Have you ever had to move before? It is my deepest hope that you’ve never had to experience something so deeply horrifying. But chances are that you’ve moved at least once in your life. I happen to somewhat enjoy the newness of it all: getting to pick what furniture goes where, the excitement of something in your new living situation that is better or at least different from your old one.
The part I absolutely abhor is the packing beforehand. Jonny and I have been married for 3 ½ years, and we have moved three times. Let me tell you, that’s too many in my book. I moved from north Texas to south Texas to Michigan to another house in Michigan.
Initially, I thought that after our cross-country move from Texas to Michigan, we had successfully gotten rid of all our junk. The house we first moved to in Berrien Springs was a lot smaller than the apartment we had in McAllen, so we downsized a lot. So, when we moved to another house in Berrien springs last July, I figured it would be pretty simple. Fill a few boxes here and there, throw some trash bags over my hanging clothes (that’s a neat life hack I found on Pinterest), break down the furniture that needed to be broken down, and voila! Move complete.
Boy, was I wrong. It’s amazing how much junk you can accumulate when you keep hiding it away in drawers and under beds.
It wasn’t until I got all my stuff out in the open that I realized how much of it was utterly useless. I guess Jonny and I had gotten stuff throughout the year we lived in that house, and just packed them away instead of doing something useful with them. Once all my junk was out in the open, I could figure out what to do with it. And I had made more room for the things that were actually useful.
Maybe the “junk” we build up in our hearts isn’t physical stuff, but it does tend to crowd out the valuable things that are supposed to be there. Guilt, addiction, anxiety, and low self-esteem crowd out joy, peace, love, and selflessness. Isaiah 64:6 says, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
The best thing to do is to get it all out in the open. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal those messy spots in your life. The stuff that needs to be cleaned up. Then, do something about it. What good would it have been for me to see all the useless stuff taking up space in my drawers and cabinets and say, “Wow, I have fifteen Tupperware lids that fit exactly zero bowls,” and then just pack them away as if they still served a purpose? That’s just taking up valuable space where I could put my Tupperware that still have lids attached!
Don’t get stuck in the junk, and don’t give up. Present your mess to God, and he’ll help you clean it up.
Stephanie Wilczynski has been involved with Enspire Productions since 2009. She is pursuing an MA in English and Religious Education at Andrews University.