Can You Let It Go?

Jen’s Gem: Press on toward the prize.

On Friday, with a empty calendar, I spent the morning clearing out some closets. This task has been on my to-do list for way too long and though simple in its execution, I was doing what I’m not known to do: procrastinate.

Having downsized from my house to a condo, I’m learning how to best utilize the space. Things that would normally go into a designated room in my house had to be relocated. For example, my hall closet includes coats, Christmas decorations, outdoor accessories, and a toolbox.

It’s odd to me to have this cornucopia of items together and it’s taken me far too long to get used to it. Laundry detergent alongside first aid kits. Leftover paint alongside snow shovels. I have spent a fair amount of time (wasted time) wishing there was a specific place for each item, missing my house, and because of this, all of my closets remained a hot mess.

With free time on my hands, I decided to tackle the project. Filled with energy from a good night’s sleep, I removed everything from their former residences, surveyed the piles, and began putting things back into their new homes. There were piles to donate, piles of trash, and piles to keep.

The end result left me exhilarated. I felt accomplished, productive, and was able to think clearly, appreciating the space I have. The clutter was gone, the beating myself up over putting off this task that took less than two hours was gone, and I felt a joy in my heart that was inexplicable. (Yes, organized closets do give me joy!)

Reflecting on this activity has resulted in a few insights that I’d like to share with you:

  1. Wishing for a situation to be different does not change it. 
  2. Putting off a task, whether big or small, steals your joy.
  3. Letting go of unnecessary things (people, places, etc) is necessary.

It is no coincidence that the Bible teaching I’ve been listening to this week was about letting go. Furthermore, it was no coincidence that the women’s conference I attended at my church was on the same topic. Is God trying to tell me something?

Here’s what I’ve learned about God. He will use people, places, and things to get your attention. If we slow down enough to pay attention and find the patterns, we can potentially speed up the transformation we seek. Conversely, if we choose to spend our time wishing things (or people or places) were different, we’re going to go around the mountain a few times.

I’m tired of going around the same mountain and I suspect you may be as well. But until we do a bit of clearing out of our homes and hearts, these reinventions of ourselves will be stuck in neutral.

Here are a few more things I’ve learned about God. He never gets stuck in neutral. He’s a mover and a shaker. He does not procrastinate. He finishes what He starts. He makes a way when there’s no way as the following verses confirm:

“Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19 NKJV)

“…He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6 NKJV)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV)

We may want to hold on to the things of the past because they are comfortable, even habitual but God is clearly saying in the above verses, let it go. I can’t do this new thing in you until you let go of the old thing. I can’t make a road for you in the wilderness if you are twirling around in it.

It’s our choice. It’s our decision. We can park in the past or look forward to the future.

What do you need to let go of? What monkey has been on your back for too long? It may be time to clear out the skeletons of our closets and our hearts, and do as the apostle Paul says: move on.

“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14 NKJV)

The Elevate the Day tagline says it all: Heal your heart and you will heal your life. I pray that God will give you the strength, courage, and steadfastness to let go of whatever is holding you back from all He has planned for you.

Remember, with God anything is possible, even letting go.

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