With COVID-19 taking a toll on the earth right now, my spring semester of my sophomore year in college is ending differently than I could ever imagine. Because the Coronavirus is spreading so rapidly, Evangel University extended our spring break a week which caused me to move back home unexpectedly. Since I had nothing to do for the 2 week spring break, I decided to deep clean my room. You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this. How does me cleaning my room lead to a blog post?
Well, while I was cleaning my room I realized that there was still things in my room that I thought I had thrown out a long time ago. I spontaneously made the connection of this to life. In life there are emotions, relationships, habits, and more that we thought we had let go of a long time only to later find out that we actually never let those things go.
If you’ve read some of my earliest blog posts, you probably know that during my junior year of high school I had became bitter towards some people who I once admired deeply. Way before I graduated high school, I thought that I had let go of that bitterness. It actually wasn’t until I was a freshman in college that I began to realize that I still had the same amount of bitterness and hatred towards this group of people. I thought I had thrown the bitterness and hatred out of my body, but I didn’t.
During another earlier time in my life, I struggled with an addiction to pornography. While I was struggling with this addiction I never labeled it as an “addiction” I always thought of it as a “problem.” There are way too many times to count when I thought had thrown my pornography problem out. But somehow it would always come back. I thought I had thrown the pornography out of my body, but I didn’t.
In both instances, it took me realizing that these things were still in my house (body) and vocally admitting them to other people that I actually threw them out. Of course, because both of these things aren’t exactly physical things that I held onto, there are still remnants lingering in my house, but the cleaning process is different. When I pray (clean my house), I pray expecting to throw out the remnants that remain. I don’t clean to be surprised by something I thought was gone.
I don’t know what it is, but there is power in vocally admitting something. I not talking about vocal admittance to an empty room. Multiples I would say aloud in my room when no one else was around that I had a pornography addiction. It wasn’t until the summer of 2018 during youth camp that I said it aloud to my youth group that things began to change. In that moment, I automatically began to feel different. In that moment, the shame that went along with the addiction left.
One day during a chapel service at Evangel, I felt the Lord tell me to go up for prayer and ask for bitterness and hatred to be removed from my heart. I thought I had gotten rid of the bitterness and hatred I had in me, so at first I didn’t go. But the Lord will nag you until you do what He wants you to do. Since the Lord kept telling me to go up and be prayed for, I did. When I went up to be prayed for, that was the first time that I admitted to someone else that I had bitterness and hatred in my heart. Before the person who was praying for me even began to pray, I began to feel different.
I say all that to say this. When you’re cleaning your house, whether it’s emotions, relationships, or habits, there’s two steps you must follow.
First, vocally admit the problem to someone else. Don’t text them, write a letter, or even call them on the phone. When admit your problem, do it face to face.
Second, change your prayer life in order to get rid of the small bits that linger. There will be remnants that remain. Small bits of that emotion, memories of that relationship, the good feelings of that bad habit that are going to want to hang around. They want to hang around because they know if you think about enough, they will be a problem for you again (like you never got rid of it). Here’s how I changed my prayer life: I went from praying things like, “if there is bitterness” to praying “Lord remove the bitterness that remains in me.”
I promise that if you follow these steps, you will begin to see a change happen in your life. You will become more self-aware and more happy.