This weekend I attend my first ever Beth Moore conference. It.was.AWESOME! I laughed. I cried. I prayed. I worshiped. I sang. I left a far different person than when I first walked through those doors!
Beth's "words" for the weekend were "tangled" and "untangled". Every scripture message we talked about throughout this event described these words.
She talked about how our lives can become so tangled and knotted up. Each challenge or difficulty is a rope or chain that is bound around us, tightening it's grip on us. Soon, many challenges can intertwine themselves and we get so knotted up we feel as though there is no way to escape. But there is. And she gave us nine points to prove it.
1. God can untangle us when life's about to kill us.
2. God can untangle us when we're tangled up inside.
3. God can untangle us when our motives are in tangles.
I liked this one. Mixed motives can twist life into tangles while pure motives take you straight down the road. I've learned this the hard way. Convincing myself that I'm doing something with pure motives, trusting God all the way, when really, I'm following my own path and justifying it to suit me and what I want...not what God wants. Sometimes things in life get mixed up because our motives get mixed up. We wonder, "How in the world did this happen?" The answer: We started out doing something in the Spirit...but we ended up in the flesh. But my "mess-ups" cannot mess up God.
4. The Cross already cut the ropes of entangling sin.
Jesus. Jesus on the Cross. That untangles anything...but I have to be willing to accept it.
5. Those untangled once can be well entangled again.
Whoa! This one snapped me into focus. I can finally become untangled from something, and easily get tangled up in it again...and the consequences the second time around are more significant than the first. I can't just clean up my life, I need to FILL up my life. When I'm untangled...free...from something that has had me held so tightly and confined, I need to fill up that free space with something good...something solid...something healthy. Because if I don't, the enemy will come to claim that space again...and he'll bring friends this time...and the consequences will be far worse than the first time I was held captive.
6. A grudge can entangle us where we need untangled most.
As long as we hold a grudge against someone, we are subject to them. They are tied to us and us to them. It takes a lot of energy and time to hold a grudge. By holding a grudge against someone, we are forever tied to that person because we need to maintain that grudge. If we decide that we are going to let go of that grudge...stop nursing it...we'll be free of it. Untangled from it.
7. If destruction fails to entangle us, distraction will do its best.
Distraction = entangled. Pure distraction can entangle us. If I decide that I'm going to distract myself with something so as not to have to do what really needs to be done, I'm entangled. I say, "I'm SO busy." I say, "I just don't have time for that because I have to do X, Y, or Z." Yes...sometimes that's true. Things need to get done. But if I find that I'm using something to keep me busy...to distract me...from what NEEDS to be done, then something has to change. There is a difference between "doing" something and becoming "entangled" in something. Beth used the acronym S.A.D.D. - "Spiritual Attention Deficit Disorder". When we find that we have quiet time...unaccounted for time...we fill it up with distraction so we don't have to be alone with our own, broken selves.
8. God can make a mighty soldier out of ANYONE willing to get untangled.
A.N.Y.O.N.E. Even me. Who knew?! A soldier does not live a civilian life. He lives his life serving his Commander. I am God's soldier...He is my Commander. Beth gave an example of this point by asking two women with long hair to volunteer. Beth then braided the hair of the first woman. She explained that oftentimes we separat out our spiritual life, our work life, our home life, etc...and attempt to intertwine them with each other. Try as we might to do this...it all gets tangled (or braided) together. Trying to entangle our world and our spiritual world, however, creates zero effectiveness. The second woman, Beth gave her a pony tail. Then she explained that we need to take everything in our life...spiritual, work, home, etc., and bring it all together in one place. We need to "pull it all together into one rubber band!" We need to pull it ALL up and and hold it ALL together with God.
9. Whatever tries to tangle with us, tangles with God.
This might be summed up best by saying, "You mess with my kid, you mess with me!"
Prior to this event, I had been entangled. Not just by one thing, but many things. One rope wrapped around and through another rope, wrapped around and through another rope...all binding me to sometimes near immobility. One rope was fear. One rope pride. Another, self-doubt. Yet another, guilt. Another greed. Then there's always the cancer chain that has tried to strangle my husband and children. There are too many ropes and chains to name. For the last several weeks, fear and doubt had me in a stronghold. I was fine during the day because I was busy. Busy with "have to" things and busy with stuff to "distract" me from the "have to" things. But at night, when my head hit the pillow...my mind would spin and swirl and fear and doubt would rear their ugly heads and keep me awake. I was needing to take Excedrin PM pretty much every night to fall asleep. If at the end of the day I was so tired that I thought there was no way I wouldn't hit the pillow and fall straight to sleep, I would skip an Excedrin PM only to lay there for hours before finally falling asleep, and then only restless sleep.
But on Friday night, I came home after the first session of the conference, visited with Scott a little, checked on each of the the kids (because it was pulling on my heart that I had not tucked them into bed...very rare for me not to do this) and I went to bed. No Excedrin PM. And I fell asleep. Almost immediately. And I slept all night. On Saturday afternoon I returned home at the end of the conference and we enjoyed a relaxing rest of the day. The kids were playing with friends. I was happy to have gone to the conference but very happy to be back home with my family, too. We decided that we would have a camp out in our room that night. Faithy on the loveseat, Parker on the air mattress, the dogs snuggled up next to their human of choice. My head hit the pillow and again I fell right to sleep....with no sleep aid necessary. Sunday night, was the same...minus the camp out...but right to sleep with no assistance in the form of a little pill was necessary. Could it be that understanding my tangles and what God wants to do with my tangles...and allowing Him to do it...that I was becoming untangled from the chains and ropes that bind? Yep. I'm pretty sure that's it. I'm sure that I will still have my moments...my Excedrin PM times....but for three nights in a row, after many, many, many nights and weeks otherwise...I felt free. Less burdened. Less fearful. Less doubtful. Less guilty.
Here's wishing you a peaceFULLYsimple...and untangled...day!