The ‘Unraveling’✟

This blog has been a long time coming. I’ve thought about it many times, off and on over the past several months, even in the past year. I’m not starting a blog because it’s ‘trending’ or anything like that. I’ve never been one to follow trends.😯

I’m starting it because I need a place to share my thoughts, experiences, and the extraordinary things God has taught me over the past (6~ish) years of my life—things I think could be of value to someone. This gives me a place with a little more freedom to share than a social media post. You know how those go..we get lost in our scrolling-and before we know it, we’ve wasted hours reading meaningless things. 😧

I never want to write anything meaningless. Now, depending on the reader, it may indeed be meaningless to some, but with a blog—at least you have the option to read or not to read, to click or not to click!  😧A regular FB post just kinda sucks you in…and before you know it, you’ve read it! 😵Sure, I might ramble some, but my goal is to keep it meaningful and worth your time, should you choose to read it. ❤️

When I read a blog…it’s nice to experience the following things…to be encouraged, look at something in a different way, learn something new, to know I’m not alone when dealing with certain struggles, connect with people in similar life stages, etc. So with that in mind, in order not to completely ramble,😬I’m trusting the Holy Spirit to direct me and inspire me about what to write. I have about 10,000+ thoughts in my head,😵and if I write with no direction, it’s going to be all over the place because there’s so many routes I could go.

If the mention of the Holy Spirit weirds you out, it’s ok; maybe it’ll pique your interest enough to see things from a different perspective, to step one toe out of your comfort zone,☺️ to look past how you ‘grew up’ or what you’ve always ‘known’.

To get me to this point…a lot of tears, heartache, stubbornness, (lots and lots) letting go of comfort, denying self, impatience, steps forward, more steps backward, and so.much.time.wasted. Yes, it’s all a part of the journey, but I still cringe thinking of the time lost when I refused to hand over the reins. Why is that so hard for us to do?

Time is a gift.💝 The older you get, the more you realize how precious time is, and how fast it’s flying by. You will be very protective of it, trust me. 😯

So, if I can save someone a few steps, I would love to help you on your journey. To share things I’ve learned along the way that I wish I’d known decades ago. Yes, decades.😮To share what God has opened my eyes to and continues to teach me as I seek Him. 

This blog is coming to you from a person who has been in the ‘ministry’ (really, what does that even mean🤔) for the past 10~ish years. But before that even~a girl who has been in church, every time the doors were open for basically my entire life. Like, I could’ve been a poster child for the church~involved in anything and everything there was to be involved in. I’m not saying that’s {necessarily} a bad thing…so why am I saying it? Because it played a big role in shaping me into the person I was. And that person….needed a lot of Unraveling to take place, in part because of the religious trap I found myself in.

 All this to say~a very pivotal point jumps out to me that can be a game changer. Don’t~please don’t, take one person’s word for something and move on. Don’t take anyone’s words as fact until you’ve researched it yourself. No one, and I repeat-NO ONE has it all together and/or knows all there is to know about anything. Not your pastor, your doctor, your best friend, the person you idolize, not a single one. 

It’s an alarming thought to realize the trap we’ve landed in because of this very thing. Why don’t we even question things we hear? The vast amount of religious lies that have been conjured up in the minds of fist pounding, bible thumping preachers to fit whatever agenda they may have had at the time…then those words are spread and 100+ years later you still hear the same inaccurate ideas spat back at you from behind a pulpit. Then an erupting chorus of amens and emphatic nods. And we’re still believing it-not even knowing if it was Truth in the first place. I’m not saying this is always the case, but beware of believing something as fact, when it may indeed be far from the Truth. 

In fact, as soon as a person THINKS they know everything, ‘have it all figured out’, or ‘have arrived’, that’s a telltale sign that they don’t. Beware. Believe me, I’ve learned this lesson too many times to count! Explore it for YOURSELF and USE the brilliant mind God gave YOU. You are brilliant, and have a unique set of gifts and skills that define YOU. You don’t need anyone else to make up your mind for you, they should not hold that much power and influence over you.

On the positive side to this, I believe you can learn something from everyone. That’s the way it’s supposed to work, in God’s ultimate plan, we work together like pieces of a puzzle, like parts of a body. Even if it’s a person you despise, or vehemently disagree with, if you LISTEN long enough, there is a lesson in their story for you. Don’t be so close-minded that you shut down an opportunity to hear something God has for you. 💖

Jim Cymbala, Beth Moore, Louie Giglio, Dr. Caroline Leaf, Francis Chan, Joyce Meyer (😯), Paul Young, Ann Voskamp…these are just a few, whether they are authors, speakers, pastors, bloggers, or just regular people like you and me, that have played an integral part in shaping my story. You may have heard of some, hate some, doesn’t really matter. God used them at the exact right moment to speak truth into my life. But, I don’t idolize any of them. Can I admire them? Sure. Are there some that speak such Truth that I hang on every word? Absolutely. But as soon as you put a person on a pedestal and elevate them to a standard they can never achieve, something will happen that will shatter that pedestal and they’ll come crashing down, and you’ll be sorely disappointed. That’s happened to me on more than one occasion, so I learned quickly to remember that they are no different than me, they will make mistakes and are in need of Grace just like the rest of us.

Some I still follow, but honestly if I read or listened to some today I likely wouldn’t agree with everything they have to say. But it’s ok. Because God used them at a time in my life when I needed them. And isn’t that a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ? Even though I may not be as hard-core of a fan as I once was with some, I’m sure they are still greatly influencing others with their wisdom. It’s really a matter of crossing paths with another person who is following the lead of the Holy Spirit…in the right place, at the right time. All helped me fill in a piece of the puzzle. 

Another helpful tip I’ve learned is to ask the Holy Spirit to teach me what He wants me to hear through any book, sermon, message, podcast, blog, etc that I receive. I may not agree with everything that any one person says, but I always learn something valuable. Kind of like the phrase ‘eat the fish and spit out the bones…’ 🎣 🐟 

So what will I be writing about? As I mentioned earlier, there are so many thoughts spilling out of my head, I have to go with what He tells me and when He tells me to write, and go from there. ❤️

Until then, I’ll ‘briefly’ (obviously brief really isn’t a word in my vocabulary, but I’ll try! 😂) tell you how it all began, the ‘Unraveling’ as I affectionately like to call it. The real life journey of Jeremiah 29:13. ‘Then, {with a deep longing} you will seek Me and require Me {as a vital necessity} and {you will} find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.’ {AMP}

On a random Sunday morning, I couldn’t stop crying. It was a ‘normal’ Sunday for us, which is not really normal for most. Matt being a Music Pastor at a church in Georgia, we were there every time the doors were open, which I’m not sure that’s all that healthy for anyone.

It wasn’t anything anyone said, did, didn’t say, didn’t do. It wasn’t a song or a sermon. It was just a breaking point in which I realized that something wasn’t adding up in this ‘christian life’ that I thought I had been living for the past 20~ish years. I was done. Completely done with living a lie. I was beyond miserable. 

I had a 2 1/2 year old and a baby at the time, the most loving husband any girl could ask for, good friends, nice house, etc etc etc. But sadly none of that mattered at the time because of the suffocating depression that was overwhelming me and sucking me further and further into the pit. 

I had no choice but to leave church that day, no explanation to my husband, left my kids in the nursery. Started driving. And screaming. To who? God. Blaming and accusing Him for giving me a miserable life. I know He didn’t. But who can even be rational in a situation like this? This might sound shocking and even blasphemous to some, but I’m determined to be real. No games, no masks. How could I  speak to God in this way and not be THANKFUL for everything He had given me? Subconsciously I was thankful. I did not want anything to happen to my family and I loved them with my entire heart, but it’s hard to be thankful when all you see is blackness. Be careful to tell anyone who is suffering from depression or any debilitating thoughts to ‘be thankful’ and other unrealistic expectations you may have for them. It may be well-intentioned, but be careful because self-righteousness can choke the very air out of a room just as quickly as depression can.😕

I ended up in a parking lot not far from the church. I had emphatically and repeatedly informed God that He better ‘do something’ because I couldn’t go on like this. He listened. He prompted me to revisit a particular study that I had started a few years ago but never finished. It was an incredibly long and in-depth study. ‘Breaking Free’ by Beth Moore. 😵

Starting the very next day, I started the loooonnnggest Bible study in the world~by myself. I was done wasting time~ so I was all in. I watched the videos by myself, in segments, all while taking care of the 2 1/2 year old and the baby. I had to. So, a study that was supposed to take 10 weeks, took me a solid year. No joke-it took me a full YEAR to complete it. But I finished it. And I even did it again. Not because I had to, because I wanted to. And I learned A LOT. I can’t remember every detail but as it comes to me I’ll share.

That was just the beginning. Barely scratched the surface of the freedom I was after, the JOY I was chasing. But it was definitely a start. 

I’m not by any means telling you to stop everything and go do a Beth Moore bible study. In fact, I’m not sure if (today) I would dive so quickly into a cumbersome bible study that involves loads of homework with 2 small kids. But, it was the first step for me in the ‘Unraveling’..God told me to do it, and I am grateful for everything He opened my eyes to. 

But make sure you’re not doing anything like this out of obligation-that messes everything up, and it absolutely kills the joy. But I felt ‘compelled’ to do it. It was Holy Spirit driven. If you want to, if you have the desire to, go for it! He’ll be there.💕

I didn’t know then what I know now, duh. 😝But isn’t that always our desire? ‘If I only knew then what I know now..’

Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. It’s a process, a journey, an unraveling that is different for every single person on earth. Because we’re all unique, and we bring different circumstances and baggage and childhoods and skeletons and hang-ups and regrets to the table. And, when we ASK Him (so important), He lovingly takes our hands in His and we look at the junk we’ve just dumped on the table (that He already knows about anyway)and He begins the tedious, painstaking process of Unraveling. Unraveling the lies—scores of lies we’ve believed about ourself and others, clouded thoughts, depressed spirits, confusion, apathy, insurmountable pain and loss, and the list goes on….and on and on and on.

The Unraveling must take place to pave the road to the new life~the John 10:10 life~the abundant life. ‘I (Jesus) came that they may have and ENJOY life, and have it in ABUNDANCE (to the FULL, til it OVERFLOWS). Let that sink in for a minute. What does that mean to you? A long and arduous journey of serving, mainly out of obligation or guilt, and then getting burned out? I hope not. This verse kept coming back to me and kept urging me to stay this course of seeking Him.  Everytime I veered off the path and was ready to throw in the towel, He came looking for me. Pursued me. Ladies, (and guys) it feels good to be pursued, doesn’t it? Well, He does exactly that, in a way leaving you feeling incredibly valued and loved. 

In fact, He’s all Love. He was Love waiting in the garden after Eve made her decision.  He came looking for them when they were hiding.  

Don’t be afraid of the process.💖When you give Him permission~because He’ll never force Himself on you~He rolls up his sleeves and gets to work. I apologize for the corny illustration, but it’s honestly what has to take place. We can’t sit on the sidelines though, we need to be an active participant in the change….which is the not-so-fun part sometimes. It’s hard not to confuse this with ‘doing something’…that’s not what I’m saying. It’s more about ceasing the struggle to try and ‘figure things out’. That can be exhausting. We always want a formula, a plan to ‘fix’ something, but that’s not at all how He works. It’s a ‘giving up’, a ‘letting go’, and a complete surrender. Yielding.❤️ Trusting. ❤️And even then, we think it’s something we have to DO. Cease the doing. The process, the journey, the ‘undoing’, the ‘unraveling’ won’t be easy, but it’s worth it~because it’s your only road to true freedom.

The good news is that He’ll be with you every step of the way.💙And He takes baby steps with us~because He sees the big picture and knows the best route to take. It would be so much easier if we could just jump to the finish line. But then you wouldn’t have a story to tell, and it’s those stories that connect us to each other.

Thanks for reading. 💖

Every.mile.matters. ❤️

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