Not sure about you, but it's easy for me to get swept up in the "busy-ness" of the season and I neglect my own heart. I give and receive gifts. I go through the motions. I attend holiday parties with a smile on my face. I interact with family members, yet all the while, my heart is not right within me. There's something off, something askew.
But God goes deeper. He shows me where I've been holding on to resentment against someone. As the person comes to my mind, I soften. I realize I do have pent up anger and bitterness towards this person. I didn't really think about it till now. I hid it deep down where no one can really see it from the outside and I only think about it from time to time. I didn't think it was a big deal. But God doesn't see it that way. He shows me the weight of this anger I'm carrying around. It's a big rock. It's taking up space in my heart. It's weighing me down and keeping me from wholeness and complete JOY.
It's like cleaning out your hall closet. We stuff things in there--junk, toys, miscellaneous stuff…It builds up over the years. No one really needs to know what's behind that door, right? And then in walks God. He goes immediately to the closet and opens it. And you're like, oh sh**. Why did He do that?
He exposes our mess and the stuff we've "stuffed" deep down and He helps us uproot it and clean it up. You see He wants us to live full, complete and abundant lives. But when we have junk taking up space in our hearts, we miss out on the fullness He desires for us.
I realize holding onto resentment and unforgiveness only hurts me. It's like a cancer--the longer I hold onto it and let it live in my heart, the more it eats away at my insides. It's like a silent killer. It's a slow death.
So what did I do? I softened my heart. I acknowledged this "rock" of unforgiveness in my closet and I gave it up. I asked God to pick it up and take it out of my "house." No more! Good riddance! I don't want junk like that taking up valuable space in my heart! And you know what? When I let go and released it, I felt more at peace seriously. My heart was coming back into alignment. I was lighter and freer.
So friend, I share this with you NOT because it's easy, but because I want you to experience more fullness of life and joy this Christmas and New Year. For me, it was dealing with some deep down unforgiveness. For you, it might be something similar or completely different. But regardless, do your "heart check up!" Don't go through another holiday season into a new year with rocks like this weighing you down. Let God clean out that closet of yours!!!