In my room, I have a junk drawer. One drawer in my entire house that I devote to holding every piece of scrap paper, notes, tickets, photos, memos, assignments, paperclips, gum (still in the wrapper just in case you were wondering) concert posters, mail, those little free download cards from starbucks, hotel room keys that I found in my wallet which I forget to turn back in (sorry Marriott, Holiday Inn, etc), and well, you get the idea. Loads and loads of complete nonsense. Well, the way this system works is that once a month, I tend to clean this drawer out – throwing away trash, stowing memorable items, and collecting the gums and paperclips for use. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been absent from the blog world for a few months. Several reasons including personal time, vacation, research, school, work, etc account for my vanishing act. Basically, life got in the way. As a result, my blog has not been updated and my junk drawer is overflowing in my room. So much so that I cannot find anything! My drawer has lost its purpose of holding the things that I need quickly and has become a drawer that is pointless for me to open unless I clean it up. So much so, so has my life been that way.
The last four months have been an emotional, physical, and mental roller coaster filled with many, many blessings and many heartaches. It’s almost like God challenged me on everything I had ever said on this blog. I wrote about something, warned against something, and then God threw me in that exact situation to see how I would handle it. Time and time again, He tested me. Time and time again, He challenged me. So I took a step back to reevaluate what I was doing. Who I really was. If I was really going to be writing about being an Inner Lady, what did that really mean? Did it mean that I was going to preach abstinence, did it mean that I was going to hone in on purity of heart, mind, and spirit? Did it mean I was going to tell you not to drink, smoke, go to bars, clubs, give lists and lists and lists of rules to live by so that everyone who attempted to read my ramblings would walk away feeling like they were a miniature robot of the Inner Lady’s lists of life guidelines. That was a mouthful. Yes it was. Try living it compressed in four months, one situation right after the other. The question I had to continually ask myself was how on earth was I going to handle each and every one of these situations and not be a hypocrite? How was I going to handle being the weak person that I am and the strong Christian I desire to be in Christ? How would Christ handle each and every situation that I was thrown in? That’s what I had to seriously ask myself, and so I took a step back to think. Originally, I only intended to take a month break. I planned to take a step back and reevaluate my walk with God, figure out what I was thinking versus what He was thinking and then jump back into it. BUT that wasn’t enough time, so a month turned into two, vacation turned it into 3 and on and on and on. Eventually, I completely lost the will or desire to turn back. I’m being honest. This blog was hanging by a thread only two weeks ago. I came close to shutting the entire thing down. What was the point I thought to myself. I’m a hypocrite for writing lifestyle “tips” when I cannot even seem to figure myself out.
Of course, God always finds a way and uses random people to thrown you right back on track. Well, they aren’t random, more like that are God sent with tiny questions that they perhaps had no idea had any consequences whatsoever.
So many people from all different aspects of my life came to me privately asking me why I had stopped writing and sharing, and mostly I lied. (Whoops that’s another one of those things that I write against). Well, perhaps, lying isn’t exactly the right word, rather I suppose I should say that I avoided the question by blaming it on business, time, exhaustion, travel, busyness, etc. when really the truth of the matter was apathy. I had lost interest in trying to tell people how to be a lady when I myself couldn’t define to myself what that even meant. That was the biggest problem I was struggling with. I had reached the point that I figured there was no light at the end of the human tunnel. I had accepted the fact that we are wicked, wicked humans, accepted it big time and figured that there was no point whatsoever to better ourselves. Basically I was discouraged beyond all reasoning. I had lost my flame, my desire, my courage, my strength. I had lost my will to fight the good fight.
WOW – did I really just admit that to the entire blogger world?????? Oh yes, I did.
And yes there is one more BUT!
God had another lesson to teach me. God was not done with me. He found me in California, He found me in the Middle East, He found me at Sunset Beach. Time and time again, He would find me and whisper something to me. All I had to do was open up my clogged ears and my stubborn eyes and just listen and watch.
You see God is never ever done teaching us lessons. If we allow Him to teach us slowly, so very slowly, He will use every situation in life to teach us something or other. He used my depression, apathy, frustration, anger, discouragement, and through all of it taught me a lesson with…a drawer. And yes, we are back to the drawer in my bedroom. (Trust me, everything in my blog has a point). I’ll never ever forget it. I was lying in my bed late one night after most likely another crying spell, and I heard it. I heard it and I’ll never forget it. God whispered to me so clearly that I can still remember the feeling I had right afterwards, “Your heart is like that drawer, it just needs a good cleaning out.”
My heart is like a what???
A drawer? A junk drawer, God?? PLEASE!!!!!
And yes, I brushed it off and and didn’t think about it anymore. Remember, I was done with this blog, or so I thought. God thought and knew differently.
He told it to me again in the shower, He told it to me again when I was driving down I-40 to California, He told it to me again while I was sitting on a plane to Israel to visit friends.
OK GOD!!!!!!!!!! If my heart is like a junk drawer then will You please clean it out??? You see there were things that I did not want to deal with in my heart. There were feelings I wasn’t done with, and I was scared of dealing with them with God. I was scared what He was going to do with them quite frankly. And that’s the ultimate kicker, I had to ask God to come in and clean them out. God will not force himself upon you. God wants you to invite Him in.
Revelation 3:20 – Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him and he with me. (ESV)
There is argument over that verse’s interpretation, but I’m going to read it straightforward. God says that if anyone hears His voice and opens the door, He will come in. He doesn’t say that He is going to BANG the door down, now does it? God will knock, but He isn’t going to barge in. He wants us to invite Him in.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (NIV)
Notice that last verse, You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. God promises that if we seek Him, we WILL find Him. Not might, but will.
The thing is, it’s very hard to seek God and search for God when there’s so much junk lying around in our hearts. Just like in my drawer, I cannot find anything because there is so much stuff built up.
Our hearts are our catch all. They catch all of our emotions, actions. Really, our hearts are our wellspring. They are in the center of our bodies for a reason, they catch everything there is around us. The giddiness from the joy we experience, the sadness from the heartache. All of our emotions stem from our heart, but it is our duty, our job to clean it up, to keep it tidy, to arrange it neatly because if we don’t, the junk will build up and it’s hard to seek after God and love others when it’s full of outlandish nonsensical things. Our hearts must be cleansed daily. Daily must we ask God to cleanse us. Daily must we give God all of our emotions, feelings, aggravations, irritations, disappointments, anger, frustration. This world is not easy. Around every corner, every bend is a bucket full of slop that is going to get dumped on us, and we must be prepared as Christians, as warriors for God to ask Him to wash us and make us as clean and as white as snow. The world is a filthy place, but that doesn’t mean that cleanliness isn’t possible. My goodness, my drawer would have become pointless years ago if that weren’t possible. Instead, I must clean my drawer out every day, every week, and we must ask God to clean our hearts every hour of every day. For every cleaning we miss, more and more junk builds up and blocks the light that is meant to shine forth from every believer.
So with me, will you pray the prayer that David prayed in the book of Psalms? Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalms 51:7-10, NIV).
The only way you can even begin to be right with God is to cleanse your heart. Start from there, and He will do the rest. And you might as well go clean your junk drawer while you are at it…cleanliness is next to Godliness, but that’s just a side note.
See you sooner rather than later, blogger world.
p.s. had it not been for a few dear friends who encouraged me that this would pass, and prayed for me, prayed for me so diligently, this blog might not still be present. I have them and God Himself to thank for getting me to set my fingers to this keyboard again, for had it not been for their prayers and God’s forever faithfulness this post would not be going up. They showed me what encouragement means and they showed me God’s love is steadfast. Thank you guys. You are proof that every word of encouragement is not wasted, and thank you God for dealing with every ounce of my stubbornness. Your awesomeness never ceases to amaze me.