Fast forward to present time when I must now fend for myself to keep busy when he’s working all of these long hours. In my fending, I usually find a project to keep myself busy or I will go visit family. This year, however, the go-visit-family was no longer an option with the stay-at-home restrictions in place, so I decided to rip apart a closet in our mudroom. I noticed the three-wire-shelves were taking on a new shape as they began to bend towards the floor underneath the weight of all they bore and a few of the mounting brackets were now free from the wall.
After a good bit of Pinterest surfing, I found several cute ideas and decided to turn this catch-all-closet into a pantry. After I gutted the closet Pat was able to rebuild, and what took weeks to complete was now ready to be reoccupied. However, I understood that not everything that came out could go back in. My daughter, a licensed therapist, came to my aid. She helped me determine what r e a l l y needed to return to the new space and what needed to find a new home.
As we made our way through the closet/pantry, or panset, it became obvious that I am a hoarder-of-all-things-past. I hold on to anything with a memory attached. Items like my grandmother’s old blender and my firstborn’s kindergarten lunchbox, both still in my possession but of little use to me now. They simply served the purpose of recalling memories.
As I went about the process of letting go of things, my mind embarked on another type of clearing out–that of releasing old wounds and hurts. In the same way that I can be a hoarder of all-things-past I can also be a hoarder of all-things-hurt. Sometimes it just feels wrong to let it go—so I don’t. Instead, I wrap it up tight within and refuse to allow anyone to pry it away. Am I the only one? I hardly think so! I wonder why we insist on holding tightly to something that causes pain. What other purpose does hoarding a hurt serve? When we rehash it – we feel the hurt again. When we overthink it – we experience the hurt all over. What is the point of purposely holding onto years of hurt?
When we choose to hoard hurt we are forgetting there is One who offers to help us overcome the pain of a past hurt; in fact, He asks us to let Him carry it. The Psalmist reminds us to cast our burdens on the Lord so He can sustain us” (Psalm 55:22). The hurt sustains the pain but the Father wants to sustain you in peace and freedom.
Far too many relationships disintegrate because a hurt hoarder refused to offer forgiveness. Instead, a grudge is set upon the memory shelf to remind us of the hurtful occasion. I understand not all hurts are small ones – there are many who carry big hurts, as well; too big to carry alone. For those the promise of God is healing. Remember the woman who said to herself, “If I may touch His garments, I shall be healed” (Mark 5:28)? She was, and Jesus said it was because of her faith.
Perhaps it is time to put an end to the hoarding of hurt. God calls us to “make allowances for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends” us (Colossians 3:13, NLT). Anyone? Yes, anyone. Colossians continues, “remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
The shelves in my new panset will never carry the weight as the old ones. I’ve lightened the load. In the same way, the load the old Kolleen carried with old hurts and grudges became less when she decided it was too much to carry on her own. We change our identity one letter at a time when we release hurt to the One who not only carries them for us – but completely carries them away.