guest Blog Series

“You need to write.” My eyes blinked at the woman sitting next to me at the pastoral gathering. She was like me in a way, but further along the journey. We had both moved from our homes in other countries to plant our families on the black sand shores of Iceland. This island straddled across two continents that held the beautiful tension of Fire and Ice.


This missionary from England knew that tension well. When she asked how I was doing just a little over a year into our move, I couldn’t help but spill over with the tears that seemed so close to the surface. My heart was overflowing with longing to be known, to find my footing, to be a good wife and mom amidst my uncertainties in this place. But as she encouraged me, she had no idea how her words would pierce me. 


“You need to write”. 


I had spent the two weeks leading up to that weekend crying out to God. Prayers like tears dripping onto my Bible and journal because I didn’t know if I had permission in our new role of mission-focused ministry to do that. Was it okay for me to spend time on what my heart longed to do? What would others think? 


But what did God think?


There was a woman that we read of in the Bible who went through her own form of wrestling. Feeling the tension of question in her core. This struggle took on a more physical form as two babies grew in Rebekah’s womb. Instead of walking in ignorance to the situation or running after the opinion of others, she decided to turn to the One who was ultimately responsible for what she carried. 


“The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.”

Genesis 25:22 NIV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬


Even the promises of God can cause us to struggle in a way. The blessings we pray for may produce tension that is hard to define. Maybe it’s because we have to make the choice to surrender and trust. Our wrestle may even be because we don’t think we have the capabilities to carry what God has given us to steward.  



Things were going well, in a sense, for my family in Iceland. We were seeing God open doors. God was bringing provision and defining our call. But I was not fully well. Because I wrestled with the place our family was in and the position of my heart. 


In the Biblical text, we see that Rebekah made a choice that we too must make each and every day. Choosing to inquire of the Lord. To go and ask the Lord what He thinks. What is He doing? 


It doesn’t have to be something that we strive for, but the consistent rhythm of turning. Of leaning in through Jesus. So much so that we walk in continual abiding. The Father knows what to do with the tension within us, a beautiful one of longing and obedience, of weight and wrestle. Because through his tender gardening of our hearts, he positions us in order to cut and prune. He shows us what to lay down…and what to cling to.


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About the Author:

Jenny is a wife, mom, author, and speaker helping women stay deeply rooted in Christ-centered Identity, Intimacy, and Influence. After twelve years in pastoral ministry, she lives and serves in Iceland with her Viking husband and four adorably feisty kids. Her debut novel will release in 2024 with Revell. You can connect and follow along on her journey at jennyerlingsson.com.


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I’m Rachael Adams

I’m an author, speaker, and host of The Love Offering Podcast. My mission is to help women find significance and purpose throught Christ.

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