As a little girl growing up in a rural area, the dump was a place you visited often. This sounds so strange, but I loved riding with my dad to the dump. As an adult, that’s the last errand on my list of favorites. Perhaps it was the time in the car with my dad, or the unbelievable process of getting rid of “stuff”. I can conjure up the smell and the visual. I felt a sense of pride of helping my dad and doing something other than house chores like dishes and dusting. One particular visit I saw a toy. Oh my goodness, Toy Story 3, the movie, just popped in my mind.
How could a toy be at the dump? Trash, refrigerators, and lawnmowers, well, okay, but not a toy! I asked my father if I could take it home. I still remember his look of astonishment and concern. I had to rescue that toy, and I would not take no for an answer. He humbly asked the man, who worked the area, if I could have the toy. Equally confused and with a knowing, father smile, he gave dad the two thumbs up of approval. I rescued this toy.
Recently, in a training for work, the process of taking out the trash was applied to our emotional well being.
Emotional trash does not need to be reexamined and reexamined. In the course of living, we collect emotional trash. It just needs to be cleared-much like you take out the garbage in your home. You don’t go through it again and again. You just put it in the trash and throw it away. Dr. Ruby Payne
I thought about how many times I sort through the trash. A memory appears in your mind, a situation occurs, and you thought you moved on or healed, but there you are at the dump rescuing something–rummaging. It’s colorful and sentimental; yet, as you rummage, you start to realize this stinks.
As a therapist, I believe in the power of voice and sharing your story in a safe place. In the telling, processing, and re-framing you heal piece by piece. Emotional trash is what happens when we stay too lung at the dump, or allow the enemy to keep us in a cycle of throwing out, going back, throwing out, and going back. If you are in this pattern, it’s time to stop going to the trash and rummaging.
Instead of going to the dump, go to the Deliverer.
God is really okay with your hurt, pain, anger, or resentment. Don’t you dare go to that trash can or dump and start digging up dirt. I don’t care how colorful and sentimental it is, go to God and His perfect love. Instead of filth, He offers to clean you in mercy and loving-kindness. He loves you right where you are. You see, the garbage has things like rotten messages of “This is where you belong”; “You will never heal from this”; “You are different and alone”; “You don’t belong”; “You thought you were strong, but here you are again. I told you so”.
Here’s the hard part. People around you are not God. You are not God. I’m stating the obvious, but do you realize how much power we give others to measure how good, well, or righteous we are? Also, we can expect too much of ourselves and others in the healing process. People and self will never have the capacity to restore and redeem you–that’s God’s job alone. He uses people, but God is the perfect healer. He created you. I think He knows what to do.
Rest there. Perfect rest.
‘I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.’ Phil. 4:11 God is in control. When a job is terminated, a mate quits, a friend deserts, God is quietly but sovereignly at work for your good. Rest in His ability, and contentment will follow. Charles Stanley
What state are you in? My girls laugh at me when I refer to the infamous, “Crazytown USA”. That’s a state of mind for me at times, or the way I describe a happening–“That’s Crazytown USA!” Regardless of your state of mind or happening, you are right where God wants you to be. All He asks is for you to not head to the trash and start rummaging. He is all sufficient, and He is enough. I dare you to consider the “right now” as known by God and a perfect place to be. That’s easy if you are on vacation in the tropics, but more challenging in a difficult marriage, a severed relationship, or a loss. God’s aware of how hard that is. He just asks for you to come to Him and to consider it, and piece by piece, day by day, and, sometimes, moment by moment, He will change you from glory to glory. Just do the next, right thing, and He will lead you home. And if the word right just messed with your mind, that’s okay,too. God knows that doing the right thing all the time is impossible this side of heaven. His servant, Paul, talked about how hard he tried not to do something bad, and, by golly, he still did it. His mercies are new every morning. Each new day brings an opportunity for you to draw closer to your Creator, heal, and do the work.