There's lots of talk about growth, personal development, "becoming your best self", etc.

What there's NOT a lot of talk about is what must happen before all that good growth can happen...the unraveling....the undoing...the UNBECOMING.

This thought of unbecoming hit my brain like a flash of light today as I sat down to do some learning.

I queued up the webinar, grabbed my crochet project (I can't just SIT and watch....gotta have something going on with my hands...raise your hand if you're a fidgeter too), pressed 'play', and searched my sewing project for the spot I'd left off.

It had been a while since I'd worked on this project, so it took a minute for me to re-familiarize myself with the stitch I'd been using on it.  As I laid it out flat to get a good look, I realized that it was TERRIBLE haha!

The hook I'd been using was too big for this type of material, so it was a sloppy mess.  I think I might have mixed up stitches a time or two.  And the edges....it couldn't, even with liberal application of imagination, be called anything close to a rectangular shape.

It was a sloppy, mixed up, mis-shaped MESS! haha!

For a moment, I thought of snipping it with some scissors and just starting again.  But no....I love this "velvet" yarn and didn't want to waste it.

I pulled and pressed for a while, trying to convince myself that it was salvageable.  But no...something radical definitely needed to happen if this was to be of any use someday.

Finally, I made the painful decision to pull it.  I removed the hook and started pulling on the loose end of the yarn.  I started slowly because it was PAINFUL to see hours and hours of work simply falling away to nothing.  As I pulled the stitches out, my brain seemed to spin with ways I could salvage it.

Eventually, I was fully invested in the destruction.  I simply pulled as fast as I could so I could get to the more fun work of starting the sewing process again.

I didn't just jump right back into sewing though....I pulled out an old crochet book and figured out what I'd been doing wrong.  What size needle should I use?  Which stitch would result in the finished work I envisioned?  How do I handle the trickier turns at the edges so that I get a straight piece?

This is life, isn't it?

One day, we grab the piece we're working on and we realize "wow, I thought this was good, but it's pretty much a disaster!"

And then what do we do?

We justify.

We make excuses.

After all, "I'm a good person and I did my best."

We push and pull and try to press it into a useful shape....into the shape we envision.

Sometimes we even consider cutting off a bunch of work and just tossing it into the garbage!  But no....the material is too valuable and precious for that.  There's potential for good here, we just know it.

Sometimes the only thing left to do is to pull on the loose end of the mess and watch as it unravels.

In the beginning, we might pull slowly because the thought of how much time and effort it took to get there....it's painful to see it destroyed!

✖️The religion must go...."but it feels so safe!"

✖️The striving must go... "but I feel better about myself when I'm earning it!"

✖️The guilt must go... "but this feeling of inadequacy has become part of my identity!"

✖️The shame must go... "but oh, I've messed up so badly and I feel terrible!"

✖️Some people must go... "but I'll be all alone!"

✖️The fear must go... "but the world tells me you're out to get me!"

✖️The disbelief must go... "but if I call this miraculous and I tell of your works, people will think I'm crazy!"

It's the pain of unbecoming that reminds us that we need to do it differently this time.

We consult the Expert.  What needs to stay?  What needs to go?  How should I have handled that tricky part differently?  What does it practically look like to weave a life that is pleasing to Your eye?

And then, careful stitch by careful stitch, I start to build again.

Maybe more slowly.

Always consulting Wisdom.

Reminding myself of the Father's tender grace when I have to stop and pull a few stitches (It's a process).

Keeping my eye on the One who made it possible for me to be working on this project with His direction in the first place.

Eventually, the piece starts to take shape, and it's BEAUTIFUL.

I'm delighted to realize that the pain of the unbecoming....the undoing....the unraveling -- that pain is a distant memory as I smile at the new piece that's just as it should be.

But the biggest surprise of all?

This isn't the piece I'd envisioned at all!

I realize that as I step through each step, keeping an eye on that Master Creator, it's HIS blueprint I've been following, not mine.

And wow.  Just....wow.  It's far more intricate, far more detailed, far more rich than I could have imagined.

I'm humbled by the new work that's been done.

I'm in awe of His creativity and generosity.

And I'm filled with gratitude for the Unbecoming.

Thank you, Lord. Thank you for the work you're doing in me. Thank you for seeing me and loving me. Thank you for taking the meticulous time to pull out each disastrous stitch so it could be replaced with your vision for me. Let my life be a work of Your hand. Let it be pleasing to You. Thank you for taking the most painful pieces and weaving them anew into the most beautiful pieces of this tapestry. Careful stitch by careful stitch....I surrender it to you and can hardly wait to know as I am known! To the glory of Your Kingdom, Father. Amen.

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