Most people who know me will tell you I am decently clean and organized. My apartment appears in order and clean. But people who really know me will you tell that yes, I seem clean, but my reality makes me a poser.
In my current apartment if you sit on the sofa you can see right into my room. You’ll see my bed made and adorably adorned with just the right number of decorative pillows, if I know about you coming over in advance. You will see the edge of my desk with a cute painted chair embellished with a stylish chevron seat cover. It appears very put together if I do say so myself.
But if you actually enter my room, you will see the truth. Behind the door and hidden from the visibility of the couch, you will find clothes and shoes strung about the floor. On the side of my desk past where I know you can see from the sofa, you will see piles of papers and projects I started and never finished.
Then if you open my closet door, which I always close if someone comes over, you will see the truth. I admit, I’m organized, but also a mess. In my closet sit boxes I haven’t opened since moving in three years ago, shoes create a mountain, and projects continue to pile up only to be forgotten. With one wrong move this delicate ecosystem will all crash down. But I know the path through it. I can navigate it and get to everything I need with ease, as long as I only open the door halfway, step inside, close it and then get my pants off of the hanger. This means in actuality it is not truly organized. It is a mess and I should probably deal with it.
My closet parallels my heart so closely at times. Like most of the rooms in my apartment I appear great, maybe even a little better than great to others. I appear put together, like I figured it out. But I am hiding. Hiding things not dealt with quite yet. Hiding pain, anger, unknowns, hurt, fear, insecurities all behind the door to my room and in my closet. I am not fine, I am faking it. I unknowingly and knowingly allow myself to build up walls and facades that allow me to not deal with things but appear as if to others I’m all good. Frankly in these times, I am exhausted. It is hard work to toil with a facade and build and maintain all those walls. It is not what God has called me or you to do. It is not who He calls us to be.
On a recent holiday I had off, I started cleaning out my closet. It was hard to sift through things and let them go. Hard to admit I let things pile up so high. Daunting to look at the small amount of progress made after what felt like all day working. I grew angry at myself for letting it get this out of hand.
Even when I finished, I left the donate pile behind my door for almost a month before donating it because I just didn’t want to keep dealing with it. I wanted it to just disappear. But it didn’t. It didn’t disappear until I walked it down 3 flights of stairs, physically filled up the backseat of my Honda Civic, and drove it to Goodwill. And my heart is exactly like my experience.
The walls and facades I created will not come down until I process all the way through them. With Christ, we must deal with the issues stuffed deep in my heart. If we want to be able to fully rest and not concern ourselves with someone finding out what we hide, we can’t keep hiding it. It takes time and honestly, for me, there are still more than a few walls left to tumble down in my heart.
God slowly but surely proves time and time again He is bigger than what I bury in the depths of my being and leave to be forgotten. Cleaning out my heart takes longer than the tiring day it took to clean my closet, but as I continue to slowly and at times painstakingly trudge through things, I grow more and more honest with myself and others.
As I share my heart with people, I trust more fully, I grow to more easily open up. As I uncover what I piled up, I find a deeper understanding of God’s truth and love for me. Some of it easy to deal with, and some of it stays behind my bedroom door for four weeks before I revisit it. But with the hope of God and His abounding grace I started a process. A process spurring me to live as Christ desires, not what I think others want to see. Let me tell you, it is liberating, filled with freedom, a lot harder, refreshing, and more beautiful than I ever imagined. I would not go back to before I cleaned out my closet.