Please don’t look in my closet!

The secrets and shame that lay hidden behind the door to my closet are without number. To clarify that statement, I am very hard on myself with regards to  maintaining order. When friends or family come to visit, I will show them any room of the house they want to see. . . except the closet. I have stuff in there. Perhaps you have a different location for the private things in your life. My closet is my hiding place.

Bravery won out, and I have included a photo of said closet. Professional organizers beware! Psychologists, have a field day at my expense here.

“If you went to your closet today, would you pull out the same outfit you wore 10 or 15 years ago? You wear feelings and faith differently as well.” – Amy Grant

My natural instinct would be to tidy everything up before I took the photo. Please take notice that I organize everything according to both a color scale and the appropriate season. If I were trying to present the ‘perfect’ image of myself – the one I want you to have of me – there wouldn’t be a shoe lying haphazardly about without its mate. A more truthful image would also reveal my addiction with purses and shoes. I would want to draw your attention to that lovely red coat (my best bargain ever!), but please disregard that canvas I have yet to complete. Oops, I forgot to hang up a blouse. Do me a favor and mark that out with a sharpie.

Isn’t life like that sometimes? We want people to see our best side, and we try to hide the messiness of life on a bottom shelf.

I attended a funeral several years ago that left an indelible mark on my conscience. It was for a young man, single, who lived alone. He was an educator. He died instantly, with no indication that morning that it would be his last. That is not the end of the story about his life.

His closet told the real story of his life.

His sister shared the following dialogue with me. Some well-meaning friends approached the family. Who would go into his house first? They got down to the nitty gritty, the brutal honesty of what might lie ahead. Perhaps the family didn’t really know him as well as they hoped. What unknown details lay hidden behind the socks? There might be things. There might be stuff. Secret stuff. You know about the stuff – the stuff that you intend to hide or discard some day before someone finds that stuff. Everybody’s stuff is different. Most people have some stuff that they wouldn’t want exposed without their permission or approval.

The family was confident they would not find any unwanted papers or photos, there were no secrets lurking in his closet. ‘Search completely, go through everything. He had nothing to hide. We won’t have any surprises.’

There wasn’t any ‘stuff’ in his closet. What a testimony of his life. His closet revealed a life of integrity.

Do you have any areas of your life that need to be cleaned up or discarded?

“No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a washtub or shoves it under the bed. No, you set it up on a lamp stand so those who enter the room can see their way. We’re not keeping secrets; we’re telling them. We’re not hiding things; we’re bringing everything out into the open.” – Luke 8:16, 17, The Message

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22 thoughts on “Please don’t look in my closet!

  1. sagescenery October 4, 2012 at 2:28 pm Reply

    Right…shed some light on it!! There’s stuff in our closets we don’t even know is there…same with our hearts!!

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  2. marymtf October 4, 2012 at 3:39 pm Reply

    My closet aspires to be as tidy as your closet. 🙂

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  3. lukedoecke October 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm Reply

    I’m hearing you. I’ve had to come clean in the past and it has changed everything. Living a life with no rocks or walls around my heart is true freedom. I like sagescenery comment. There are a lot of men here in Australia that are shedding the stuff in a safe non judgmental place called a ‘shed night’. We encourage men to become the real man we were created to be. Get rid of the stuff that holds each of us back and then we can meet our Creator one on one. Love your posts. Keep it up. Luke

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    • Overwhelmed By Joy October 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm Reply

      Thank you for sharing about your group. That is fantastic to hear about, and what a great name for your group. It is so freeing to get rid of the things that keep us from being who ‘we were meant to be’, as you said.

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  4. joyswordsofencouragement October 4, 2012 at 7:50 pm Reply

    God has been dealing with me in this respect and now that I’m in a loving safe relationship, He is having me dig even deeper so my love may understand my stuff and help me work with mine as I help him work with his. To reveal my stuff to anyone but God is scary at times but my love is understanding and compassionate about it and I love him all the more for that. It is really helping us prepare for our future marriage.

    Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

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    • Overwhelmed By Joy October 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm Reply

      I commend you for working through such a big challenge. You will have a great foundation to build your marriage on. Thank you for sharing that!

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  5. Katrina Krebsbach October 4, 2012 at 8:08 pm Reply

    Love your blog! Such an encouragement 🙂

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    • Overwhelmed By Joy October 4, 2012 at 8:17 pm Reply

      Thank you for such kind words! I appreciate that you took the time to read it. 🙂

      Like

  6. writerwannabe763 October 4, 2012 at 8:21 pm Reply

    Closets of our houses can be cluttered just as the ‘closets’ of our minds. It’s easier to clean the ones in our houses I think!! ….Diane

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  7. jackiebelle October 4, 2012 at 9:00 pm Reply

    I don’t even know what STUFF is in my closet. This makes me want to clean it up just in case I die, suddenly. I don’t want to leave others my mess. You always pick such great topics for your blog!

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    • Overwhelmed By Joy October 4, 2012 at 10:11 pm Reply

      If I ever get around to finishing that painting, I’ll let you know – and I see it every day! I have no excuse at all. 🙂

      Like

  8. lenwilliamscarver October 4, 2012 at 10:26 pm Reply

    my closet is in chaos my heart closet that is, but the Lord has been working with me and it is becoming filled with love, wisdom, understanding of His word and law and oh Praise God I am filled with Joy.

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  9. Melissmor October 5, 2012 at 7:47 am Reply

    Ladyyyyyyyyyyy – you are absolutely right. Some of those things usually just have to stay hidden, and then some are issues we have to deal with but choose to keep putting on the side. It is difficult sometimes, but one way or the other, we find our own way of dealing with it. 🙂

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    • Overwhelmed By Joy October 5, 2012 at 8:21 am Reply

      That is so true ~ so things do need to be put in the past, others need to be dealt with. Thanks for pointing that out!!

      Like

  10. heatherdecker October 5, 2012 at 11:05 am Reply

    Wow! I love this article, now I want to go home.. observe my own closet and pick apart what it means in regards to my own life, thanks for such an interesting post!! -Heather

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    • Overwhelmed By Joy October 5, 2012 at 2:51 pm Reply

      Let me know what your closet shows! It’s about the journey, isn’t it?

      Like

  11. DaVida Nature Photography October 10, 2012 at 11:18 pm Reply

    It’s not my closet I am worried about. Actually, I just reorganized in for fall/winter. But, there is the second closet with all the totes in it . . . Great post, Patricia. And thanks for stopping by my blog. Best to you.
    Mary

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    • Overwhelmed By Joy October 11, 2012 at 9:14 am Reply

      I think we all have a room that we hope no one looks at without an invitation. Good for you for staying organized!

      Like

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