Have you ever watched the show “Hoarders”?
That’s a show that gives me a tick. Seriously, people. I am, by nature, super-organized and hate clutter. I am forever trying to find ways to make our too-small house for all of our things and people work more efficiently by throwing stuff away, finding more storage space…
And while my house, under normal circumstances (when we’re not renovating, or when there is enough space to go around), is orderly, tidy, not cluttered, and efficient; inside of me lives this hoarder.
Born out of a dire need to be liked, insecurity, fear of rejection, fear of being misunderstood – you name it. It’s probably on the long list of reasons why I chronically say yes.
It’s not that I always want to say yes. Actually, there are times when I desperately want to say no! But, it’s like this monster-hand has one hand on my mouth and the other hand around my throat and I’m forced, out of a fight for survival, to say yes.
Even to myself. As if being a decision hoarder isn’t enough, there is my own perfectionism to battle with. My need to somehow be the best, do the best, perform the best.
And this is where I found myself last summer…
Breaking under the massive weight of responsibility I had hoarded, further burdened by my own perfectionism to do it all the best. Laws of physics and science would be defied, if I died trying.
And quite possibly I could have. Died trying.
Well, maybe not right away – but earlier than my time.
Because stress kills. It really does, folks.
And I was a time bomb, I was TNT dangerously close to exploding.
But thankfully the Lord began to speak to my heart gentle words that diffused the explosive in me and my eyes were opened to see that it was simply impossible to bear the weight of too many decisions and too much pride.
I wish I could tell you that my life was resolved and beautiful by the end of that prayer time, just like Hoarders wraps up with beautiful, organized house in less than 45 minutes. But no. It’s like peeling an onion.
You see, hoarding of any sort is only a symptom. A lump on a person’s body is a symptom of a tumor, which is a symptom of cells that have gathered there that don’t belong. And if you don’t eliminate the source of the problem, the problem will continue to spread. Just as if you don’t eradicate the cancer, but only cut out the tumor, the cancer will continue to spread until the whole body is destroyed by it’s evil presence.
Over the past several months I have done some major cleaning. I have had to step down from responsibilities I took on and say no to others.
But I’ve discovered that the root is still there.
I have not yet gotten to the root.
Because what I’ve done is I’ve emptied my closet, and then slowly started to fill it back up again!
One decision at a time.
This morning I wanted to go to the mirror, look myself in the eye, take my face in my hands and say, “Rosilind! The idea was to empty your space so you’d have room to move, not make room to fill it back up again with new junk!”
So today I’m back at the drawing board. I am going back to see what I can keep and what I need to let go.
What is essential for my
1. Relationship with God to thrive
2. My marriage to thrive
3. My children to thrive
4. My health to recover and thrive
5. My ministry to thrive
And if it isn’t essential to these 5 areas, then it’s not essential. And if its not essential, it must go.
However, I will leave you with this. Jesus said these words, “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”
Now, I’m not saying I had a demon. No – that would be an inaccurate statement to make. But what I am saying is that an empty space always collects something…sooner or later.
So, while the idea has been for me to empty my life of too much pressure, too much responsibility, too much stress; to leave it empty is unwise. Yet to fill it again with pressure and responsibility is also unwise.
So, I have to fill that space with rest.
Not just physical rest, although that will be a natural outcome. But spiritual rest.
I need to fill that space with God’s Word, prayer and meditation. And by doing this, I will not have a yawning gap that becomes a magnet to collect stuff.
So, here I am again. Paper and pen in hand, ready to list my responsibilities: both temporary and long-term. Ready to do some spring cleaning of the heart. Ready to let go. Ready to part with the fear-filled questions of “What if….”.
Ready to be free!
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