Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Unraveled

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Is there anything that you've been holding on to for dear life?

It could be an emotional state (like trying not to get angry). Or a project at work (that your boss wants to take from you but you know you deserve). Or a daughter or son in distress (whom you worry about nightly).

To these questions, enter our word of the week-- unraveled, a word that means to separate or disentangle the threads or free from complication or difficulty.

A couple years ago, I retreated for a week with 12 other writers at a beautiful place around a lake in North Carolina. We drafted stories every morning and shared words at night of our lives that we hope will one day find a way in a book. Our teacher encouraged us not just to pen the situations we want to tell but to write the stories-- what lies beneath. She said stay curious about anything you just don't understand.

Let me tell you, this kind of work shakes you. It stirs up threads in you you long thought were gone. It saws down cracked edges that you'd rather not examine.

But, unraveling, as I did that week on the page is a pathway to freedom. In my case, unraveling for me means talking publicly about what it means for me to be estranged from my biological family. Believing that my spiritual path is letting go of an unhealthy system, so I can keep creating a more life-giving one in my own home. Unraveling, as I see it, is nothing to be ashamed of. I am not doing anything wrong; it is a good God-given work for me to do.

Unraveling means you have to lose to gain.

For you, your unraveling work might mean saying goodbye to something you thought you'd always do or something you thought you'd always be so that God can do something new and beautiful with what you have.

So, I'm wondering this week, what has got you tightly wound?

Name it.

If you need a visual, find some yarn. Unravel the whole spool. Place it somewhere in your house that you'll see it. Remind yourself that even in a mess of letting go, God is doing something good.