As I open my master closet, the door seems heavy. It’s time for spring cleaning. I have a natural gift of purging and organizing, so why does this chore seem so hard? I hesitate and draw a breath. My hand reaches for the knob, and I know on the other side waits my uninvited friend—loneliness.
I open the door and examine the disorganized shelves, the full closest rods, and the general state of disarray. The dust is easy to remove. A few boxes could be stacked more orderly, and a few items of clothing now too small could be donated. But the bigger item that needs cleaning is my soul.
I remember about four years ago, my friend Wendy called and said, “This is the weekend! You are moving in!” And I did. No longer would she let me have half a master closet empty and waiting for his return. Though years have passed since that weekend, my closet—similar to my life, despite sweet friendships, a son I adore, and a new love—is constantly battling loneliness.
“‘For your Maker is your Bridegroom, His name, God-of-the-Angel-Armies! Your Redeemer is the Holy of Israel, known as God of the whole earth. You were like an abandoned wife, devastated with grief, and God welcomed you back . . .Your Redeemer God says: ‘I left you, but only for a moment. Now, with enormous compassion, I’m bringing you back.’” Isaiah 54:5-7 (MSG)
While I was driving recently, with loneliness on my mind, I turned a corner and was surprised to find a cross. It wasn’t really a cross, but some unattractive power lines were lit up brightly in the shape of a cross. At that moment, it was as though God had reached down and said, “Turn your eyes to Me, my child. Do not turn back. Be present, be focused. Focus on Me, your Bridegroom, and allow me to clean the closet of your soul.”
So join me! Do you have a “closet” full of stuff you need to purge so you can set your eyes on something new? Let’s grab our trash bags and purge what’s behind. And remember, we at Stonebriar are here to stand beside you, friend. No one walks alone.
“Be alert; be present.
I’m about to do something brand new.
It’s bursting out!
Don’t you see it?
There it is!
I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.”
Isaiah 43:19 (MSG)
Debi Gibson is a single mom of her 18 year old graduating senior, and on Sunday nights, she is “mom” for more than 450 Awana children and students when she serves as Stonebriar’s Awana Ministry Leader. She loves that God called her into ministry through God’s redemptive work in her loneliness and heartache. She and her son love to travel and most evenings are hanging out with their two pups, Mahali and Chance. Debi also loves to use her gift of hospitality in serving others and teaching it creatively in her little store, The Guest House.