I grew up in a home filled with clutter. The home of a hoarder. I have struggled for years to understand the thinking behind the need to hoard things. I still do not fully comprehend the need to hang on to seemingly useless items. I am, however, beginning to empathize with the hoarder I grew up with.
As a Christian friend and mentor recently pointed out to me, I do not save “things”, per se, but I do “hoard”. I hold on to painful memories with a vice grip; not releasing the hurts to the One Who can free me completely. I carry on grudges from decades-old events because they were painful, and I was deeply wounded. I have chosen to keep those memories stored up so that I can remember the pain and remain unforgiving to the person who broke my heart. But, to what cost?
Just as it is difficult to maneuver through piles of rubbish in a home, so it is difficult to maneuver through future relationships which are filtered through a muddled psyche. Hanging on to memories of hurt, rejection and abandonment can interfere with establishing healthy connections later in life. It can also lead to bitterness and unforgiveness toward the one who wounded us so severely.
I am learning to cut myself a little slack as I work through the process of forgiving the one who hurt me to my core. I am learning to ask God to help me see that individual through His eyes. I am asking Jesus to give me empathy toward this person and to provide me with His grace to forgive. And I am ever so slowly turning over to God the clutter of my mind. I am giving Him access to those painful, hoarded memories. He is faithfully responding and continuing His good work in my life.
And the prize in all of this is increased freedom for me. Freedom to live the life God has designed me to live. Freedom to take risks in new relationships, as well as, in old ones…without fear of hurt or rejection. If you can relate to me at all, may I encourage you to reduce the clutter of “whatever” it is that might be weighing you down. Give it to God. He will take care of you. He loves you and wants to free you.
Phil 1:6 Ps 119:107
Mk 11:25 Gal 5:1
Kami R. Lobner