Thursday, January 9, 2014

The purge.

rid (someone) of an unwanted feeling, memory, or condition, typically giving a sense of cathartic release, to cleanse, to clear, to purify.
I've spent the majority of the new year purging.
On New Years Day,
I rearranged my entire living room area,
 all the while getting rid of unwanted papers and knick-knacks.
Not to mention, the sneaky little dust bunnies hiding behind every crack and crevice.
I've cleaned off countless book shelves and boxed up things to ship off to Goodwill.
I've thrown away school stuff that wasn't necessary to keep any longer and organized files that were messy and all out of whack.
I've begun my yearly purging of the file cabinet, shredding piles of papers no longer needed.
I've cleaned out the refrigerator, getting rid of smelly uneaten leftovers and green fuzzy things growing on what was once dinner.
I've packed up all of the Christmas decorations and put them in the shed until next year's festivities.
I've even begun washing curtains throughout the house, cleansing them of last year's dust.

You name it, I've purged it,
leaving the atmosphere around me feeling fresh, clean and pure.

It's been a great release for me as I walk into the new year.

As I lay in bed the other night, going over my nightly "to do" list for the next day, my head was spinning with more and more things I wanted to purge.

The Lord gently reminded me that there was one place I had forgotten to clean out.

"What about your heart?" He said.

My heart?

As I thought about my heart,
I couldn't help but see all of the old stuff and emotional dust bunnies piling up.

My heart. The place where I hide the most clutter.

Not to mention my mind, where those tiny dust bunnies begin to form
 and eventually crowd up in my heart.

2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

He showed me that there were things that were taking up space in my heart that no longer needed to be there.
Things that I needed to purge myself of:

Old grievances with people I love.
Offenses that were taking up space.
Needless anger and resentment.
Hurts and emotional bruises.
Regret for things left undone and unsaid.
Negative thoughts that held me captive.
Un-forgiveness in areas I was trying to hide and forget about.

These things, among others, were just collecting and collecting in my heart.
It was a hot mess in there I tell ya. A. hot. mess.

It was time for the purge.

Time to let it all go.
Time to leave things behind.
Time to move forward.
Time to make room for new things.
Time to ask forgiveness where needed.

Time for a deep cleansing.
Time for a fresh, pure start.

Psalm 51:10
Hide Your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

My husband walked in from work the other day as our kitchen and living area looked like it was undergoing mass destruction. I was in the zone of cleaning and things were all amuck.

He said, "What on earth are you doing?"

"Purging", I said.

"Purging? Like we do with the crawfish?" He asked while he giggled.

I paused for a moment to think about what he said.
 I thought of what God had spoken to me and the purging that was slowly taking place.

"Yes." I said with a smile. "Just like that."

Here in Louisiana, we eat a lot of boiled crawfish. Thousand and thousands of pounds during the crawfish season.  To prepare the crawfish to be boiled and later eaten, we put the crawfish through a purging process. This rids them of the mud, debris and junk that might be collecting in their intestines. If left there, the crawfish aren't very pleasing to eat and might just be thrown out. Purging allows for a better tasting crawfish. One without a bitter, gritty or dirty taste.
One that is pleasing to the potential crawfish devourer at the next family crawfish boil.

That's exactly what I want to do with my heart.

I want to rid myself of the debris and junk that might be collecting inside of its walls.
I want to cleanse it so that there isn't any bitterness or grit that might be unpleasing to someone.

I want to be pleasing and usable to my Father.
I want to make room in my heart for new things. Better things.

The thing is,
just like the crawfish need us to put them through the purging process,
I need God to get me through mine.

I need to let Him do in me what needs to be done.
 Even if that means causing mass destruction on the inside of me, in order to get the clutter out.
I need Him for the purging.

Philippians 2:12-13
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,  for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

I'm doing a lot of  praying, a lot of soul searching, and a whole lot of heart cleansing.

I'm determined to be a newer, fresher and better me in this new year.
I'm purging right where it counts the most.

Within the heart.

Isaiah 43:19
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.


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