Today I want to talk to you about my purse. If you are a guy, before you leave thinking this post is not for you because you don’t have a purse, I want to ask you to stick around and hear me out, I think there may be something in this blog post that could possibly apply to you also.
Every since I was old enough to know about purses I have had one. My wanting a purse started with seeing my mom and my grandma’s purses and as a little girl it was so exciting to have a purse of my own and fill it full with all kinds of stuff!
As a child I had purses full of toys, but as I grew up I began to fill my purses with real purse types of things. I have had many different styles and sizes of purses in my life depending on what stage of my life I was in. When I was a teenager I carried purses based on what I liked or what was in style never paying to much attention to size, though I think most of my purses I carried as a teenager were small.
After I got married and I began having kids I began searching for purses big enough to carry not just my own stuff, but also I needed purses big enough to carry the things I needed for my kids such as baby bottles, diapers and small toys. Eventually by the time my kids were older I was carrying around first aid items, hand wipes, food, tools and sometimes even my husband’s wallet or his sunglasses would make their way into my purse. I pretty much have had just about everything you can imagine in my purse and if I had ever decided to be on the game show “Lets make a Deal” I could have won the ‘What’s in your purse’ game.
Eventually my kids grew up and my purse was not needed by them so much anymore, but for some odd reason I was still carrying around all kinds of crazy stuff in there. Most of the things in my purse were things that I never needed much anymore, but for some reason I was afraid to take all that stuff out because I knew that as soon as I removed something I may need it.
A few years ago I began to notice that when I would be out for a long day my shoulder would start to ache after a while because my purse was so big and so heavy. Eventually I came to the conclusion that it was time to lighten my purse up and go through it and see if there was anything in it that I could possibly do without. As I began going through my purse I soon realized that I was carrying around a whole lot of stuff that I didn’t need to be carrying around anymore and I got rid of it all.
Once I finally got rid of all the excess stuff I and my purse were much lighter and also after a while I noticed my shoulder no longer hurt anymore! All those years of carrying around all that extra stuff that I didn’t need had been dragging me down and instead of helping me it had actually been hurting me.
You know we can be like that in our lives too. We people tend to carry a lot of excess stuff around and not just in our purses. Another place that I collected stuff over the years was inside of me. When I was a kid, we moved a lot, I was usually different from everyone else in some way or other and most of the time I did not fit in very well. I had a very low self esteem and by time I was in junior high school I had decided that I was really not anyone that others would want to hang out with. I felt unlikable and unloved at times and gradually over time it turned into a bunch of emotional ‘stuff’ that I carried around inside of me for many years.
By the time I was in my mid 30’s I was in full blown social anxiety and gradually started pulling away from any opportunity that allowed someone to get close to me. Most people did not know about this, I think I hid it well or at least I hoped I did. I did find people that I was comfortable with but most of the time kept it at a surface type of friendship not letting them know what was really inside because I felt like they would not like me anymore if they knew the real me.
Over the years I also learned that a glass of wine could make my fear of what others thought about me go away enough to get through the social occasions. By the time I was in my late 40’s I was living a pretty social life on the outside but inside I was pretty messed up. My drinking was becoming an every night thing. My glass of wine that I had to be social was now a full bottle of wine every night and also now drinking was something I did even when I was all by myself. What I once I did to just be social was now what I did to be numb to the fact that what really was going on was the fact that I was carrying around a lot of excess ‘stuff’ from my past and it was weighing me down and really hurting me a whole lot.
A person would think that old stuff from the past would get easier to carry around as time goes on, but my experience says it actually gets harder when you don’t let go of it. Another thing about not letting go of all that excess stuff is, that it begins to multiply and before you know it you are carrying around a whole lot more stuff than the stuff you started with in the first place.
When I was 47 years old Jesus entered into my life.
I remember in the beginning knowing that I needed to find a church but being horrified at the fact of going there where all those people would be congregated into one room. I would go to the church and not being able to go in the building because at that time my social anxiety was at its peak. I never drank and drove and would have never dreamed of drinking and going to church so for me to get into the building was a very hard thing to do. On some Sundays I would sit in the parking lot of the church until I got up the courage to go in the building and on those days that I actually did make it inside it was wonderful! I know on the days I made it in I got there because Jesus took hold of my hand and he walked me in.
Once in I would sit in the back row and hope that nobody would sit too close to me. With each visit it got easier and over time and with the encouragement from a friend I finally began meeting with a good Christian counselor who helped me to realize it was time to get rid of the excess stuff that I had been carrying around. She helped me clean it out and hand it over to God.
Once all the stuff that I had been carrying around for many years was removed I began to realize that I was really an okay person and worth so much more than I had allowed myself to believe for many years.
Gradually over the past 5 years I have grown in my relationship with Jesus, and He has helped me to clean out even more and more of that excess stuff and now I truly feel comfortable around other people and I feel loved and just love waking up each day to see what the day will bring.
Now I want to go back to my purse for a minute…Though I have cleaned out all the excess stuff from my purse, somehow I still manage to collect a few excess things in there from time to time. But just because something is in there it does not mean it has to stay in there and I still have to remember to clean out the excess stuff every once in a while.
As far as I go… once in a while if I may make a mistake or do something that I am unhappy with myself about and the next thing I know I realize that I have allowed it to filter into my thinking and before I know it there I am again, feeling like I am not good enough or smart enough, or that people don’t like me. Thankfully now when that ‘stuff’ starts trying to creep in I do know that I need to give that stuff away to Jesus and if I forget to do it He usually will somehow find a way to remind me that He is always here and ready to help me. When I give all that excess burdensome stuff to him I am able to keep moving forward, and travel on lighter and definitely much much happier.
Now I want to ask you the question….What kind of excess stuff are you carrying around today? Could it be that its time clean out some of that stuff that is weighing you down? Did you know that you can give it all away to the one who is always here ready to help your load be lighter … Jesus.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28
Today I am linking up with Holly Gerth you can click the coffee for your ❤ picture below and visit her blog.
Have a blessed day,
Also be sure to check out Holly’s new book You’re Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart from the Need to Be Perfect
P.S. As I was just finishing typing this blog post I realized that a song was playing on the radio that was so fitting for this post and I added the YouTube video if you would like to hear it