A few years ago I decided to "deep clean" my bathroom. Brave, right?
So I put my hair up in that crazy bun on the top of my head, put on my workout clothes (I was getting serious), and got some music going.

Me vs. bathroom. 
I had an hour. 
And I would win.

I remember pulling out everything from under the sink and out from all of the cabinets.

Everything was everywhere.

I was cleaning out the corners and the shelves, and wiping off everything before I placed it back in its spot. And it was taking longer than I thought. While I am in middle of all this, someone walked by and casually said, "Wow, this bathroom is a wreck!" and walked off.

I was kinda perturbed (yes, I just used that word), because I had been working so hard on it. Couldn't they see I was deep cleaning? I was in the process of making it better, not worse! My efforts seemed invalidated.

The Lord spoke to me then, about the condition of my heart. It's a reference that I still go back to time and time again. He told me that in order for something to be clean, really clean....it had to get even more messy first. In order to clean out the corners of my heart, and make sure that everything in there is known, I have to pull everything out. Every intention, every desire...one by one

For awhile I let out all my baggage, and I feel like I am going backwards instead of forwards. I feel more "messy" and a more of a "wreck" than before I begin.

There is so much pressure for women to be "put together" and in control of everything. When we start dealing with the issues in our heart sometimes we feel shame, like we are becoming weak and people are noticing. Or we feel that we don't love God enough, that we don't have enough faith.
So when we start to pull things out, we feel that shame and quickly shove it all back in without really truly dealing with it. We also feel a lot of pressure to do all this within a certain time period. We put God on a clock, and sometimes rob ourselves of a full healing.

Although that happened a few years ago the Lord keeps bringing that picture in my mind over and over, especially lately. He keeps asking me if I love Him. Do I love Him with my entire heart? With all of my being?

In order to be in that place, in order to really answer that question, I have to be willing to get a little messy. To look a little undone. To be honest and authentic. So raw and real that I may make myself uncomfortable...or other people uncomfortable.

What I love about God, is that He works completely backwards from the way we work. When we want to feel strong, we hide all of our weaknesses. When He makes us strong, it’s THROUGH our weaknesses. We pull out that pain from deep within, lift it up, make it known and then He takes our shame, He takes our filth, and restores it to perfect purity. Something new, fresh, and real.

I want to be okay with not always having everything together. I would rather sacrifice the appearance of "all together," for some temporary "deep cleaning" that brings me closer to Him.




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About the Author :

Heather is a full time M.A. Counseling Psychology student, photographer for www.roehphotography.com and blogger at www.heatherparady.com. She loves Jesus, her husband, and daughter Lucy. She is very proud to be southern, loves brownies immensely, and believes Jesus created the coffee bean with her in mind.