Still breathing? Good! Now that you have owned up to the mess, it’s time to take the next step in the process of unraveling. It’s time to get to work.
Yep. I said work. Did that surprise you? Perhaps you were under the impression that once you surrendered and confessed, the rest involved you kicking back and watching God work it out before your eyes. #nope. I’m sorry to report that while He does work things out FOR us, more often than not, He chooses to work things out THROUGH us.
Your participation in the process is crucial. So if you aren’t ready to take ownership of the cluster currently called your life, totally cool. I bid you adieu, fair lady or lass. God speed. But if you are sick and tired of wading thru the mud and the muck day after day, pull up a chair and take a seat. We are about to unpack some of that baggage you’ve been carrying around.
Lamentations 3:40 says “Let is examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.”
Baggage. We’ve all got it and most of us underestimate the emotional and physical toll it takes on us over the years. For some of us, this exercise could take a few hours so do not rush into this lightly. Once you have set aside some time and prepared your heart, grab a pen and paper and let’s start at the beginning. The very beginning. Go back to your earliest childhood memory and begin to process through it this way:
What was the person, place or event?
What specifically happened?
What effect did that have on my life?
How did that damage me?
What was my part in it?
(Disclaimer: while question #5 is VERY important, if you have been abused in ANY way by ANYONE, your part in it is a big, fat NONE.)
Work your way through your life, up to the present moment, using these questions and the Lord as your guide. Listen for words or feelings that pop up as you break down these pieces of the puzzle that make up your life as you know it. Be prepared to be surprised at what things your mind and heart have been holding onto all these years.
There it is. All out on paper. Another level of the unraveling is complete. Now all you have to do is the next right thing: share it with someone who can bear the weight of your story. Your safe person, your ride or die, your “hide the body” friend. If your unsure whether you have that person in your life, schedule an appointment with a counselor. But share it. Let yourself be seen and known. Then lay it all at the feet of Jesus. It’s already been covered at the cross anyway. Ask Him to heal the wounded places that you’ve uncovered and remove the shortcomings that you long to grow through.
And then breathe. Deep inhale and a long, slow exhale. Peace. You feel it? It feels weird, doesn’t it?!?! Rest here for a bit. Be extra kind to yourself in this place. After all, unraveling is hard work and you are doing hard things.