I live in a fairly small house. I'm not complaining---my house is warm and cozy and not too difficult to keep clean. The only downside is that there isn't a lot of storage space. Perhaps that's a good thing because it prevents me from being a hoarder and holding onto things that simply need to go. (Who me???)
Every once in awhile I start to feel crowded or I can't find things and I know it's time for a purge.
Heading into April, I started to have that feeling. That's when I know it's time for me to go through the closets and eliminate things that are worn out or we are no longer using. (Seriously, how many free totes is a girl expected to need? Let's not even talk about the articles of clothing that I haven't worn in years---what am I keeping them for?)
But the bigger problem is my tendency to hold onto things for sentimental value or because I'm afraid I'll need it someday. It happens every time---just as I'm about to dispose of something I think, "But what if you need it? What if someday you go looking for it and it's not there? What if you can't afford to buy another one?"
As the "what if's" race through my mind, I am forced to make a choice: continue cleaning out my closet and get rid of useless things that are simply taking up space and creating chaos or hold on to those same useless things because I'm afraid I might need it some day.
The other day when I was facing this dilemma, I started thinking about how many times we do the same things in our personal lives.
Think about it:
We've all got things that are taking up space in our spirits and unnecessarily absorb our energy.
Maybe it's a grievance or offense that needs to be forgiven.
Someone's hurtful words that have replayed in our minds over and over again.
Perhaps it's a disappointment or failure that keeps us from moving forward.
It could even have been a good thing in your life at one time that just isn't appropriate anymore.
The possibilities are endless but the point is the same: In our heads we know these things are bad for us, they are hurting us, and they need to go. Yet, we're afraid: What if we need it?
What if we forgive or move on or let down our guard, and then we get hurt? Suddenly a war is waging deep in our hearts as the Holy Spirit says, "Let it go and be healed" and our fear says, "You need to hold onto this to protect yourself."
Honestly, I've been there many times. What I've learned is that:
FEAR IS A LIAR.
It is a tool of the enemy who hates you. Rather than wanting what is best for you, He wants to keep you his prisoner trapped in your pain and frustration.
Ultimately, the thing that fear is telling you is protecting you, is really holding you in prison keeping you from the life God has for you.
The truth is: YOU DON"T NEED IT! LET IT GO!!!
The absolute best thing you can do is respond to the Holy Spirit's call to forgive, move on, believe truth, and find healing.
Sometimes that simply means telling the fear, "No, I'm not going to listen to you. I don't need this burden....it's bad for me....it's hurting me....it's weighing me down and imprisoning me."
Then do whatever is necessary to eliminate the poison from your life.
Just like I had to overcome the fear of poverty that wants me to keep my closets filled to the brim with broken, useless, worn out things, you can overcome the fear of holding on to painful memories, words, and heartaches that are taking up space in your heart and mind.
It starts with your decision to overcome fear and pursue healing. Rather than letting fear stop you, learn the steps to healing and pursue them with every ounce of your being.
As someone who has been through the process of inner healing, I promise you, you will never ever regret it.