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I’ll admit it right off the bat. I’m kind of a neat freak. I take joy in organizing, cleaning and making sure things are in their rightful place. I probably drove my roommates in college crazy with my constant tidying up and moving things around.
You could probably say I’m the same way with my life. I am organized, I have a checklist and I make sure to always look put together. Paint the smile on, make sure things get done and never let my sins or struggles leak out.
Recently while cleaning I started paying attention to what I was really doing. I would take whatever was left out and stuff it in the appropriate place. Shove blankets and shoes in the closet, stuff my clothes in the drawer, toss knickknacks in the hall closet. The inside of my drawers and closets looked like an aisle of Target after Black Friday, picked over and disorganized. But on the outside everything looked good.
Why didn’t it bother me that my drawers and closet looked like they got ransacked? I started realizing the same thing had happened in my life. I had become so good at maintaining my put-together image that I took things and stuffed them deep into the drawers and cupboards of my heart, leaving them for later or just ignoring them completely. This included sin, struggles and anything that made people think I didn’t have it together.
My sin of pride and my struggle with needing approval had twisted my version of what perfect is and had taken away the life of community God intends me to live in. Ultimately, He should be the one we turn to in the mess of life, and surrender those sins and struggles we carry. He also intends for us to walk through life with people and “Bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). By keeping unpleasant things stuffed down, I was telling God I didn’t believe He would be with me in my sins and struggles, and that I didn’t need other people to encourage, push and love me. What a selfish and silly mindset!
But God has redeemed me. I do not always have to be put together. I serve a God who has it all together and He holds the entire world in His hands. Instead of burying and shoving down my worries and sins, I can run to my Heavenly Father and give those things to Him. He welcomes me with open arms and can replace those feelings with peace and hope.
The hard part now is not taking back what I have given Him. Instead of cramming my drawers full of the junk I don’t want to think or talk about, I want to sort through and give to God what I can’t control, and let go of the rest. I am comforted by God’s words:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9