I was staring at my closet on Sunday feeling so overwhelmed and annoyed by the excess. Staring at a portion of my closet that is devoted simply to hang sweatshirts. Sweatshirts. Like they need a special place of prominence and a place all their own. And not even nice and comfy sweaters. I’m talking about hoodies and a random collection of relaxing-wear that have come from different places that I have visited or that say inspirational things, because obviously if I am wearing truth I am feeling it. Not to mention a nice display of college paraphernalia. I was looking at them all and feeling so overwhelmed, asking myself why anyone needs so many sweatshirts? Shouldn’t just one or two suffice?
And so I started pulling them from the hangers. I picked my two favorites, acknowledging that I rarely wear them anyway, and tossed the rest to the ground. From there I kept going, through dresses and t-shirts until I had made my way through everything that I own. Purging and cleansing my closet of excess, but really it felt like with each item tossed to the ground, some that annoyingly still had tags on them and had just been hanging there with no purpose, that I was able to breathe a little bit more. Clearing the clutter from my closet, yes, but also clearing the clutter from my life.
That’s something that I have been learning a lot about lately. About embracing the things in my life that are truly essential, and getting rid of all the other unnecessary things that remain. I don’t want to keep saying yes to all the things that come my way just to skim the surface of my life. I would rather say yes to the few things that really matter and go as deep as I possibly can.
God has shown me over and over that this is a season of flourishing in my life. And it has started in the quiet of winter. In the slowness of slumber where I am consenting to be nothing more than a seed planted in the soil of His glory. But in the quiet, I am able to take notice of all the weeds that have been stockpiled in my life over the years. The ones that disguise themselves as bountiful flowers and great opportunities and that look all shiny and exciting. I am seeing so much, both inwardly and outwardly that I don’t need. So much that I want to lay down and let go of to embrace a simpler life that feels much more true to me and the person that God has made me to be.
Staring at my closet felt like a wake up call the other day. One, to the fact that I hoard sweatshirts for no apparent reason cause I don’t really wear them anyway, and two, to the fact that I hold onto things that I don’t need. And as I pulled each one from the hanger, I was really pulling at something deep in my life, allowing the soil to be turned up and the excess to leave my heart. Making space and room for roots to be planted even deeper and leaving my heart wide open to embrace the things that come my way that really matter.
There is no true flourishing without pulling up the weeds. Plants are given so much more space to grow when these little pesky weeds are removed from the soil. They can spread out and grow all the more–flourish all the more–without the excess being in their way. And there is so much that I see about my own life as I think about that. Think about myself as being planted in a garden surrounded by weeds. By the things in my life that aren’t outwardly bad, but that distract me from God and true purpose and being the person that I have always wanted to become.
So I am saying no more. No more to weeds. No more to excess. No more to dang sweatshirts. I want to clear the land to allow for all the more fruit to grow. I don’t want to hold onto things for no reason or no purpose. I can’t see what is truly in front of me when my senses are so overstimulated. When there is so much in front of me that I am blinded to the things that I really need. Weeds that sometimes grow so tall that I can’t see over them, and so get stuck right where I don’t want to be.
Walking into my closet feels like a breath of fresh air now. I purged so many pieces from it–acknowledging with each one that I also have a shopping problem and it needs. to. stop. But feeling so much more free. I can actually see the pieces that I do have now. I can see my clothes that are now more spread out rather than all crammed together in between things that I was holding onto for no reason. I am sure that there are still some things in there that I can get rid of, but I tried really hard to keep only what I found essential. Only that truly represents me and that I love and that I actually wear. Because I don’t need all the rest.
And this isn’t just about sweatshirts, although there were so many sweatshirts. This is about life and being the person that God made me to be. About clearing the clutter and silencing the noise so that I can hear Him all the more. This is where true flourishing happens. And we can’t do it without clearing the land of weeds. Some of them require us picking up our little gardening tools and pulling them from the ground ourselves. Some of them may require more than what our own two hands can do on their own. But let’s purge them. Let’s purge our lives of the excess and allow what only truly matters to remain.
Winter is slowly turning to spring, and when this little seed of my heart begins to sprout up out of the ground, may it push up into nourishing soil that is free from weeds that seek to choke it out and stunt its growth. May the land be clear for true growth to happen, for abundant fruit to begin to grow.
It’s not an easy process, but my goodness, it is one that feels so free.