Welcome to part two faithful reader 🙂 We stopped where I was told that “We cannot grow until we cleave and we cannot clean until we clear.”
The first part of this wisdom nugget was “We cannot grow until we cleave”. (For you bio nerds that read this blog, “cleave to grow” reminded me so much of the process of meiosis. Get it?) Anyways, to cleave is to severe or split. So, what I got from that piece was that I could not grow anymore in my faith unless I severed my ties with some ideas, hurts of the past, people and relationships.
You may be thinking, “Duh! Wasn’t that your initial plan? To get rid of certain ideas, hurts, people and relationships? Well, yes. But I got cold feet along the line. I had gotten cold feet because I was being asked to let go of a much cherished friendship that was in its own way breaking me down rather than building me up. I was scared to let go because I was concerned about the vacuum that would be left once I cut ties with this person.
I was also being asked to let go of my lukewarm ideas regarding certain things because they ended up being toxic to me. Do you ever find yourself getting comfortable with lukewarm ideas? You somehow convince yourself that they are not bad for you but you know in your heart that they are not good for you either, and yet you hold on to them regardless. That was exactly what I was doing.
Furthermore, I was being asked to let go of a hurt of the past. This was hard because I had let that event define me in many ways and so I was going to have to detract from what I knew to be my identity and focus on the truth that my real identity was in God, as a daughter of the King, and not as a victim of the desperate wickedness that is the heart of man.
Because of the hard nature of the things I needed to do I was stuck and this phrase was a much needed prod to get a move on and do what needs to be done. It brought me back to my motivation in the first place: to grow in my relationship with God. And to do that, I needed to cleave. I needed to severe a lot of ties regardless of how hard or painful the process was going to be.
The second part of the wisdom nugget was “We cannot clean until we clear.” When I heard this, the first image that I saw with my mind’s eye was a table with various objects on it and I was trying to clean the table without removing the objects from the table. As you might have guessed, the table was not actually clean when I was done “cleaning” because I cleaned around the objects and thus left a good amount of dirt where those objects were located on the table.
Not being able to clean until we clear seems like another obvious fact but to me it wasn’t quite that obvious. God was showing me what I had been trying to do for first month of my mission to clean heart and clean mind. I was trying to clean around certain objects (ideas, people and relationships) in my heart and mind. I was trying to convince myself that I had cleaned up when I really hadn’t. Much like the need to severe ties that was reiterated in the first part of the phrase, I was being reminded that I needed to clear away some things in my heart if I was really going to succeed at making it clean.
Besides, studying for the MCAT last fall, I found that this mission of cleaning heart and mind turned out to be my hardest journey of my senior year of college. Nevertheless, these words pushed me to fight to make it to the finish line. I had to cleave to grow and I had to clear to clean. So dear reader, maybe you are on a journey to clean heart and clean mind, for whatever reason; maybe simply to have emotionally healthy spirituality or maybe so you can minister to others from your past experiences after receiving emotional healing. Regardless of your reason, I feel your pain and I know your struggle. If you are on this journey and you feel stuck, let these words move you along and give you strength to take those difficult steps that are an essential part of this journey.
After nine long months (believe you me, I did not think the process was going to be so long), I was able to make it to the finish line of my journey to clean heart and clean mind. Not unexpectedly, it involved lots of crying, difficult conversations and vulnerability but it was so worth it. Plus, God filled the vacuum that I was worried about with a most wonderful individual. Romans 12:2 tells me that my mind should be constantly renewed so this journey is not really “the end” of keeping my heart and my mind clean but it was much needed process. As a result, I was able to grow (yay), and also minister to others out of a place of insight (double yay).
Thank you for reading and happy New Year in advance!
With love, Smithia