It’s spring time which signals the call to clean all the things, remove unneccessary clutter from our lives.
Clutter as defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary is to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness.
The past few months we have been assisting my Father in law in downsizing from a 4 bedroom house to an apartment. It has been quite an experience.
Since 2006 I have moved 6 times. I do not like knick knacks or clutter. I try to go through my clothes and possessions frequently to remove what I don’t use anymore. That being said, I have never lost a spouse, I have never gone through a divorce, I do not know what it is like to spend more than 10 years in a home building memories with someone you love and accumulating things. Then have to start the process of removing the things which have sentimental value. I am not trying to devalue this process, I realize it is an intricate maze of emotions & change which has to be handled with care.
It presents an overwhelming tidal wave of feelings for the one who has never faced the physical, mental & emotional detachment of possessions. The removal of clutter can cause chaos. This tsunami of emotions has an effect on those who are attempting to help the individual declutter and downsize. It is through this I have realized my response to the clutter of someone else’s life has not been what it should have been and has revealed my own heart clutter I need to deal with.
By nature I am a “take charge” individual. And my professional role demands that. As a nurse case manager I deal with challenging situations of people’s lives on a daily basis and it my responsibility to get them the help they need and hopefully back to the life they knew prior to whatever injury or devastating event occurred.
In my personal life when a situation presents itself that I know what needs to be done, the lines of my professional and personal role can become blurred. And this is where I have struggled recently. It is hard to maintain an objective view of situations, especially when I have no control over what is being done or said, yet it directly affects our life. In an attempt to remain real, the last few weeks I have dealt with emotions I thought I had previously conquered. I have at moments had such a wide array of feelings inside and have come so close to telling people off and setting the record straight. And I would have valid reasoning to do so and solid evidence to back it up.
But what really would it accomplish? It would only incur damage to the relationships I have to deal with in my personal life. Ultimately it is a spiritual battle. We battle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6: 12-18). In several passages of scripture God commands us to be still & stand. Putting on the whole armour of God and when all you can do is stand, just stand (Exodus 14:14 & Ephesians 6:13). He didn’t say to try to take control, run your mouth and attack those you feel so strongly about on social media.
I am having to learn to stand with my mouth closed, ears open and focusing on the good in the midst of what some days feels like utter chaos.
God has revelaed the clutter in my heart has impeded my movement forward. Not that I thought I had “arrived” in my ability to control my temper and keep my mouth shut, but I did think I had made significant improvements. Until faced with situations I had never had to face before, then it was like God was saying, see girl you still got some junk in the trunk.
I am learning to never allow someone elses “clutter” “possessions” “decisions” to become my burden and affect me personally. I think without realizing it we walk around in our daily lives allowing other people’s physical possessions and emotional baggage to become our burden. And we want to “fix it.” Your baggage is not my responsibility to fix and vice versa. Only God and you can work through that. I will be your friend and I will help you when you are ready to declutter and move forward, but I cannot do it for you. Sometimes the best thing to do is walk away. Not from responsibility, but to allow the person to process.
The chaos of our lives does not determine the character of God. But rather His character should bring order to our chaos. And maybe the creation of chaos is part of His plan to ultimately restore order and peace to what may appear as frazzled hopeless situations.