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Romans 12:2
Encouragement to fulfill God's purpose through Practical Life Application and Navigation

Bondage by Blanket

  • SumoMe

It may sound irrational, but as a single parent, I stored dozens
and dozens of blankets in my home. New ones, old ones, big ones, small
ones, every kind you could imagine. The thought of my kids ever being
cold was so disturbing that I made sure to have enough blankets on hand
so that could never happen. I was on a tight, fixed income, and I was
terrified that I might not be able to afford what we needed, so I simply
kept collecting and storing anything that came my way. I parted with
nothing! You have no idea the stockpile of jackets I also kept on hand,
although admittedly, I could rarely convince my boys to actually wear
one.

 

Back to the blankets…

 

How many did the boys and I really need? Maybe a couple of spares to keep on hand, but more than that was total overkill—especially since we lived in Phoenix, Arizona, where there are few days below 70 degrees!

 

Looking back, I’m regretful because I know there were many children who could have benefited from the warmth of the blankets that were lying on the floor of my closets, but fear gripped my heart and I was in “protection” and “survival” mode. We often stress the importance of moderation. It makes sense to have a spare or two of something for that just-in-case moment, but in general, it’s counterproductive to operate with the fear of too many “what ifs” and go overboard. This mode of operation will rob you of much peace and joy.

 

Admittedly, some things may be harder to replace than others, but there isn’t much that can’t, one way or the other, be replaced. Fear is a restrictive state of mind that will suppress your freedom and strangle any opportunity you might otherwise have had to live by faith. Don’t allow this to control you.

 

Our friend Roger says that fear and faith cannot coexist. We believe this to be true. Which will you choose?

 

I credit my husband with being instrumental in helping me to work through this type of challenge in my life, although we will both attest that it got off to a rocky start.

 

[Lindon] Can you imagine someone crying real tears over parting with bags? While gathering items for our first decluttering yard sale, I assumed that Sherry was planning to sell the bulk of her twenty-two or so bags that were stuffed in the front closet. We’re talking all sorts of bags— overnight bags, beach bags, day-trip bags. LOTS OF BAGS! To me, this seemed like a natural, harmless assumption, however, it was anything but that. It elicited a lot of very strong feelings from Sherry and none of them were good, at least not initially.

 

I, with all my charm and tact, suggested she keep the “nice new one,” the key word being one. Sherry looked at me, completely offended, as if I’d just asked her to give up her firstborn son. I didn’t understand that to Sherry these bags were some of the many things she’d gathered in her home that represented security and preparedness. She might need one of those bags someday and, if she parted with it, she might not have the money to replace it. It was just safer to keep them all. As a single parent with a single income, Sherry had been on a strict financial budget for years and operating in safe mode was natural and normal, even with bags.

 

Anything outside of that was frightening.

 

I can only imagine you reading this, shaking your head and thinking Sherry was being quite melodramatic over her bags. I guess it’s safe to admit, now, I kind of did too! But at the time, how you do you think I felt? There I stood in the hallway by the closet, looking at Sherry with big tears welling up in her eyes, while her oldest son walked up and asked suspiciously, “Mom, what’s wrong?” It was not a moment I want to repeat!

 

The truth I learned, however, is the tears were not over the bags themselves but what they represented. Her house was somewhat cluttered, but to her it was just being ready for anything; she was being a responsible mom. It gave her comfort to know she was stocked up and there were fewer things that she might have to buy with her limited income. To her it made sense. She kept things around because it gave her a sense of having more. Unfortunately, more was clutter that allowed her fear to remain unchallenged and her faith to be stifled. There is zero room for trust or growth when operating in safe mode.

 

It’s challenging to part with items you believe bring comfort. We sometimes have a false or warped sense of security. Do you feel more secure being surrounded by an abundance of the same item? Do you live in fear of “not having enough” or “not being able to replace”? Do these concerns influence the decisions you make?

 

Friends, from personal experience, I can totally relate to these feelings and fears. Unknowingly, I lived with strongholds that undermined my independence, stole my joy, and caused me to challenge God’s promise of provision. Stress and anxiety paralyzed me and disrupted every area of my life.

 

This is no way to live. And it isn’t what God desires.

 

Remove the grip of negative behaviors and attitudes that control you and extinguish hope. Fall into the comforting arms of Jesus and allow him the opportunity to allay your fears and meet your needs. Lean on your relationship with Him to sustain you, not on an abundance of stuff.

 

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:19

 

 

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2 Responses to Bondage by Blanket

  1. Lindon says:

    I say! ‘BAG’ the fear, let go of the excess that we have, and live with the expectation that God will provide for all of our needs when we have them.

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