I remember a time when I had started a new job and got so busy that my office never resembled any signs of organization, just clutter. When I closed the door to my office and emerged with a well-organized thought out and near perfect product, no one was the wiser. I also remember driving around in my seemingly clean car, but then there was all of this junk in my trunk! If I picked people up in my car, they thought that this was an individual who was immaculately clean, well put together and had it going on. Ha!
You’ve probably heard that those with whom you associate influence you. Well this holds true for your physical surroundings as well. For example, if you are traditionally messy, 9 times out of 10 you have a lot of “mess” going on in your life. In my case, I appeared to be a near perfect product, but my environment was messy, and unbeknownst to the stranger, I had junk in my trunk and a lot of drama going on in my life! The things in my life that I had not resolved were hidden by a closed door or stored in a trunk to be tackled at a later date. So you see, you can hide from your issues or keep so busy that you avoid them, but you can only do that for so long before junk starts flowing out of every crevasse of your life.
Someone once told me that you can only pretend or project yourself one way for so long until the “real” you would begin to emerge. Guys would tell me that they were drawn to my sense of confidence and that I was so well put together. My ex-husband called it my “hard front”, a mechanism for not letting anyone get close to me. In addition, men were always impressed with my educational achievements, my determination and career accomplishments. I guess initially, the facade took them in, until they really got to know me.
There were times in my dating relationships due to unresolved issues and mistrust for men from past hurts, my junk reared its ugly head and I began to project what others had done to me onto my current relationship. As time progressed, I also developed a short fuse and a knack for tearing men down to size before they had an opportunity to tear me down or reject me. In my warped thinking I also felt all I had to offer was my sexuality due to my low self esteem issues. For example, at that particular time in my life I was in sales and the objective was to keep “10 in play”, meaning 10 prospects. As a self-defense mechanism, I extended this practice in my personal life by keeping 10 prospective men in play, never wanting anyone to get too close so I used my sexuality to achieve my desired results. For example, if I needed a ride to a location, that was nothing a simple flirt job couldn’t cure.
The Rude Awakening
Because of trouble overtaking every area of my life, I began to seek God’s face. I realized I had some major house cleaning to do. One of my mentors told me the hard-core truth without the sugar coating?”I had issues and I needed to ask God for deliverance in areas of my life”. I was introduced to Stormie Omartian’s, The Power of a Praying Woman and other excellent books.
My mentor further stated that I had grown accustom to people putting me on a pedestal, and telling me “how wonderful I am”, but the truth of the matter was that I had “gook” (you know the slimy stuff that you find in well hidden places, like the kitchen sink) in my life that I had to address before God would begin to bless me. Initially, I didn’t want to hear the truth my mentor had spoken. But through prayer, the junk I had in my trunk became an analogy and parallel to my life revealed by God because that junk interfered with my spiritual growth with God.
Like anything else that is cluttered and requires cleaning, God had to sort through the mess and began to pull things out and throw them away. God will refine you in areas of your life and he will use people and situations to identify those refinement areas and help implement change. God used my finances, my relationship with my family, members in the body of Christ — and my nearest and closest brother-in-Christ, whom I call “my blessing” — to show me my junk. I am still a continuous work in progress.
We all are. Relationships are hard enough without having the added stress of dealing with someone else’s junk that should have been addressed prior to entering the relationship. If you are hurt, God will heal your hurt. If you harbor un-forgiveness in your heart, reading his word will show you how to forgive as Christ forgave you. As you sort through the junk in your trunk, the vine that is not bearing fruit, God will restore it with the fruits of the Spirit.
Getting Your House in Order
If you were having a baby, you would prepare for the baby’s arrival by getting the house in order to receive an infant. There is no difference in preparing for a mate. Prepare to be the Godly mate that God wants you to be by examining your surroundings; your heart and your relationship with God. Consider Christian counseling or mentoring. Seek out books and articles that address dealing with anger, un-forgiveness, self-respect or some of the issues that you’ve ignored for so long. Prepare to receive the Godly mate God wants you to be with by seeking out literature and resources that will aid you in your preparation.
The book of Ruth and Proverbs 31 are excellent sources and examples of what a Godly woman and man should exhibit. Another great book for men is entitled, In Search of the Proverbs 31 Man, by Michelle McKinney Hammond. More importantly, before entering a relationship, seek God’s face. Ask him to reveal himself so that He can begin cleaning out the junk you’re hiding in your trunk. This will allow you to be ready for the mate that God has chosen for you.
If you are not seeking a Christian (Christ centered) relationship, STOP! Seek Him first and let God help clean that trunk first; so when he adds these things into your life, you are prepared to receive it.
A Spiritually Mismatched Relationship…
- Will draw you away from your relationship with God — not closer.
- You could spend years investing in this person, trying to draw him closer to God, with no results.
- You cannot build the spiritual intimacy God desires for you and your marriage with a non-believer. “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” 2Corinthians 6:14
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”. Matthew 6:33 So the next time you are surrounded by junk and clutter, take a moment to reflect on your life and see if there are some things that God is trying to show you.
Copyright © 2005 Tanisha L. Roebuck, Used with permission
Ms. Tanisha L. Roebuck is an attorney, business management consultant and motivational speaker. She is also the CEO and founder of the recently launched R&A Christian Outreach, Inc., a Christian non-profit entertainment production company. Ms. Roebuck loves the Lord and seeks to share her experiences in efforts to help others.