Messy Rooms

I sat up on my sleeping mat and glanced around my room.

“Ugh, my room is like my life right now. Overwhelming.”

I’m packing for college and cleaning out 18 years worth of why-in-the-world-did-I-keep-this.

“I hate how much stuff there is. I don’t need all of this stuff. Why did I get so many T-shirts from swimming? What am I supposed to do with them? Why do I have 25 dead pens in this drawer? Trash. Goodwill. Recycling. Go, go, go!”

I want to live out of a backpack. I know I don’t need that much stuff.

This also applies spiritually. Satan would be perfectly happy if I focused on trying to be good for God and independent. He knows that’s where I struggle. He knows that’s what brings me down.

I pulled my knees up to my chest. “Why do I have such a hard time going to God with what I have? He doesn’t want perfect Tessa, he wants Tessa with all her junk.”

I know that. I know that very very well. I might even go as far as to say I believe it. But I don’t live it. I feel the need to clean everything up before I take it to God.

It’s as if I’m scared that God will be mad at me for having a messy room. And I don’t want to shove everything in the closet, because I know from years of childhood experience that shoving things in random places doesn’t make your room clean, it just means that you’re going to lose a bunch of stuff.

But unlike my parents, God still wants to see me, even if my room is a mess. He doesn’t tell me I can’t leave until it’s all picked up and vacuumed. He wants me to be with me. He wants to help me. He wants me to want Him.

But Satan whispers, “Wait Tessa. Don’t open the door to him just yet. When He sees what’s under your bed He’s going to slam the door. Work in here for just a little longer. Try to make things a little better on your own. It’ll make Him proud to see how independent you are! He’ll be happy you’ve done all these good things.”

Even Satan’s attempts to get me to work when it’s unnecessary sound good.

“I have to pray allll the time for the Holy Spirit to work in my heart and make it desire God. I get so frustrated at my fallen state. Like I just want to desire God all the time and never have doubts,” I texted my friend. She told me about Anything and told me to read it.

“But since he is God, we think he wants some song and dance from us [or a clean room]— in other words, behavior modification. He actually just wants us. He longs to set us free. And yes, to accomplish all that, he wants us entirely. God is home to us. He is where we were made to be. He is what we were made for. We just forget all that while we are trying to be good and independent.”-Anything

“Okay. I remember this time God. But I need you to keep reminding me. I can’t do this. Don’t let me lock you out of my room until it’s clean. Help me let go of all the “stuff” I’ve been holding on to…Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom…I want that freedom”

Taking a deep breath, I stood, grabbed my clothes, and walked out the door; I’ll have to go back and face it, but for now, I’m going to rest in His presence and I know I won’t go back alone.

My amazing and wonderful friend Soumya texted me this, I think she’s right.

“I think Satan even likes that we tend to be almost too introspective. He wants us to continue being frustrated with ourselves, looking at how we sin and fall short more than looking beyond that to the grace God gives. Satan likes that our overt introspective-ness hinders our immediate obedience in a lot of ways.”

***Yes, my parents had to fight me when I was little to clean my room and they weren’t always happy with the results of my efforts, thus they would send me back into my room. I believe God disciplines his children, and earthly parents follow suit, but God also has authority to do much more than my parents do which is why He can help me clean my room while my parents can’t.

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