Hand crafted with intricate detailed carvings into the refined polished wood. Flawlessly dressed up in symmetrical lines of elegance and charm. Propped up in place of honor in the master bedroom so that its beauty can be displayed and seen by many.
But I don't dare open it...for inside this charming and delicate jewelry box lies...
A ball of chaos.
A tangled mess.
An enmeshed headache of never ending disorder and confusion.
Oh, it started out with such high hopes, this jewelry box. Filled with empty wonder at the thought of the beauty that could one day fill the velvet lined drawers within.
16 years later, three kids later, this once unsurpassed piece of charm does not match the ball of ugly chaos lurking within its walls.
My thoughts flood back to the moments of each piece of jewelry being safely and delicately placed in the box. The beauty within once matched the beauty of the hand crafted exquisite jewelry box.
Then it happened. It just took one time.
A careless shove of a necklace.
A hasty toss of a bracelet.
A negligent cram of an earring.
Before I knew it, I had myself a cluttered, disordered, chaotic, tangled ball of mess!
The irony of my jewelry box is overwhelming that I almost dare not share.
How I work so hard at getting the outside jewelry box of life to look appealing, likable, perfect, acceptable... in hopes, consciously or unconsciously, that others will accept and embrace what they see.
I, too, started off with such high hopes of desiring the inside jewelry of my heart, mind and soul to exceed that of my outside. All the while, the outside "box" portraying itself flawless on social media. Perfect at church. Secure in public. Strong at work. But inside, don't dare open the box....
A necklace of regret..
A bracelet of bitterness.
A ring of fear.
An earring of envy.
A charm of inadequacy.
A pearl of doubt.
A diamond of unworthiness.
A watch of pain.
And then I did what should of been done years ago... opening the box and begin the process of unraveling. Unraveling of the precious jewelry with ease and patience, right?
I begin meddling through it as I hold onto a glimmer of hope that I can unravel the ball of chaos effortlessly and flawlessly, on my own.
But, it only takes a matter of a few frustrating moments to understand this process is not only difficult, but has the potential to strip me of every sane remnant left in my life.
Jewelry, once held as delicate and precious in my eyes, now is screaming and begging to be thrown out the window with full aggression and frustrating release.
I imagine, for a moment, a someone, a hero, coming into my home and gently assuring me to release the white knuckle tight fisted ball of chaos into their care. They release me from this position and assure me they will unravel the mess and deliver back the original treasured, delicate and beautiful pieces of jewelry, restored to its original design and beauty, free of charge!
free from the frustration,
free from the insanity,
free from the ball of chaos,
and overflowing with hope and gratitude for the undeserved kindness of this helper.
That's when He precisely asked me to bring the tangled mess to Him. To cease the agitating process of unraveling myself so that He could take each entangled, each enmeshed piece of life and make sense to the chaos, one by one.
In His patience and deep love, He finds joy in the unraveling process.
Could it be that the pivotal fork in the road is here, is now- the very opportunity for God to pour Himself in the recess of the heart of the chaos and patiently, perfectly unravel the mess? This takes time and uninterrupted intimacy in the lap of the Great Physician.
And then I ask the obvious, but also the most confusing question of all... why is the unfathomable working of the Holy Spirit penetrating His power deep into the depth of my being, shaking the chains loose, breaking the enmeshment of shame and unraveling the pain of loss and woundedness? The enormity of His love, I will never fully grasp.
And, more often than not, the busyness of life has significant weight which tends to pull & lure me in different directions, making time with God limited and often interrupted.
But through more error than success, I've come to the firm conclusion it's only when I get to a place of solitude, of quietness, of rest, of time out, can I begin to hear the gentle whisper of God's healing voice and strong presence of His Spirit which pours out His unspeakable, transformational love for me (Romans 5:5).
Could it be this is an opportunity to...
Peal off the masks.
Abandon the facade.
Leave the masquerade...
and come before God transparent, raw, exposed?
Could it be that just this simple act has enough power to radically free the chained heart and usher in beauty of order and transformation within the jewelry box of my soul?
My eyes stumbled on James 4:7 yesterday. Oh, what an accurate depiction of choosing to come before the healer and grieve losses, acknowledge defects of character, face past violations, release strong holds, confess fears... and profess anything that is separating me from God.
"So humble myself before God.
Resist the devil and He will flee from me.
Come close to God and God will come close to me.
Wash my hands.
Purify my heart for my loyalty is divided between God and the world.
Let there be tears for what I have done (and/or what has been done to me).
Let there be sorrow and deep grief.
Be sadness instead of laughter.
Gloom instead of of joy.
Humble myself before the Lord, and He will lift me up in honor."
And it's exactly here in this hour, in this moment, in this time, in this place, where He reaches down, wipes my tear stained cheek and brings order to my mess. It's here He surpasses the beauty of the outward with the unmatching grace of the inward.