A closed rough-hewn wooden door set in a rock wall

@JeanneTakenaka

Purging a closet, much less a room, can feel overwhelming. When we do the work, a room is opened up, and so is something inside us. But what things do we need to purge from our internal closets? What do we do when our hearts and minds need renewing? Last week, I shared a few thoughts on our schedules, forgiveness, and fear. 

But what else sits on the shelves of our closets? Here are a couple I’ve worked on purging from my heart.

Light and a pretty scene shining through the top of the wooden door-a reminder that our hearts and minds can be renewed

Two Areas We Can Purge:

DISAPPOINTMENTS

Recently, I’ve been slapped with some big-for-me disappointments. These will always be something we navigate this side of heaven. We need to give ourselves permission to feel the accompanying emotions and to acknowledge the disappointment. But, we mustn’t get stuck in that place. 

One of my barriers to working through disappointment is the tendency to blame myself. I focus on the things I did wrong that must have led to the disappointing outcome. In those times, I need to re-direct my thoughts to God’s truth.

A wooden bridge in a forest, an invitation to walk with God beyond disappointment

I’m learning to embrace the reality that God’s plan and His timing are always better than mine. When I lean into and rest in this truth, I’m better able to work through the feelings and realign my heart with God’s. This also helps me accept the grace God always offers. 

Meme with the words: "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' declares the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.'" ~Isaiah 55:8-9 on a backdrop of a bridge over a river at sunrise

REGRETS

Regrets are difficult because sometimes, we can’t change terrible actions and choices from the past. There’s no way to right the wrongs we’ve created.

We begin working through our regrets by acknowledging them to God. 

Asking for His forgiveness is also important. 

And we must also forgive ourselves. I know, that’s sometimes the hardest part.

God assures us if we ask for His forgiveness, He’ll give it. Who are we to not forgive ourselves? To not accept the forgiveness God extends is to tell Him we think we are God. 

A trio of antique brass keys, a reminder that there are certain things we can do to renew our heart and minds

We can’t change the past. And making things right with those we’ve hurt isn’t always possible. But, we can ask God for help to move forward. It takes time to work through the emotions connected with regret. 

To admit how far short we fell. 

And bring it all before our Father. 

To accept God’s forgiveness. 

We must give ourselves permission to process through all of this. I find journaling helpful when I’m sorting through deep heart issues.

A bridge leading across a river with a tree with yellow leaves on the side

God has offered us His grace. Will we walk in it? Because accepting God’s grace is the key to moving beyond regret. 

A meme with the words, "There is therefor now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." ~Romans 8:1 on a backdrop of fall foliage surrounding a bridge

What’s the Truth?

Sometimes we become so comfortable with our “stuff” we don’t see it for the clutter it is. We don’t realize how much it drains us because we’re so used to how it makes us feel. We believe it’s just a part of who we are. 

Truth is, God didn’t create us to live with these items in our internal closets. They’ve taken up residence, but that doesn’t mean we should allow them to remain. 

To purge within ourselves—and create breathing space for our spirit—we must do the necessary work when our hearts and minds need renewing.

Too much busy-ness, unforgiveness, wounds, fear, disappointments, regrets . . . these all hog space on our shelves that God ordained for better purposes. 

He wants to fill us with His love so we can pour that out into others’ lives. So we can live in the freedom He offers. 

A bridge inviting a person to cross it to walk on a tree-lined path, an invitation to renew our hearts and minds by working through disappointments and regrets

When we keep these items at the forefront of our thoughts, our decision-making will be based on what’s in our closets, so to speak. 

When we clear out the clutter, we open up our shelves to hold better things, like joy, peace, and freedom. 

When we have space on our shelves—in our hearts—for the things of God there’s a natural breathing space that opens wide. We experience His joy because we’re not cluttered with other stuff that prevents us from living in joy.

I’m not gonna lie. It’s not easy. Purging our insides is hard, humbling work. It’ll require spending time with the Lord, confessing things, laying ourselves bare before Him. 

A set of two wrought-iron doors, one open in invitation to renew our hearts and minds

The good news is He’s the absolutely safest Person we can do this with. And, He’s the Healer. When we ask, God helps us remove the clutter, the dirt, the litter, from inside us, and into the eternal trash can.

When we’re willing to deal with the things that weigh our spirits down, God opens up a lightness within us. He fills it with His peace and teaches us how to breathe deep and free.

What about you? What scares you about purging your internal clutter? When you’ve dealt with one of the areas I mentioned, what was the result?

Click to Tweet: Sometimes we become so comfortable with our “stuff” we don’t see it for the clutter it is

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