Clearing the cobwebs of our past

Spider webs…they are everywhere and yet mostly invisible. These finely spun webs are strong, resilient and the result of hard work. These intricate webs are produced as the spider spins silk threads, weaving it into an extraordinary pattern that captures food in order to sustain life.

Cobwebs on the other hand serve no real purpose. Cobwebs are spider webs that have been abandoned. They are used, worn, tattered and unwanted. They often go un- noticed, until you walk through one and find yourself entangled in one that has been discarded.

Unhealthy and unresolved issues from our past are a lot like cobwebs. Patterns of thinking and behavior that once served a purpose, now envelope us like the sticky remnants of a cobweb.

For some, behaviors and coping strategies that were once effective now act as a relational prison. The same strategies that were used to protect also isolate and render us ineffective.

I grew up in a dysfunctional family. The youngest of four, my parents divorced when I was young. My father was an abusive alcoholic who did not acknowledge or validate emotions. Feelings were viewed as weakness and were not tolerated. In my attempt to gain approval from my dad, I hid my feelings and denied how I felt.

Hiding my feelings worked for a while, but over time they began to creep out and I eventually lost the ability to control how I felt. I had denied my feelings for so long, that once I allowed myself to experience them I found I could not contain them. My anger poured out with the depth and intensity of can of soda that had been shaken up.

I found myself swinging and tangled in the cobwebs of unresolved anger from my childhood.

My lack of emotional expression had served me well as a young child but as an adult it held me captive in a web of dysfunction. It was no longer necessary or appropriate for me to bury my emotions and further attempts at denying my feelings only complicated things.

Have you ever been caught in a cobweb? If you have then you know the more you flail, spin and fight it the more entangled you become.

When I finally realized what was happening, I sought help. I learned how to self regulate my emotions and manage them in an appropriate manner. Over time I began to recognize all the negative patterns I had adopted and how they were crippling me and my relationships.

Through the process of learning to identify my feelings, I slowly began to trust God and allow Him to untangle me from my past and my hurts.

I share this as an encouragement friends. Regardless of the pain you find yourself in; depression, loneliness, anger, worry or abandonment, Jesus loves you in the midst of your pain.

He has come to free you from the web of past hurts, pain and regret. With steady, capable hands the Lord is at work in your life, taking the things that once ensnared you and using them to help free you to be restored in Christ.

He is creating something new. Behold the old has gone, the new has come.

What web do you need to be freed from?


9 thoughts on “Clearing the cobwebs of our past

  1. Liane says:

    I know what a dysfunctional family is. For sure I know that God is busy healing me from more of that and liberating me for the future that He has planned. It is scary at times, and sometimes I rebel, but I also have tasted some freedom and I love it more and more as I go along.

  2. Amy Boyd says:

    Learning to stop flailing, spinning and fighting is the hardest part for me. I want to be able to do it myself not because I don’t think He can. Not because I think He won’t. But because a lot of times I get caught in the web of my own sin and I don’t want to admit I shouldnt have been there to start with. (as if He does not know where I am at all times). Amy

    • KAREN COOK says:

      Hi Amy, funny how the guilt of our sin gets woven in that web. You are right though – the Lord already knows, He simply wants us to acknowledge our sinfulness before Him. Thankfully we have a gracious God who doesn’t allow us to spin in our own sin created web forever. He has freed us, it’s up to us not to crawl back into the web. Thanks for stopping by today!

  3. Rebeccadowden says:

    Great blog, as usual, Karen!  I have struggled with depression over the years – that has been the web in my life.
    My radio show on Monday is about self reliance and I think sometime our healing process is the thing we want to be self reliant about the most —as Amy Boyd pointed out in her comment to this blog.
     I hope you all will tune in or catch the recording.  Monday at  2pm (Mountain Time) 3pm (CST) – you can listen live. 

    • KAREN COOK says:

      Hi Rebecca,
      Thanks for stopping by the couch and sharing your struggle. Our desire to heal ourselves in our own power is something I think we will always struggle with. It is hard in the midst of our pain to recognize that the Lord is the only one who can free us from our hurts and sinfulness that ensnare us. Praying for you as you allow Him to free you from the trap of self reliance. Hope you have a great Labor day weekend!

  4. Heathersfaith says:

    I can really relate to this, Karen.  I love the analogy of the cobweb!  It takes so much energy to flail…if only we would breathe in God’s promises and listen for His voice. t’s a process, one day at a time, one step at at time.

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