Cleaning Closets & Swedish Fish

Cleaning out the closets of my home, of my heart. What stays? What goes? Do I push it to the back one more time or do I let it go? Do I throw out those canned goods never to be used, out of date, purchased by Hugh at a time that we thought they were needed? They are no longer needed in the sense of which they were purchased. I think carrying them away is symbolic of all those tears and hurt that are stuck inside.  I can keep pushing them to the back but they are still out of date and no use to my life now.

I spent much time procrastinating cleaning it out, clearing away space for the new.  What worked? What did not work? I found swedish fish in the cabinet. I remember they get stuck in your teeth and it stuck in my heart. Those candies were symbolic of all the times I sent them to Sheldon in the jail cell and in the rehabs, oh so many rehabs. Dry out places, detoxes, oh so many of them. So many times he was lost to us, lost to himself, but never lost to God. I would buy those candies  for him and then I stopped. I stopped. I could no longer give him swedish fish, I had nothing left to give.

I remembered possibly falsely but it was real to me that each time I took them to him or sent them to him he never got sober. It never worked, nothing worked, so many prayers, so many screams up to heaven. So many knees bent. So many deals made with God. Hospitals, dark places, lost, lost, so lost. Paralyzed with fear of that phone call. None of it worked. 

NONE OF IT WORKS TILL WE LET GO COMPLETELY TO ALL OF IT. WHAT DOES NOT SERVE ME AND MY WORLD KEEPS ME STUCK. THE CLOSETS OF MY MIND AND HEART CAN NOT MAKE WAY FOR THE NEW UNTIL I LET GO OF THE OLD. 

I know that sometimes you can not clean it out all at once but rather one day at a time, I can do what I can, with what I have from where I am at that moment in time. Each thing I throw out of my life, God replaces it with new and better.  It is always better.  

So today, I am cleaning out my closet with my sober son. I will not give him swedish fish but I will continue to pray and give thanks to God for this day. I will thank him for letting me clean out my closet and clean out my heart of those things that do not serve me or others.  

But for now, but for now, Hugh’s soap smelling of him still sits on my sink. I use it and breathe it in and I breathe out and thank God for all of it.  Messy closets, messy lives, messy me, all of it. For without any of it there would be none of it. I have been molded to a life of service and love and in that, I am just as I am, and just as God designed me to be. And so it is.

3 thoughts on “Cleaning Closets & Swedish Fish

  1. Oh, Karen, you just knocked it out of the park again. As we all take this time to clean out our closets, may we ask God to guide us. ❤

  2. Oh, how I can relate! As a mom, I told God over & over that I was giving him His son back to Him! Promising not to take back the reins. I would tell him I was through, and I would wait on Him to “fix” my son. After many years I finally was completely exhausted, and it was then that I turned my son, completely, over to our Lord. It was amazing what God can do when we do as He taught us to do. God is good—all the time. His way is always better than ours.

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