So what is the tangle that I have been talking about? We each have had our own tangle to deal with and each one of our tangles are multifaceted. These tangles are knotted up with all sorts of things. I am going to start with tangle strands we all have been in, then to my local situation, then to my personal life.
- Whatever we didnt get to process from 2019 because 2020 hit us like a ton of bricks in March. Things like my daughter getting married and moving out.
- Where you live has given you a unique experience of that ton of bricks. Everything from lockdowns to shutdowns, from isolation to community gathering, from loss of business or job, plus everthing else in all that.
- Your childhood experiences and how you have processed those helped create your willingness for compliance or non-compliance would have played a factor. Some fighting – some hiding. Some submitting – some questioning.
- The onslaught of one side being pitted against another side cut and even severed many of us from family and friends. Cancel culture and social media bullying were off the charts.
- For many people there was sickness of varying degrees and loss of loved ones.
- For us here in Iowa, next up was the August Derecho. We in Cedar Rapids have been through natural disaster. ie flood of 08, but this was 14 days of hell. The entire city was destroyed by straightline winds that fell upwards of 80% of our tree canopy. It turned our city into a toppled Jenga nightmare. No power. No cell service for a few days. This city is an army of workers who helps their neighbors. But that day everyone was on their own while each person handled their own home and land before they could help another. It was like we each got stuck into our own private isolation camp for a few days. We eventually came out of it but there was so much work to do. How do you stop to process when so much pain, frustration, and loss is everywhere? No one cared about masks or who’s vaccinated those days. We cared about saving homes, feeding families, and making it through.
- Then for us at Springs of Life, our Pastor suddenly stepped down.
- For me, I was asked to pick up the torch and keep running while we entered pastoral transition and seaching for a new lead pastor.
- One of the first things I remember from our new pastor saying was this quote:
He, and his wife Lindsay, went right to work in 2021 assessing and sifting the state of the staff, teams, and new church. Asking questions like, “What lies in the rubble of your life, or around you, that you need to stop walking past, and simply call out?” I specifically was very angry at the way people had treated each other through the covid mess. They also began clearing up running lanes of ministry and simplified a lot of how we were doing things as a church. I have found their way of excavating souls, and seeing what is there, to be of great help but also a struggle for me. I had decided to allow them in and doing that was often like bright searing light on my soul. It was good but I also walked through many emotional tornadoes.
10. Around July 2021 – one of the wheels on the bus began to shake. I started to really miss my friends who had left. I was feeling sad. I was struggling with feeling misunderstood by people who stayed. I was sensing a loss of vision and purpose. I wasn’t convinced I was in the right place. As I’ve looked back over my journal, I can see how the Lord helped me by untangling single-strand issues as I walked with Him. His grace in the midst of struggle is all was can ask for and I thank God for that.
11. August 2021 – Early in the month, I started a long process of settling the affairs of my aging Grandmother. Dealing with DHS and sorting out moving her from her care center and into a memory care center. Covid had kept me and my Grandma apart most of the last 2 years. She was losing her memory. She barely remembered me. We had spent every week together for 12 years. This was a rough time. There was a bunch of family drama too with her son. At the end of the month, my entire family (me, hubby, son, daughter, son in law, girls, brother and sister in law) all got sick.
12. Sept 2021 – My hubby ended up in the hospital with double pneumonia and was very ill. I was angry with the system and the refusal to early treat people.
13. By the end of December I had full on walked into the wilderness of testing. I had written, ” Lord, I just struggle…. no power, no energy, no interest, no desire … nothing that produces something. I am bracing – holding for the beating – I just feel like my life is consisting off right now from one day to the next. As I prayed and prayed, He simply said, “Love is the basis of who I am! I am right here.”
14. At the end of Dec – we paid off our mortgage and became debt free.
15. In 2022 – My grandmother died in January. We had a financial scare. Then a financial blessing. More friends moved away. Confusion and stress at work, unclarity had made itself visible, at home things were strained. To be honest the whirlwinds have been wild. It’s been a real rollercoaster. The tangling has been real!
That is a lot to walk through in a short few years. Everyone has a list like that.
I had found something that I want to share from Mid-November of 2020:
“I sense a lot of shake-ups coming. Little shifts and changes that will pin point and reveal the hearts of people. It will be a tough season coming but if you will persevere it is going to be so good. It’s going to look and feel difficult but the Father wants to bring forth the growth and fruit of the seeds of the last season that were planted. It’s a time of pushing up through the darkness and the hard ground.”
The journal entry that I wrote about this said: “The hearts of men are certainly being revealed: What is the Lord showing you? If we learn it, its going to be so good! Don’t give up when something doesn’t go the way you thought it was going too – persevere! Don’t hide away when it feels hard – persevere! Don’t run when to going gets tough – persevere! Know the season you are in – its time to push up and through some hard ground. As the Lord shows us what is in the way, let Him move it. We have work to do! This gives me hope…. I am where He said I would be.”
This is what it means to be in the unraveling. God starts unpacking you, untangling you, and undoing the old you so that the new you can be brought forth. Perhaps you too have been in the tangle… and need of an unraveling. It’s time to call out to God.
Join me in the conclusion next time.
Thanks for listening,