When my Mom died, she and my Dad left a mountain of unmarked boxes filled with paper. In each box, important documents were mixed with saved magazines articles and unopened mail. As the executor, it was my job to go thru it all to find the documents required to process the estate.
After we sold the family house where my parents lived for over fifty years, I had the daunting task of attacking that mountain of boxes which now filled more than one storage unit. The overflow items filled my living room and extra bedroom. There was no place for visitors to sit because every chair, except mine, was filled with boxes and bags.
As I worked thru the pile I started to get bogged down by overthinking my decisions to donate, trash or keep items. It became harder to make progress. Letting go of objects has never been a strength of mine. I knew this project would be a marathon and it overwhelmed me.
I was raised in a performance based environment. You are judged by what you’ve done lately and how successful you were. You were always on trial hoping for approval of the important people in your life. Approval was hard to achieve and accomplishments became so important that I found myself frozen sometimes, stuck and inert, unable to take action.
I was drowning in sentimental clutter and cried out in prayer. Then suddenly, there were days in which I felt the cloud lift and my strength rise. I was finally taking the actions and making the progress I longed for. But the manifestation of deliverance did not stay. I cried out in prayer again, asking God how can I be delivered from this quicksand experience. I knew that condemning myself was not productive, so I persevered to keeping taking action in faith, no matter how small the progress.
A friend gave me this quote from an anonymous author: “God bases His love for me on Himself and not on my performance.” I do not need to perfect myself before I can begin to live my life more fully and enjoy it. I endeavored to focus on God’s character and what he says to His church as described in scripture.
During a prayer time, I felt God say to me “Don’t give up on yourself. Stand up out of that swamp of discouragement and walk into my arms. You will not see disappointment in my eyes, but the love of a father who is always eager and joyful to be with His child.”
I am still sorting and donating things and shredding paper. I live with the God blessed tension that I can entertain and exercise God’s strength and enabling power, but I do not control it. He gifts it to me as needed. And I know I can trust my Heavenly Father. I can handle the tension of being imperfect and incomplete because I am whole when God visits me with His enabling power and His perfect timing.
2 Cor. 12:10 NKJV
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
About the Author
Sara has attended CitySalt Church since 2004, the year it was founded. She studied Journalism, wrote for her college newspaper, and is a member of Oregon Christian Writers. Sara also enjoys singing hymns with friends: “there is a sermon in every hymn waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.”