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Blessed Wrestling: Biblical Reflections on Discerning God’s Call

by Jessie Squires Colwell



ISBN: 9781953052506

What is God’s preferred plan for my life?

Blessed Wrestling is designed as an eight-week study. During this time, I invite you to learn from Jacob, Isaiah, Mary, Paul, Deborah, Esther, Ruth, and the disciples as they wrestled with God. Because of their encounters with God, they were changed and blessed to be a blessing—for us. Each week I invite you to spend time in prayer—listening, pondering, and even striving—as you discern what God is doing and wants to do in your life. Through this book you will study call narratives from the Bible, participate either as an individual or in a group through reflective questions, listen to music, and have the opportunity for going even deeper into God’s heart. Whether you are considering a call to ministry or mission or simply trying to figure out the next steps in life, my hope is that this book will be a tool of discernment and encouragement for you in whatever spiritual wresting match you may find yourself.

Jessie Squires Colwell is an elder in The United Methodist Church where she pastors three small churches in Virginia. She developed curriculum for the Virginia Conference UMC Calling 21 program, a summer internship for young adults about ministry discernment. She currently plans training events for new pastors and serves on numerous boards and committees where she interacts with candidates in ministry at every level. She has served on global, national, and local boards for The United Methodist Church. After attending seminary at Duke Divinity School, Jessie came back home to Virginia. Rev. Colwell is married to Nelson and they have a son.  In addition, Rev. Colwell has a blog and popular podcast.

Praise for Blessed Wrestling

Jessie Cowell has written a timely book for people who want to understand how to hear and discern God’s call. She ushers us into the community of the called, those in the Bible who did remarkable things for God, as well as those she has known and observed in our time. Imbedded questions will enable you to consider God’s call in your life and chart a course of joyful service.

–Tom Berlin, Lead Pastor, Floris United Methodist Church, Herndon, VA

From the stories of Biblical characters which link to our stories today, we are invited to take on the challenge of wrestling with God, to endure the struggle and angst, and to prevail until God blesses us, albeit with a limp, to claim a transformed life.

–Bishop Charlene Kamerer, United Methodist Bishop, Retired

Discerning a call into vocational ministry is by nature a beautiful yet isolating experience. Birthed out of her own season of wrestling, Jessie Colwell invites the reader to join her on a journey of discernment. Engaging the voices of fellow biblical discerners Colwell welcomes the inner wrestling that is part of any spiritual journey. Blessed Wrestling is a much-needed resource and will be a valued asset for anyone in a season of discernment.

–Rachel Billups, Senior Pastor, Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church, Tripp City, OH

The one thing you won’t wrestle with in life is the importance of Jessie Colwell’s work. Through stories, reflections, and a deep dive into scripture, Blessed Wrestling beautifully reminds us of the forward momentum wrestling affords. With an emphasis on hope, Colwell reveals that God never gives up on us, our calling, and our blessedness of being called children of God.

–Matt Rawle, Lead Pastor, Asbury United Methodist Church, Bossier City, LA

God’s calling is upon each of our lives- clergy and laity alike. The question shifts from ‘if’ to ‘how.’ How is God calling each of us to engage in kingdom building here on earth? Through the turning of each page, you will wrestle with God at key crossroads where calling weaves through dynamics of our daily lives. Jessie beautifully provides a framework to ask the deep, reflective questions that only we can ask ourselves as we seek to follow God’s plan for each of our lives.–Allison Lindsey, Director of Connectional Ministries, South Georgia Annual Conference UMC

Colwell invites the reader on a spiritual journey of wrestling and discerning one’s call on their life. Her reflections are personal, sharing from her own life, faith, struggle and ministry experiences. This book is an insightful and practical resource that guides the reader through spiritual exercises that lead to personal transformation and blessings.

–Bishop Sharma D. Lewis, Resident Bishop, Virginia Conference UMC

Wesley’sFoundery Books is an imprint of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church. These books are clearly and accessibly written, with an emphasis on church life and ministry. Representing the rich diversity of the church, Wesley’s Foundery Books offer a disciplined and balanced approach and are available in the U.S. and U.K. GHBEM Publishing is an affiliate member of the Association of University Presses.

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