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Lead On Good Shepherd

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Cory Asbury

Is your life unraveling? Here are 3 steps you can take, inspired by Cory Asbury

Gabrielle Schulenberg

All it takes is one thread. The tiny stitch loosens from finely woven fabric, and the entire cloth is compromised. God “wove us together,” but sometimes it feels as if the moment the weaving is complete, it begins to unwind. Why would God make something so breakable?

We live in a broken world, and it pulls and pricks at the fabric of our lives each and every day. As human beings, we will inevitably have times of unraveling, where it may feel as if our lives are beyond repair.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month this May, Life 96.5 wants to give you some tools – inspired by artist Cory Asbury – that you can use within your unraveling.

Step 1: Face it

I’m coming apart at the seams
Everyone’s pulling at me
And I am unraveling
– Cory Asbury, “Unraveling”

Let’s start with the absolute hardest skill to learn. In all honesty, facing the utter brokenness of life can be devastating. Yet God lives in the truth. In Ephesians, Paul calls us to bring the shameful things to the light:

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.”

The things you can illuminate include abuse, addiction, mental illness, your feelings and vulnerabilities, and anything else that may be weighing on your spirit. Face them with God and face them with safe people.

In a recent Tiktok, Cory Asbury sings a short tune he calls “Misunderstood.” In it, he says:

… Don’t be scared to let things fall apart,
the deepest cuts don’t heal without a scar.
You’re broken.
Anyone who says they’re not is lying.
Maybe we all just got too good at hiding …
– Cory Asbury, “Misunderstood”

The process can be excruciating. Sometimes it will feel as if every bone in your body is screaming for you to hide away, to shut up and lock that shameful piece deep within. When you speak up, it can be triggering. What had once belonged to the darkness can look very different in light. Take deep breaths, tell yourself the truth, and ask for help if you need it.

People out there do understand, and so many are aching for those suffering in similar ways. You can be. God knows every broken piece, every thread, all the pain. And He loves you.

Step 2: Listen

I don’t wanna be alone anymore
I don’t wanna survive anymore
I wanna feel, unravel me
– Cory Asbury, “Unraveling”

As the thread pulls farther and farther along, you may be tempted to hide away. Who would want to see the ugliness that you’re fighting? If this is the case, remember that you are not defined by the pain you’re experiencing. You are not your depression, or PTSD, or addiction, or any other struggle you may be facing.

It is vital to step out of your hiding place. Allow others to see your light and shine their own light on you. This does not mean pushing yourself so hard you fall even deeper into pain, try to pursue safe people first. At first, this could simply be people who don’t aggravate your pain as much as others might. Ideally, finding people who can relate to your situation may be life changing.

In addition to opening up with other people, and letting them speak life into you, God is always ready to tell you how much He cherishes you.

Cory Asbury states, “we’re all going to encounter our own weakness, and that’s okay. It doesn’t define us. The only thing that defines us is the Father’s voice.” So listen to God as He tells you who you are.

He is gentle. Our Heavenly Father is ready to hold you tight, comforting you in every moment of your life. In Cory Asbury’s song, “Dear God,” God speaks to the singer, saying:

Dear child, I hope you know how much I love you and I’m proud of you
Please believe the thoughts I have for you will never change or fade away
When you felt like giving up I never did

I’m not scared of imperfections
Or the questions in your head
Just know that you have always been enough
– Cory and Anna Asbury, “Dear God”

Step 3: Trust

So goodbye now yellow brick road
Thanks a lot, what I need is back home
So homeward I’m traveling
– Cory Asbury, “Unraveling”

It may take months, it may take years, but someday you will cringe less and less when you see what you’ve faced down. In time, you will learn new coping skills and develop a network of support.

The pain might never fully dissipate, but you can grow strong enough to carry it a bit easier than before.

Right now, that horrible thing you’re facing may glare at you around every corner. That loose thread in your life may be all-too-easy to yank. But unraveling can be beautiful, honest, and authentic.

It’s hard to see now how life can improve. It may feel impossible to have faith in God – or yourself – at all. When it comes to mental health or trials of any sort, you probably have a hard time trusting your own mind and the world around you might feel too scary to trust at all.

Your foundation has been shaken, but it does not need to crumble. Walk through steps one and two again when you feel the walls closing in on you.

Again, finding support in God and in others is vital. And try to rest in their words of encouragement. It may not feel as if you’re improving, but often others can see the growth that you’re unable to perceive at the moment.

If you run low on belief
You can borrow some from me
And I will be your eyes
When there’s no tears left to cry
– Cory Asbury, “No Tears Left”

Most importantly, trust what God says about you. The fact is, even if you never grow from the person you are in this moment, your value is not under debate. You are worth Jesus’ sacrifice. Every drop of blood He shed is a testament to who you are in God’s eyes: His child.

He will die for you to be with Him. Please let that sink in.

Finally, that small thread unwinds. You are a pile of strands strewn in the hands of God. He “wove you together,” but you fell apart at the seams. Why would God make something so breakable?

Because He is waiting for us to unravel into Him so He can tenderly weave us into a new, eternal life.

I’m coming apart at the seams
It’s worse than I thought it would be
But I’ve never been happier – Cory Asbury, “Unraveling”

If you would like more mental health related content, listen to our podcast Mental Health with Dr. Melissa Mork. For more encouragement each day, you can tune in on the radio, online, or using a variety of other methods!