Two weeks ago, Jesus kicked Satan in the teeth on my behalf.
The snake was sinking his fangs deep into the flesh of my heart, coming in darkness masquerading as light, with two cronies–Judgment and Isolation.
Like a python coiling around me, he constricted my airflow and threatened to asphyxiate me.
But Jesus arrived before the cardiac arrest with truth and release.
In the nook of a coffee shop in Northeast, my friend Eliana, whom I’ve not seen since early February, shares the image she received for me from the Holy Spirit.
“There is a cord of rope with knots along it, of all shapes and sizes and textures.
You’re trying to feel out the knots in the purposes they serve, but the cord is wrapped around your wrists, cutting off circulation.
The sense of the knots is deceptive because the nerves in your fingers can’t feel without proper oxygen flow.
You’re implementing these knots on a faulty perception of their purpose.”
the rope is the time-frame for this season;
the knots are the variety of components in that season: the Pineapple House, my girls, relationship with Eli, marriage, church, finances;
the constriction around my wrists is Satan using my timeline against me to scramble the knots and make me believe I am interpreting their purposes within God’s light.
“The Spirit wants to realign you with himself,” Eliana tells me.
I had been withdrawing from my roommates. The spirit of Isolation kept returning to our house, trailing us one after another.
When it came against me, its co-conspirator, Judgment, had already laid the foundation for it to make a home.
For days I had been perceiving three judgments from Hailee and Ashley that weren’t actually in their hearts: 1) siege against my relationship with Eli that felt like wordless disapproval, 2) an air of holier-than-thou and 3) censure for differing spiritual values and investments.
Each of those things a knot that I couldn’t feel correctly as the python twisted around my veins.
For weeks I had been daydreaming about marriage, one of the larger, intricate knots, and considering tying it further up on the queue.
I couldn’t do that without altering all the other knots: my place in the Pineapple house would unravel sooner than anyone expected; finance knots would bunch up and multiply…
Obnoxiously, the thing that concerned me most was the fraying of the rope when I thought about how everyone would react to the promptness of this life-changing event.
I wanted to press deeper into consideration simply to come against my fear of man, which, I suppose, is not the best reason to get married.
But I couldn’t feel the knots of God’s will with the rope of my own plans choking my wrists.
“The season for now is the Pineapple House,” Eliana tells me.
The truth feels like a broken bone being reset.
“Lay down leadership and submit to your sisters in love. There is growth for them that will be altered if you choose not to step into it.”
I can see my daydreams dispelling like a puff of smoke, like the Wizard turning out to be just a man.
“This is a word of hope. The Father has so much life for you in this season.”
All three of these things my roommate Ashley had already said to me, with specifics of what that looked like, as if the Spirit was saying to me, “You’ve had the ability to go home this whole time–just click your heels three times.”
Later in the evening, as I folded laundry, I rehashed the revelation with Eli, who had also received counsel.
“It was a spirit of darkness masquerading as a spirit of light,” he concluded. To shift our focus to something that is good, but just isn’t the thing God has his finger on.
In so doing, it was cutting off our community and our circulation, which, in the long run, would have strangled our unity.
The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He’s been in the business of disbanding the community of the Pineapple House ever since we moved in together.
But Jesus gives life abundantly, by the faithful ministering of his Spirit and through the mouthpieces of his sons and daughters.
Last November, in Hawaii, I built an altar to the Lord with salt-and-pepper stones on an ocean beach.
Each rock represented a place God had taken me, a shift in my heart, a demolition of a construct, a new arrival.
After, I soaked in the swell of the ocean, watching the waves crest and dash over the jetty, and thought about all the places–spiritual and geographical–I wanted to go when I went home.
I felt the Spirit whispering not to make any plans. I have a plan, he told me. At that same moment, a sea turtle rose out of the water and saluted me with its fin.
I could build another altar for all the things that have happened between November and April. Milestone by milestone, he has ordered a plan for my life and I am learning to trust his mile-markers.
It’s turning out to be a greater trip than any adventure I could rope for myself.