This Saturday I moved into my dorm room for the year, a tiny room with very little storage and a whole lot of quirks… I had over 200 pounds of stuff to fit into that room. You may be wondering, “Lizzy, how in the world do you have that much stuff?” and my honest answer is I have no clue. Over time it just piles up… All the books, clothes, shoes, art supplies, decorations, bedding and so much more were unpacked and my dorm room transformed from a blank slate to a tornado in a matter of hours.This mess kind of slapped me in the face. I was getting stressed about storage and sharing space with my roommate and where I was going to put everything and I realized this stress was pointless. I feel like the more stuff we have the more stressed we are and yet for some stinken reason we keep buying more stuff… Why do I do that to myself?The real point of this post is that this clutter, all this baggage and crud, that we don’t need can happen in our spiritual life too. We don’t quite realize how our little decisions affect our faith and how the little sins clutter up our heart until all the sudden your room is an explosion and you can’t quite figure out what happened or how you let yourself get here. And, the worst part is that often times, I like the things that create the clutter… I don’t want to get rid of the small sins that eat away at my faith because they are fun and sometimes feel good. It’s really hard to realize and even harder to admit but I think we all fall into it.
So, what do I do when the clutter slaps me in the face and forces me to look at how clouded I’ve let my heart become. First things first: I own up to it. I think the hardest part of getting rid of the mess is admitting that the mess exists. It’s when I try to convince myself that the sin, that I know is a sin, isn’t a big deal that allows the one shirt I threw on the floor to become a pile without realizing it. The second step: clean it up, throw out what you don’t need, and move on with a newly clean room and a promise to never allow it to get that bad again.Is this a drawn out, slightly subpar, analogy about going to confession more frequently… yes, yes it is. I spent the first 17 years of my life terrified of confession. I avoided it at all cost and when I did go I literally had a list that I said every time and was not even a quarter of what I really needed to be confessing. I would tell myself that stuff I did wasn’t that bad and that I was a decent human being so I didn’t need it. But here is the hard truth… I am broken, I am weak, and I am human and I need confession if I desire eternity.
So, I confessed everything. All those deals I made with God so that I didn’t need to confess and all the little things that I was too embarrassed to talk about came out and I have never felt more free. I never wanted to feel the stress of the clutter ever again and so I started going to confession regularly; at first once a month and soon later once a week. Has every confession felt like I’ve had a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, no, but I know in my heart of hearts that every time I go to confession I am face to face with the God of the universe who never judges and is always always willing to forgive me and that is all that matters
Confession is a terrifying thing to get back into but once you do, it will change your life. God has given us this gift that is literally miraculous (our soul is literally completely forgiven and made clean like what the what!) and we can’t take it for granted.
I’m going to challenge you guys to go to confession once in this next upcoming month. Go to a parish where the priests don’t know you or just find the times at your home parish and try it out. There may not be a crazy feeling but you need to go in there with this innate knowledge that you are forgiven by a merciful Father who just wants to bring you back into His arms. Give it a chance. Be brave sisters and know that the war has already been won.