the tension + the undoing: the story of an awakening.

I’m almost afraid to share these things, because of the fear as being seen as a drama queen or too much. I’m afraid because I feel like it’ll be seen as “just an Annie thing” or even having this part of my story seen as insignificant, having the healing that has been completely in awe and wonder seen as nothing more than the lights turning on, when the reality is that I have walked through so. much. to get to the victory of right now.

But I’m choosing to write this, because if anything, I want you to know that you’re not alone, that He’s moving, even when it feels like the opposite. And if you feel a similar way about any part of your story– you’re not too much, and it is significant.

Last night, I stood up in a room of women and read March 2018 from my journal.

So many words about feeling lost, confused, absolutely heartbroken, abused, used, rejected. Feeling betrayed by God, abandoned by God, not seeing Him, not feeling Him. There was this tension there, between being emotionally honest, and declaring reality: that He’s good.

It was this season that was the climax of striving, of settling. Of trying to do it on my own and failing miserably. Of thinking that I needed to carry the pressure of being in control and just make it all WORK.

It was one situation that was brought about by a million others. It was a place that I had arrived at unknowingly, due to lies that I’d believed, that I’d chosen to settle into.

The thing about tension is that one side is going to win out. The settling or the Savior: it’s one or the other. It’s either you’re in control or He’s in control. You can’t live with the two side by side forever; one has to become reality, and the other has to fall in service to it.

Tension always leads to undoing. 

Undoing.

The undoing is scary, and maybe that’s why we’re afraid to press into the tension. But, inevitably, the tension is going to press into us, and then there’s this question, this fear: will it break me?

We see friendships undone, situations be undone, jobs be undone, plans be undone. The out-of-control begs a response: we either begin to strive, seeking to piece things together to come up with solutions to problems that we don’t really understand, or we surrender all that we don’t know, and we let there be emptiness. We choose to allow the space to be empty, and choose to trust that He’s going to fill on His own terms.

If we resist the undoing, we will be broken. Or, we can press into it, and let the God who became broken for us pour into the empty spaces.

As the undoing was unfolding, I remember this one night where I finally broke down and told God how hurt I was. (I wrote about that on Blessed Is She.) Previously, I felt this pressure to resist the undoing, because I was “supposed” to have it all together. But my Father was never the one who told me to keep it all together; in fact, He’s the One who told me that it was okay to just let it all fall. He gives permission to be undone.

We so often see the undoing as a punishment. I know I did: it was so hard to see the Father as kind in that season a year ago. I didn’t understand how His reality of good matched up with the pain that I was experiencing.

That undoing season was more than just a rejection that happened, it was the culmination of: was I going to believe that God was faithful, that He was good, or was I going to claim an illusion of control and do it all in light of that?

We can resist it, and be broken by it, or we can press into it, and let the God who became broken for us pour into the empty spaces.

We can fight Him on who He is and how He feels about us, or we can look at the reality of His love for us stretched upon a cross and see it all in light of them.

So– how? How do we press into the tension, allow ourselves to be undone, and come out awakened?

We do it knowing that He doesn’t ask us to do anything that He hasn’t first done.

He was undone.

He was undone, and He was resurrected. He allowed His heart to be undone for me, seen through His arms stretched out across a crude wooden cross on a day that everything seemingly spun out of control.

He allowed Himself to be undone for me. Think of this undoing in terms of Lover and Beloved: you have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride.

He allows Himself to be affected by you. Jesus wept.

He allows His heart to be stirred to the point of pouring it all out, becoming completely undone.

The undoing isn’t a punishment. God doesn’t set out to hurt us, to just inflict suffering upon us for some greater good. He’s fully interested in your heart, in your well being, in bringing about wholeness.

And last night, I cried while speaking these words because standing here, a year later:

I have seen healing. I have seen Him bring sense and clarity.

I am not broken, and I never did actually break. I have seen restoration, I have seen the Father’s faithfulness.

There’s this story in the bible of the men on the road to Emmaus. The one where Jesus is traveling with them and they don’t recognize Him until they get close to the breaking of the bread (the Eucharist). All of a sudden, they’re able to see the reality that He’s been there all along.

It’s not that their story changed, it’s that they came to see reality as it was.

He never left.

He undoes our perception of reality for something that is greater. And the closer that we get to the sacraments, the more clearly we’re able to see.

When we come close to Him, we recognize that He’s bled into every detail of our lives, taking every step with us.

I’ve had Amanda Cook’s song “Awakening” on repeat the past couple weeks, and this is exactly what was happening: “…while my heart was fast asleep, you were resurrecting me.”

I couldn’t see it, I didn’t see it, but I chose to trust it. And I chose to worship. That was where I learned to worship, where I learned to declare that God was God, and I was me, and that was enough. I wasn’t sure how it was going to be, but I chose to sing before my breakthrough, to submit to the process, and– be undone.

It’s crazy, because in the last year, the weight of that season has dissipated. The gravity is not gone, because I can see how the Lord brought beauty about from ashes, and He’s used that time as a foundation, to build something beautiful.

He never left. He was never out of control.

I’ve learned this, I’m learning this: and it’s not just about big situations, it’s about the little, every day things. The stress, anxiety, whatever: I come into His presence and exhale, and surrender to what I don’t know. And just be.

Awakening. There’s been this magnificent awakening in my life over the last year: awakening to my worth, stepping deeper into the Father’s heart. All from choosing to press into the tension, and become undone.

Whatever was meant to harm me has been indeed used for my good, because I have been stretched and strengthened and I have not been broken.

And now I’m awake, aware of the reality of being rescued, aware that He’s never left. I know that I am chosen, I know that I am found. There’s no going back to the tombs, to the shadows where I fed on crumbs, when the King of Abundance has freed me.

As the song “Awakening” goes: “I’m never going back to sleep, how could I after what I’ve seen.”

I can’t go back to the addiction for control, when the freedom of being a child is just so much sweeter. He’s redeemed it all, and He’s shown me who He is.

There were so many nights that I never thought that I would breathe again, so much hurt that I could never see becoming healed.

Let it happen. Let the pieces fall, move with the tension. Become undone. Because in the undoing, He’s showing you who you are to Him. How He wants you.

I cannot believe that Jesus rescued me from everything that I was in. I wrote in my journal so many times about how I needed to be rescued, about how I didn’t know what to do, about how no advice was enough, and about how I just needed a supernatural God.

And He did it. He came through. He rescued.

And now– I’m awakened, awakening. There’s so much space, and there’s only more.

So wherever you’re at: the tension will not break you, and the undoing is not a malicious plot, or power-play from a cruel father. It’s a continuation of a love story that began long before you did, to empty your hands, and fill you with all that He purchased for you.

Press into the tension, be undone. Awakening is coming.

There is more.

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