Monday, April 20, 2015

Undoing The Tangles

To me, it is so funny sometimes how God can use the simplest thing to get His message across...

My husband, and I volunteer at our church on the Production Team.  For those of you that do not know what that is, we set up the stage, the video and the lights for the worship experience.  We have to be at church very early, but we have a lot of fun.  It's amazing to see all the little details that go into a service, that I would have never thought about before, come together to create an atmosphere where people can worship the Lord, and, hopefully, a place where someone can accept Jesus as their personal Lord and savior.

Yesterday, we had balloons on stage for a new album released for kids.  The kids came on stage, and sang with the balloons behind them.  After the kids were done singing the balloons needed to be removed from the stage for the worship band to continue singing.  That all sounds easy peasy lemon squeezy doesn't it?  (Yes, I went there, my daughter says it all the time ;) )  But, little did I, and another production team member, realize was when we bundled all the balloons in groups together they became a big tangled mess (see the picture below).  Which wouldn't have been that big of a deal, but we needed them untangled for the next about an hour.

The other team member was needed back in video control, so I told her I would work on untangling the balloons.  I, totally, did NOT realize how tedious that task would be.

As I said in the beginning, isn't funny how God will use the simplest thing to get His message across.  While I was side stage working on getting the balloons untangled, I could here the sermon my pastor was preaching.  The title of his sermon was, The struggle Is The Same (Me too).  When I heard him say struggle, I chuckled because there I was struggling to get the balloons untangled.  As he spoke about "At some point you have to deal with your struggle."  And, "that there is a connection between our strength and our struggle."  I was realizing that the balloons were so much more than just an annoying stage prop.  The balloons were a symbol of what God is trying to do in my life.

My husband, and I have been going to counseling for a little over a month now, and we are so thankful, and grateful for where God has already brought us, and where we know He is taking us.  As anyone knows that has been through any type of counseling, counseling can be rough.  You open up doors to areas that you either didn't know existed, or you open up doors to areas you have specifically been trying to keep closed.  So, although the counseling is doing a great work in our marriage, counseling can also be hard work.

Which brings me back to the balloons. At first sight, I was overwhelmed by the tangled mess before me.  But, being the patient person I am looking for the quick fix, I thought, I'll run my fingers up through the balloon strings.  Unfortunately, that only caused more tangles.  It was then, I realized each balloon had to be individually removed from the tangle, and there was no quick fix for this process.  So, one by one, I would start from the bottom, grabbing a string, and pulling it down.  When I pulled the individual balloon down far enough to the tangle, I would have to weave the balloon through all the other tangled strings.  Oh!  Did I mention I was doing all of this with very little light?  I only had the light coming from on stage where there were black curtains blocking most of it, and the light coming from video control with black curtains blocking most of that light as well.  One by one I began getting each balloon untangled from the, what felt like, a never ending wad of tangles.  But, what I realized after about 15 minutes of working on getting the individual balloons free, was, that I was making progress.  And, although it was taking much longer than I had thought, I was going to get the balloons free.  As silly as it sounds freeing the balloons felt really good because like I said, I had realized that the balloon's freedom was much like my marriage...

I can be very impatient, so when a difficult task is set before me, I am not always diligent to complete it. It's not a character trait I am proud of, but it is one God is gently changing in my life.  So, when my husband asked for us to seriously go to counseling this time, the idea overwhelmed me like the tangled balloons. I looked at my problems as something I had to try and fix all at once. I knew it wasn't going to be an easy, or fast process.  Some of my problems, I had brought into our marriage, we would be able to point at, deal with, and move on from.  But, I knew some problems would have to be, like the balloons, individually dealt with one one one, and they would be tangled, and hidden amongst some others, so it would take patience (I hate that word), and diligence to get past them.

I'm not writing this blog because my husband and I have arrived, or because are marriage is perfect now.  Nor am I writing this blog to sound like the "martyr" who untangling the balloons.  I am writing this to encourage anyone that has a tangled mess in their marriage, or their life, and doesn't see how it can be resolved.  Or, maybe you are right in the middle of your tangle, and you're growing weary.  I want to encourage you not to give up, and not to grow weary while well doing.  Fighting for freedom in your marriage, or in your individual walk with the Lord is never a battle not worth fighting.  I know struggling can seem painful and daunting at times, and you can't always see where you're going, or if you're making any progress. But, as you see below, I got the balloons untangled, and with help from my fellow team members, in place in plenty of time for the next service.  So, to me the balloons symbolized, and I hope they do for you as well, that when you take the time to "untangle" those areas in your life that are difficult, and hard to deal with the reward is so much greater than the struggle.

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us" Ephesians 3:20

Ps. I've attached below a link to the sermon my pastor preached yesterday.  It was so helpful, and beneficial to me, I pray it will be the same for you as well.

In His Grip,