If you come over to my house you will usually find it neat, orderly, and inviting.
Living as a family of five in a just over 600-square-foot space keeps me on top of cleaning and laundry like never before, as it gets messy and cluttered just as quickly as it is cleaned.
“A place for everything, and everything in its place” is a mantra I hold near and dear.
Except for one little part of our humble abode…THE cabinet.
The cabinet is a catch-all for those things we don’t know what to do with.
The junk we hide when company is expected.
Those little items we’re not quite willing to part with yet.
This cabinet, which is supposed to function as useful storage, becomes a dumping ground for broken crayons, stray Legos and 6 different kinds of chapstick…
And the busier our family is, the worse it gets.
Recently we went through some crazy months, and with little-to-no time to deal, I just kept stuffing and stuffing. As you can imagine, after time, all the stuffed stuff began falling out on me every time those doors were opened.
So after several months of stuffing, hiding, and holding— I was finally forced to deal after a cup of scissors (yes- a cup holding scissors) fell out on my toe.
Oh, and what a project it was- it took a fair share of time and attention.
It was frustrating. It was work…
but it was so refreshing once it was dealt with.
Recently something happened in my life that hurt more than I felt it should have. Have you ever had this happen?
It was a small something— nobody’s fault— where I ended up feeling, well...just very left out.
Now, I’m 29 years old and surely should be mature and responsible enough to deal with feeling left out, right?
That’s exactly what I was thinking. I was more upset over being upset than I was upset. Does that even make sense?!
I sat there in the car, crying and feeling foolish, and prayed in desperation…
God, why is this bothering me so much?
By His grace I began to see it— clear as day…
My cabinet door had been opened.
I wasn’t just dealing with the situation at hand— My cabinet door had been opened, and stuff was falling out everywhere. I was having to face the hard reality of pain from all those past experiences of rejection that I had stuffed away instead of sorting out.
Now I was faced with a choice: I could either deal with those items once and for all, or frantically hide them away again, embarrassed of my mess...
I decided to deal.
Husband by my side. Ugly cry face, snot and all— exposed (thank God for a loving and understanding husband).
And do you know what? Like my actual cabinet, I felt so refreshed once it was dealt with.
We all have cabinets.
A catch-all for those feelings we don’t know what to do with, our “junk" we hide from people, those little bits of unforgiveness we’re not quite willing to part with yet.
Yes, we all have cabinets, and from time to time people or circumstances will— inadvertently or not— pull open the doors, revealing things stuffed inside.
Maybe Satan keeps opening the doors to reveal mistakes of your past.
Maybe you have experienced abuse in your past but you shut the door, never processing the pain. Now that door keeps getting ripped open, threatening to reveal areas you never wished to give thought to again.
Maybe you’re like me, and you simply got tired of dealing with the pain of hurt and rejection, so you simply began stuffing it away. Now situations have come up in your marriage and friendships that opens the cabinet doors wide, causing you to react in less-than-desirable ways.
We need to learn to recognize that we all have a “cabinet,” and we need to learn to tend to it regularly to avoid entering crisis mode.
How do we do this? We bring everything out to the open, in the light of God’s Word.
It's a daily habit of laying our “junk” out before God, allowing His truth to illuminate it all and deal with it.
Sometimes God puts a finger on something that happened just yesterday, other times on items long forgotten from many years past.
It takes bravery, you know— revealing your junk, working through emotions like anger, frustration, pain, and embarrassment.
But it’s worth it. The next time something happens or someone says something that throws open your cabinet doors, you can respond lovingly, peacefully, and rationally.
Let’s be brave.
It doesn’t have to be all at once, but little bit by little bit we can deal with the clutter in our cabinets, starting today.
Verse: "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.” Psalm 139:23
Father, Thank you that you know me better than I know myself. Show me those deep, hidden places of my heart that are in need of your healing today. Make me brave so that I may really feel and deal, instead of stuffing it all back in. Thank you for your unconditional love, and thank you for your wisdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Author: Katie Gibson