This is the final installment of a three-part series about creating white space in our homes and our lives. You can find the other posts here.
Purging a closet, much less a room, can feel overwhelming. When we do the work, a room is opened up . . . and so is something inside of us.
But what things do we need to purge from our internal closets? Last week, I shared a few thoughts on our schedules and fear. What else sits on the shelves of our closets? Here are a couple I’ve worked on purging from my heart.
Last year, I faced some big-for-me disappointments, and I know I’ll deal with more this year. We need to give ourselves permission to feel the emotions that come with them, to acknowledge the disappointment. But, we mustn’t get stuck in that place.
One of the hardest things in working through disappointment is that I blame myself. I look for all the things I did wrong that must have led to the disappointing outcome. I’m discovering, in those times, I need to re-direct my thoughts to God’s truth.
One big truth I’m learning to embrace is that God’s plan and His timing are always better than mine.
When I lean into and rest in this truth, I’m better able to work through the feelings and realign my heart with God’s. This also helps me accept the grace God always offers.
Isaiah 55:8-9 ~ “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’”
Regrets are hard because sometimes, we can’t change terrible actions and choices from the past. There’s no way to right the wrongs we’ve created.
We need to acknowledge our regrets to God.
We need to ask for forgiveness.
And we need to forgive ourselves.
God assures us if we ask for His forgiveness, He’ll give it. Who are we to not forgive ourselves? To not accept His forgiveness is to tell Him we think we are God.
We can’t change the past. We can’t always make things right with those we’ve hurt. But, we can ask God for help to move forward. It takes time to work through the emotions connected with regret.
To acknowledge how far short we fell.
To bring it all before God.
And to accept God’s forgiveness.
We need to give ourselves permission to work through all of this. I find journaling helpful when I am working through the deep issues in my heart.
God has given us His grace. The question is, will we walk in it? Because accepting God’s grace is the key to moving beyond regret.
Romans 8:1—“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Sometimes we become so comfortable with our “stuff” we don’t see it for the clutter it is. We don’t realize how much it drains us because we’re so used to how it makes us feel. We believe it’s just a part of who we are.
When we keep these items at the forefront of our thoughts, our decision-making will be based on what’s in our closets, so to speak.
Truth is, God didn’t create us to live with some of these items in our internal closets. They’ve taken up residence, but that doesn’t mean we have to allow them to stay there.
To purge within ourselves—to create breathing space for our spirit—we must be intentional about doing the work.
Too much busy-ness, unforgiveness, wounds, fear, disappointments, regrets . . . these all hog space on our shelves that God ordained for better purposes. He wants to fill us with His love so we can pour that out into others’ lives. So we can live in the freedom He offers.
When we clear out the clutter, we open up our shelves to hold other things, like joy, peace, and freedom.
When we have space on our shelves—in our hearts—for the things of God there’s a natural breathing space that opens up. We know His joy because we’re not cluttered with other stuff that prevents us from living in it.
I’m not gonna lie. It’s not easy. Purging our insides is hard, humbling work. It’ll require spending time with the Lord, confessing things, laying ourselves bare before Him.
The good news is He’s the absolutely safest Person we could do this with. And, He’s the Healer. As we’re willing, God will help us remove the clutter, the dirt, the litter, from inside us and into the eternal trash can.
When we’re willing to deal with the things that weigh our spirits down, God opens up a lightness within us. He fills it with His peace and teaches us how to breathe deep and free.
What about you? What scares you about purging your internal clutter? When you’ve dealt with one of the areas I mentioned, what was the result?