Typically, I’m one of those people who enjoy having everything planned out way in advance.
Whenever we travel, I usually pack everything days in advance, carefully planning out everything we’ll need and what I’ll wear during every moment of every day that we’re gone. Even the outfit I plan to wear the day we leave will be washed and ready to go several days beforehand. I just like being prepared---way, way, way in advance. (Compulsive, anyone?)
Recently, as we prepared to head out for several days away from home, I followed my normal pattern. Everything was washed, folded, packed and ready to roll---that is until the weather through me a curve ball. As we stepped outside to get into the car to leave, I realized I needed to quickly alter my plans. After enduring a Spring that never seemed to really warm up, Summer had arrived and IT WAS HOT. Quickly, I realized that if I didn’t want to melt into a puddle by noon and spend the day glistening with perspiration, I was going to have to change into cooler clothes.
“I’ll just be 2 minutes”, I said as I ran back into the house to change. (Yeah, like any woman has ever really been ready 2 minutes, but I was hurrying.)
Quickly, I ran into my room, found some cooler clothes and made the switch. Of course, changing outfits meant that I also needed to change my shoes and my jewelry. (Obviously, right?) Still trying to keep my “2 minutes” closer to the 5 minute mark than 10-15 minutes, I rushed over to my jewelry box searching for a good match.
There it was---one of my favorite necklaces with matching earrings---that will do the trick. Only as I took the necklace out of its box, I realized that it was not ready to wear. Instead, the chain was filled with knots and tangles that needed to be untied before it could be worn. (Personally, I think there’s a “Night at the Museum” thing going on in my jewelry box, where all the pieces come alive at night and throw a dance party creating knots in my necklaces and separating earrings from their backs. It’s the only logical response I can figure for how these things occur.)
With no time to spare, I grabbed the necklace and thought, “I’ll work the knots out in the car.”
That’s what I did. I spent the first half of our trip untying, unwinding, and trying to unravel all of the tiny knots that had formed and interwoven themselves into each other.
Several times I thought, “This is crazy---do I really need a necklace? If I don’t wear it, I don’t have to keep untangling.” At least once, I wished I could just throw the frustrating thing out the window. (But my Mom gave it to me, and it’s sentimental, so…..I kept unwinding.)
Sometime between my frustration and my determination to undo all the knots, I started thinking about how the knots in this necklace are a lot like the knots in our lives. No matter who we are, each of us comes to Jesus with knots…twisted thinking and damaged hearts that need to be untangled and repaired.
As I continued working unraveling the knots in my necklace, I began thanking my Heavenly Father for all of the patience, time, and effort that He put into unraveling the many knots in my life.
….the distorted images I had of myself
….generational iniquities passed down from the wounded souls who came before me
….twisted thinking of how God viewed women and what a woman could and should be
….damage caused by my Dad’s abuse
….and on and on and on the list could go.
Just like my necklace needed to have it’s knots removed before it could serve it’s purpose as an accessory, these were the knots, tangles, and twists that had to be removed from my life before I could be the woman God created me to be and serve the purpose He had for my life.
Were there times when I thought the process was taking too long?
Did I always understand why God was spending so much time untangling the knots in my heart and mind when I felt there were better ways to make use of this time?
Were there days when I thought it would be easier to escape the painful process of inner healing and having my mind renewed, thinking, “Why not just stay tangled---what’s the big deal?”
Yet today, I’m grateful that God didn’t allow it. Instead, He patiently and persistently continued the process of healing, restoring, rebuilding, and teaching. He continued shining light into dark places and speaking truth into areas that needed to change. Although it wasn’t always easy, it was absolutely necessary. With every knot that was untied, I was given more joy, more peace, and more freedom to be who God created me to be and live life to the fullest.
Today, I can say that the process of “untangling” was absolutely worth every single moment.
As someone who spent years (I literally mean years) of my life in the untangling process, I want to encourage you today: Allow the Holy Spirit to take the knots and tangles out of your heart and mind.
Don’t fight it---go with it.
Allow Him to do whatever He needs to do to heal you, restore you, remove sin from your life, and make you into the woman He created you to be.
Don’t squirm in His hands and try to find ways to escape the process. Instead, allow Him to take you through it.
Trust me when I say that everything He is doing is for your good. Even if you can’t see it now, you will be so much happier down the road after the Holy Spirit has untangled all off the chains that are holding you captive now, and sets you free.
I understand sometimes it seems frustrating. I totally get the sentiment that it seems like it’s taking forever. But please, trust me when I tell you that it’s totally worth the wait and the effort.
Just like my necklace was able to serve it’s purpose once I removed the knots, so God has a plan and purpose that He wants to fulfill in your life. Removing the knots in your heart and mind are just one part of the amazing journey toward fulfilling the purpose He has for your life.
Even though you may not be able to see it now, every knot that is being untangled is bringing you one step closer to your destiny---being a woman who brings honor and glory to Jesus through her testimony. You become a display of His redemption, healing, and restoration for the entire world to see.
That’s something beautiful. That is your purpose---to become a display of His splendor. It all begins as you allow the Holy Spirit to replace the knots in your life with the beauty He has for you.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy
instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord
for the display of His splendor.