Joy And Sorrow

My husband and I are working to de-clutter our home.  I have piles of papers and junk to get rid of.  Every time we focus on this task and make a dent in it I feel lighter and more able to breathe.  We’ve lived in our 1,300 sf condo for 13 years.  I remember when we used to move every year how much stuff we would get rid of.  A downside of not moving is that stuff piles up.  I’m realizing how much discipline it takes to keep the clutter down.  Rarely am I in the mood to deal with my mess, but when I do I feel lighter and more happy. 

My 7Th year exercise this week was to remember joy-filled and painful memories and experiences.  I’ll be honest, my joy-filled list was longer and easier for me to write.  Not that I’ve never had hurtful experiences, but the happy joyful memories far outweigh the negative.  And by the grace of God I’ve experienced a lot of healing.   Thankfully I learned how to de-clutter my heart early in my walk with Jesus.  I was fortunate to have mentors who were skilled in leading people into emotional health.  They taught me how to forgive and allow Jesus to cleanse and heal my heart wounds.  Not that I’m never faced with a bad memory, but they are rare, and I do live in freedom in my walk with Jesus and others. 

There is a great reward when we de-clutter our hearts, deal with our most painful memories, and allow Jesus to heal as only He can. 

We all have one thing in common. We all experience moments of joy and sorrow.  Some of us have experienced more joy than sorrow, and for others the scale has tipped the other direction.  Both types of experiences have shaped who we are, but the painful ones have the most power to rob us from our full destiny.  Unhealed wounds will bind us to our past and cripple our ability to walk into the future. 

Inner work is never initially pleasant but it is necessary for spiritual and emotional wellness.  Inner work is the process we go through to deal with the emotional pain and wounds we’ve sustained in our lives.  One of my friends recently said it is like going to have a root canal.  You know you need to go through it, but it’s not something you enjoy or look forward to.  

During a recent Unearthing Destinies event we were singing the worship song, “God you reign, God you reign…forever and ever…..God you reign.”  While we were singing it I felt the Lord encourage me to share with the women that the Goliaths they face will not reign forever.   In fact, in God they can be overcome in a day.  They are not stronger and will not out live Him…He was before and He will be after…He is the only one who reigns forever…our pain will cease and He will redeem and restore every place the enemy has sought to devour.  We might have some ancient wounds, but He is the ancient of days. 

There has to be a reward for actually taking time to dredge up past pain, loss, disappointment, and wounding.  The process is usually painful, and sometimes it’s crushing.  I don’t know why God chooses a path of remembering, but I’ve never received healing from something that I didn’t first take time to review.  

Sometimes I’m embarrassed by my clutter.  I don’t want anyone to see it, and I want to pretend it does not exist.  The only problem with this is that not only does the mess not get cleaned up, it gets worse.  This weeks exercise is a fresh reminder that ignoring pain will never make it go away.  As difficult as it can be to reflect on our past, it is necessary if we are to live life to its fullest. 

Now back to that pile……….


3 thoughts on “Joy And Sorrow

  1. I totally agree! Unhealed wounds can be torturous prisons…. I just wrote a guest post on another site about the necessity of story telling and allowing others into your life. It is so important to sort through the painful experiences in the presence of God and trusted friends/mentors. Thanks for sharing! =]


  2. yes, even if pain is ancient, god is the ancientest of the ancientest. i like that. i lean on that. and i’ve noticed it is truth about the healing effect of time passing. wonderful god-designed truth. father time?



  3. Pam, this is a good article. Sometimes I need to hit ctrl/alt/del and do a reset. Thanks for reminding that God wants my communion with Him to be with open hands and arms. The only way to come to Him that way is to release the clutter I’m carrying…thanks.


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