Deconstructing . . . for your soul’s reconstruction.
Breaking free from preconceived “factions”—
becoming Divergent, your unique self in the L-rd.
© SoulBreaths.com. All rights reserved.
[Soul Remodeling is a window of how God moves in our lives, deconstructing to reconstruct the soul: my own experience as well as story links to the deconstruction/reconstruction process of notable people in the Bible. The original article was created/posted in 2015 with some additions later. Judaic scripture number references used with Christian numbering in parentheses, when it’s different.]
He said, “Go.” But I wondered, “Where? When? For how long?” A shift was in motion. It was palpable, stirring in the pit of my soul, pushing me to the edge of a cliff with no way back.
So I waited. Waited for His move that would move me. I stood before Him . . . praying . . . pacing . . . questioning . . . seeking . . . kneeling . . . then standing some more. But He wasn’t “moving” me anywhere. I felt like I’d been dropped into no-man’s-land.
That doesn’t mean things were stilled. I had become a girl interrupted—on a cliff in a God-designed wilderness. Recently widowed, followed by what felt like an avalanche of even more losses, relationship changes, twists, and turns. Suspended.
I was free falling. I couldn’t breathe. My body, yes. My soul, not so much. It was suffocating. I’d lost my tribe in more ways than one and didn’t know where I fit in any more, if any place. And the uneasiness of where else this journey was taking me (soul wise or otherwise) was escalating. I felt like a character in one of my favorite YA movies, Divergent.
It will be difficult to break the habits of thinking . . .
instilled in me, like tugging a single thread
from a complex work of embroidery.
—Tris, Divergent by Veronica Roth
GOD’S LOVE CALL
God is in the soul business. And He was moving deep within mine to set it apart for His purpose, taking me off the grid of my life and into a six-year-and-counting process called in Hebrew lech lecha (lek leh-kah, לֶךְ-לְךָ) à la Abraham in Genesis 12:1—where God told him to leave his land, father’s house, all that he knew to follow God to a new place. A lech lecha journey is God-appointed . . . the soul traverses deeper, going to itself, within itself, and for itself, for a higher purpose.
A special period of time God sets apart. On a special journey. Not always a physical move. Not a disciplinary action. It’s a love call.
A wooing-from-God wilderness journey
away from the common,
into the holy,
uncovering the soul’s hiddenness.
It’s where He does the deepest work in your soul so it can emerge in another level of its potential in Him—a matter of the soul where it becomes its purpose, which is always linked to bringing forth the kingdom of God.
He removes any heaviness in your soul that’s hindering its movement . . . anything that’s muffling His voice or words . . . anything that’s blinding the soul from seeing or receiving His visions and revelations.
It’s like God is parting the Red Sea inside you. Rabbinic thought says that God peeled back the sea to reveal a mystery. The earth represents the physical, what is visible, tangible. But the hidden under the sea represents the spiritual, what isn’t discerned in the physical and natural.
During your soul-remodeling process, God peels your life back. He removes you from what’s been your “natural” way of moving and being to expose what is flowing in those subterranean waters within your soul, within its nuances that are revealed through three Hebrew words from scripture—words interchangeably used for soul: neshama (breath), ruach (wind/breath, spirit), and nefesh (life force, rested breath, living being).
[Get more soul basics later: Combat Zone series.]
When the soul is free to stream the light and heart of God unhindered, it is in alignment and flooded with things of God. But when sin and self prevail and your soul—more specifically the Soul Nuance “nefesh” or life force that clings, negatively or positively, has self-awareness, yearnings, appetite, and is enmeshed with the body—partners with your world-tethered body (your soul’s vessel) . . . things can start to go spiritually south and spiritually dark.
The deconstruction-reconstruction process doesn’t necessarily occur because you’re steeped in sin and out of alignment . . . although that can happen. The deconstruction-reconstruction process is first and foremost a time when God wants to go deeper and draw you closer. It’s a time where things are stripped away so the soul can get newly aligned with Him, away from the earthbound/world-focused body, making room for what is to come.
The process isn’t comfortable or easy. It may seem as if everything you put your hand to doesn’t work. Even if it flowed smoothly before. Losses may surround you—like in finances, personal endeavors, work, relationships, family matters, health issues. The way you and God used to communicate and interact takes a hard right turn—your prayer life, study time, worship time.
Things may seem . . .
not your norm.
You might be tempted to see things rapidly sliding
without any brakes.
BUT. HANG. ON. He is there with you in the center of it all. There will be flashes of light. His light of revelation, understanding, direction. Maybe small flashes like a firefly—or greater, like lightning cracking the sky. In bits here and there, you’ll get a glimpse of where your soul is, what’s going on, and what He expects through the deep-work process.
And at times, you just might find your unsettling feeling starting to converge with an inner lightning bolt of excitement, realizing that He is journeying with you for a specific purpose through unchartered territory where your soul will mature, awaken, and soar in unimagined ways. Ways it couldn’t have if you were still living in the old and familiar.
I throw my arms out to the side and imagine that I am flying . . .
My heart beats so hard it hurts, and I can’t scream and I can’t breathe,
but I also feel everything, every vein, and every fiber, every bone
and every nerve, all awake and buzzing in my body
as if charged with electricity.
I am pure adrenaline.
—Tris, Divergent by Veronica Roth
HIS GAME PLAN
I had walked in His wilderness-called journey before. I knew the basic process: The love call. The soul’s deconstruction and reconstruction. The emergence.
But this time, I felt like there was more at stake on many levels. So I seriously wanted to once again emerge like the lover in Song of Solomon 8:5. “Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved?” Stripped, humbled, taught, infused with His presence, transformed by His voice, reconstructed. And resting on Him, even more than before.
Human viewpoint says you have to get tougher, stronger through life’s valleys and potholes. But toughening up solely via your human strength can make you bitter, harder, harsher, louder, colder. Filled with a false sense of power.
In the world’s eyes, the beloved in the Song of Solomon should have left her wilderness experience like part of the Dauntless faction in Divergent—bulging muscles, ninja-like skills, kicking some downright serious butt along the way.
Move it, God, I got this.
Not even. That would mean her soul was disengaged from Him. Flowing in its own words, standards, strength, darkness.
God says that in your weakness, He is made strong. It’s His strength flowing through your soul that you need to rely on—not yours. He arises, not you.
So look again at that Song of Solomon 8:5 scripture. She spent time in her soul’s wilderness with her beloved and comes up out of that desert experience. Her soul has ascended from where it was, what it was.
How? Leaning on Him. L-e-a-n-i-n-g.
Her soul was no longer rushing ahead in its own strength, own ways, own timing. Nor was it dragging behind Him, fearful, shivering in a corner, not taking any action. Instead, there was a deeper rapport with Him, soul to soul.
Remember that when He gives you a come-to-the-wilderness call. God is your soul’s breath, strength, wisdom, direction, power source. He wants to flow from His throne to and through your opened, connected, humbled soul—your soul is breathed from Him (neshama, breath), given the capacity to flow and move with Him (ruach, spirit/wind) and to “rest” (nefesh/nafash, rested breath) in its bodily journey down here . . . surrendered, obedient, in love with Him. Him, your very breath, your very life.
Midway in my multi-year soul reconstruction process, I had questioned God about my wilderness journey. Well, actually, I had questioned Him at the beginning, middle, and just about every place along the way. But I digress.
In His kindness, He gave me this vision as His answer.
An image of an arrow flashed before me.
It was notched and rested in the bow’s string, then pulled back. Way, way back.
God revealed to me that for the arrow to be launched a great distance, it had to be properly rested within the bow, then brought as far back as the tension would allow so it could catapult forward . . . fly higher . . .
go farther than ever before.
God was the archer. His faithfulness, the bow. His strategy, the tension. And I was the arrow that had to “rest” in Him through it all.
I knew where this was headed. Sort of. It was going to take more shifts. Deep shifts. Intentional shifts. Subterranean work. God likes to hit His target goal—creating something better, greater, eternal within the soul. And that something takes time, precision, and pulling those He loves away from the common and into the holy.
Of course, in the process, you can feel more like a broken arrow, shattered into a gazillion pieces like Moses’ tablets. But that actually can be a good thing.
I used to think the Dauntless were fearless.
That is how they seemed, anyway.
But maybe what I saw as fearless was actually fear under control.
—Tris, Divergent by Veronica Roth
According to Talmudic thought, Moses put the new tablets and the shattered tablets into the Ark of the Covenant, אֲרוֹן בְּרִית. The two sets of tablets stood as a paradoxical lesson.
Both sets reflect your soul. Shattered, yet whole.
Broken, yet engraved with the hand of God.
Your soul arises.
Remade—standing on its brokenness, strengthened by it.
Whether working within the soul of a person or a nation, God’s modus operandi is deconstruction before reconstructing and birthing the soul into its destiny. I imagine God stretching out His hand to touch our souls during this precarious process much the same way He reached out to touch Jeremiah’s mouth to birth the prophetic, delivering those destiny-driven words in Jeremiah 1:10—uproot and tear down, build and plant.
But the soul’s deconstruction-reconstruction process
takes walking according to His timetable.
So forget thinking you can speed things up. You can’t. Although your balking, rebellion, and ingratitude can alter His time frames. Yes indeedy.
You probably know the story. Israel made the exodus from the hard toils of their deconstructive Egyptian experience, yoke free in the natural and witnessing the glorious might of God’s hand. But spiritually? Well, let’s see . . .
Their grumbling, rebellion, lack of gratitude, and lack of joy cost them big time. God gave them one year of discipline for each day of their faith-failed reconnaissance—forty years in the desert vs. God’s intended one-year preferred plan.
Like a woman unable to conceive, their souls were in a state of barrenness. They needed to do the Abraham thing—embark on a lech lecha journey with Go, going down into their souls and allowing God to deconstruct them further so their spiritual womb could be healed, opened, and fruitful. But that first generation couldn’t get with His program.
It would take time, more wilderness, and a totally new generation of believers who would surrender to His process. A generation whose souls would emerge as carriers of His presence, reconstructed, bravely able to stand on their shattered tablets, ready to enter the Land and bring forth the kingdom of God.
It’s easy to be brave when they’re not my fears.
—Tris, Divergent by Veronica Roth
The Bible is the word of God, instructing us from what is written and drawing us into the hidden . . . what’s not said, and what happens between the lines, between the words, between the strokes of each Hebraic letter—where revelation is cradled and behind-the-scene stories reside.
Throughout the Bible, you can see God’s soul process at work: the love call (that come-away-with-me lech lecha journey), followed by the deconstruction-reconstruction soul process, and then the emergence.
I think we’ve made a mistake . . .
We’ve all started to put down the virtues
of the other factions in the process of bolstering our own.
I don’t want to do that.
I want to be brave, and selfless,
and smart, and honest . . .
I continually struggle with kindness.
—Four/Tobias, Divergent by Veronica Roth
Let’s take a firefly-flash look at five such lives—people who became soul arrows in God’s archery bow. Each one answered the lech lecha call to a soul wilderness journey where His “cracks of lightning” periodically pierced their souls to light up the way through a seemingly spiritual no-mans-land.
from barrenness of soul to prophet—and the world’s matriarch
Each crack of lightning in her story—the call from the polytheistic, cosmopolitan Ur to Haran, move from Haran to Canaan, dealings with Lot, battle with the five kings, sweepings into pharaoh’s and Abimelech’s harems—was a flash of His light, revealing a moment in the soul that sparked attention. Something had to be learned here, absorbed here, infused here, stripped here in order to birth something of greater magnitude later. Read the rest of her story here.
favor lost, favor regained—in spite of himself
Position doesn’t just happen. It’s given by God. Joseph’s prophetic dreams weren’t a free pass to ride the tails of his royal or priest-like, multi-colored coat, k’tonet pasim, כתנת פסים—k’tonet is the name of the high priest’s garment, perhaps a hint of Joseph’s future soul story. Those dreams were manifestations of a calling that would first become a lightning rod in God’s hands— a tool that would spark situations and form a wilderness path for Joseph’s soul. Read the rest of his story here.
fugitive prince turned bride guardian—who almost missed his calling
Egypt proved a blessing for the 12 tribes of Israel during the famine years when Joseph held a high position. Then the shift emerged and Israel experienced over 400 years of oppressive enslavement. But God, in precision timing, was on the move. He separated Moses from the common—his birth tribe and his adopted, privileged position in Egypt—for a series of deconstructing-reconstructing encounters with God to beat all others. God’s lightning revelations flashed through the soul of Moses time and time again. Moses was humbled at the burning bush, silenced at the sight of God’s glory, illuminated at God’s giving of the Torah. Read the rest of his story here.
accidental prophet—cohen priest turned pillar of iron
God’s lightning flashes pierced young Jeremiah’s soul and pronounced its destiny. There would be no discussion, no demonstrations as He had done with Moses. God knew Jeremiah in his mother’s womb. It was a done deal. The initial calling was merely a polite gesture. Jeremiah was going to be strategically placed in God’s archery bow with all kinds of tensions—dark moments taking him to near death—pulling him back so he could be launched higher, further for the sake of God’s mercy, love, covenant with Israel. God’s voice, a “fire” in Jeremiah’s bones would not be silenced. Read the rest of his story here.
SAUL OF TARSUS
persecuting zealot turned God’s servant—the famed pharisee some Jews and Christians love to hate
[Heads-up: Bridge crossing to foster understanding.]
A Jew from the tribe of Benjamin, circumcised on the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, a Hebrew born of Hebrews, a Pharisee and son of a Pharisee, a talmid (student) of the renowned Rabbi Gamaliel, both Jew and Roman citizen (hence his dual name, Saul Paulus).
He made his raison d’être the destruction of Messianic Jews—followers of “The Way” (Jesus/Yeshua, his Hebrew name). Saul oversaw the stoning of Stephen, the first Messianic Jew martyred. But then Saul’s soul underwent a spiritual event that impacted the physical—a transformational encounter with the resurrected and risen Jesus/Yeshua that left Saul physically blinded for three days and caused him to emerge with radically different spiritual sight.
It took years, solitary time, and near abandonment from his fellow messianic believers before his soul was readied for its destiny as a chosen vessel to bear his Messiah’s name “before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15). Read the rest of his story here.
BRIDGING SCRIPTURES & UNDERSTANDING
The harder and longer the deconstruction, the deeper the work He is doing within you. It’s not easy, but He is good. He is faithful. Remember that if you’re going through the process. Your foes—depression, anger, and bitterness—are standing outside the door waiting for the slightest cracked opening. Slam the door shut, and get supportive friends to help. And remind yourself, it’s a deconstructing–reconstructing process. That means new things, new seasons are up ahead.
Ezekiel (Yechezkel) 44:23.* They are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common and enable them to distinguish between the clean and unclean.
Isaiah (Yeshayahu) 43:2-4.* I will go ahead of you, leveling the hills, shattering the bronze gates, smashing the iron bars. I will give you treasures hoarded in the dark, secret riches hidden away so that you will know that I, Adonai, calling you by your name, am the God of Israel.
Isaiah (Yeshayahu) 43:18-19.* Stop brooding over past events and times gone by. I am doing something new; it’s springing up—can’t you see it? I am making a road in the desert, rivers in the wasteland.
Hosea (Hoshea) 2:14-17a* But now I’m going to woo her, bring her out to the desert and speak to her heart . . . I will give her vineyards from there and the Akhor Valley [valley of trouble, gloom] as a gateway to hope.
John 15:2, 4. Every branch that bears fruit, God prunes so that it may bear more fruit . . . Stay united with Me as I will with you—for just as the branch can’t put forth by itself apart from the vine, so you can’t bear fruit apart from Me.