The Gift of Triumph

Necklace: silver chain, blue sparkle square, white cross with hill of vines

I’ve often written about how much my life has changed for the better since my husband and I have been together. It’s not only the spiritual leadership he provides; it’s also the thoughtful little gifts he gets for me.

The necklace in the accompanying image is no exception. I thought it was a little weird. I was okay with the cross. I was okay with the hill it stood on. I was even okay with the absence of the other two crosses. But the tangled roots were disturbing.

It was only weeks later that I was shown the power and symbolism behind what I clearly feel was the Lord’s inspiration in my husband’s selection of this gift.

One day a few months after my husband gave it to me, as I looked at it I was taken back to another place and time. I was sitting again at Miriam’s table. Two of her female friends were with her. They were working with me, trying to pray me into a position where I could walk into what I was called to do while letting go of my pain and my ex.

Miriam told me she saw tangled vines. Every time though that a bunch was cut up or pulled away, more grew in. We prayed so long that night, but nothing changed that image. I remember the intense desire to change it; I remember the ferocity of desire growing into shaking and begging.

What they and I didn’t know at the time was that I was not ready for where they wanted to lead me. I did not have a good foundation. I only knew Scripture. I did not have the skills to apply Scripture.

So the tangles in my life — the dark, oppressive feelings of not being good enough; the sense that I could not be lovable as I was; the feeling that I would not be missed if I were gone; the constant drive for human perfection; the unwillingness to let go of what was wrong for me to have an open hand to receive what the Lord really had planned for me — the tangles would always be there.

Only the proper application of Scripture — alive, active, and sharper than any double-edged sword — would have destroyed the vines.

Fast forward to the Christmas gift in my hands months after Christmas. Although I’d not yet changed my denominational pew, my husband suggested I take a long-term class to teach me how to apply Scripture. I took the class and began to learn not just how to memorize and spit Scripture back out, but also how to actually apply Scripture to determine proper attitude and behavior. It took a while, but I grew stronger in my faith, I gained the ability to fight all the negativity that filled my head, and I came to peace with why I’d made the choices I did.

In effect, the power of the Cross as evidenced in Scripture applied to my heart and mind triumphed over the tangled vines of my past life choices.