The Purge

My kids are on a little summer vacay this week. That means a lot of things for me…uninterrupted sleep, less laundry, going to the bathroom unaccompanied, no Disney channel, date nights. But it also means The Purge. We do this 2 or 3 times a year around here. Our kids accumulate so much junk…I mean stuff…that our house can start to feel overrun by it all. So when we have a few days with the kiddos away, I go into attack mode and purge.

The Purge is never a difficult thing for us (ok, for 3 of the 4 of us…the fourth could seriously be on Hoarders). We don’t generally form sentimental attachments to things, so it’s not hard to sell, donate or trash things outgrown or not in use. But this one has been a little different for me. Not because of the sentiment of the things, but because of the sentiment of the change.

My son ventures into the rocky waters of middle school this fall. I love watching the young man he’s becoming. And I love how our relationship is growing as he grows. But as I did the last of The Purge in his room yesterday, I realized that the last of the toys are gone. There are still a few special stuffed animals and some NERF guns, but the “kid” stuff is gone. We began the process at the beginning of summer of a bedroom makeover and as I delivered the last of the purge items, I felt like a part of my heart left with them.

I love the clean and neatly organized room, but the toys leaving symbolize a chapter closing. A chapter that I’m a little (lot) sentimental about. As I stood outside today and began to try to embrace the next chapter, God filled me with hope and expectation for what’s to come.

And He reminded me of something.

The Purge is necessary. Not just in my house, but in my heart. It brings growth, change, healing, hope, expectation. It’s necessary to stop and take inventory of what’s taking up room in my heart, in my life, in my relationships. And it’s necessary to purge, to remove those things that don’t allow God’s best for me. The things that lead me away from the path that He has called me to. The people (that’s the tough one) that bring toxic influences to my life.

The Purge is necessary for me to move forward in my life, my calling. And as sentimental as the closing of chapters can be, the hope and expectation of the new chapter makes the sometimes sting of The Purge well worth it in the end.

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