In the days when we still had TV I was only able to make it through 1 episode of Hoarders Buried Alive. I had attempted on a few other occasions and just.couldn’t.take it! The one that I did watch was on the milder scale I’m sure or I would’ve just turned it off. If I remember correctly my OCD typically took over and most of the time I just simply started cleaning what was already clean in an effort to make myself feel better from the sheer terror of stuff.everywhere…a clean freak’s nightmare!
What is so crazy about that is hoarding is exactly what I did for approximately just over 6 years. It wasn’t in the physical sense…except when it comes to my wardrobe I suppose. It was in the spiritual sense. God was filling my life with His abundant love and grace each day by sustaining my life…carrying me through the valley of pain. I told no one, not even my husband knew my passionate dependence upon Him. I wanted the world to think I could handle it all….I had it all together.
This weekend marks 9 years of consistent suffering. You see Thanksgiving commemorates significant milestones in my life. Nine years ago on Thanksgiving weekend I first fell ill with chronic pain. A long, dark 2 years I lived…but only physically. I was imprisoned in a spiritual and emotional comatose and drugs kept me afloat. Then on Thanksgiving weekend of 2004 God graciously pulled me from the ashes with the miraculous news of new life. A life dependent upon mine. No longer could I be shackled to life support…I needed the Real Thing to sustain both my life and that of our precious child.
Even after the birth of such a gift…one who was sent to rescue me…I still lived in silent dependence upon Jesus. Yet another miraculous blessing later I hid behind walls of my career and fashion and the busyness of the million dollar family to hide my secret. Who would want to associate with such a basket case? All the while God was filling me…and I hoarded His grace. I used it for only myself hardly ever giving Him the credit or the glory. I just kept piling it on and filling my over-stuffed heart keeping it all for myself.
I think of how incredibly selfish I was and I am so ashamed…unable to see beyond my own suffering to think that anyone else might need a little bit of what I had. You know those people on the extreme couponing shows that have an entire room full of toothpaste or deodorant or whatever else the stores paid them to take…I was just like that. God poured extreme measures of His grace and love and I just hoarded it all for myself. I could never use it all…so why didn’t I share His light and life with others? I was buried alive and my hoarding kept me from really living.
My favorite holiday has gone from bitter, to bittersweet…to just sweet for me. Perhaps what I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving is that God did not heal my body…more importantly, He healed my heart. No longer do I hoard His grace and love…He has unleashed it so others can see His light and life. I never thought I could feel so terribly physically…yet so good spiritually. With God all things are possible and He just keeps showing me that His plans are immeasurably more than I could ever ask or imagine.