The Point of No Return

Mar 24, 2021 by

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It started with a need to have my writing books and my Books that Changed My Life switch places. Then Mom knocked on my door and asked to use my magnifying machine, and I decided it would be nice to have the magnifier upstairs where everyone in the family could use it without requesting access. Especially considering how often I needed it while upstairs struggling to read a recipe or medicine bottle.

(Note to those who design important instructions, particularly for how to safely take a medication or use an appliance that connects to a power source: They need to be larger. For everyone, not just those of us with 20/I-lost-track-of-how-bad-it-is vision.)

Next thing I knew, my room looked like this.

And this was only one corner.

If I wanted to sleep in my bed that night, which I did, I needed to find a new place for everything I’d taken off my bookshelf and desk.

I’d reached a point of no return.

Upstairs, Mom had reached that point as well, after clearing the space for the magnifying machine that I’d convinced her would “be perfect here.”

By the end of the day, I’d almost transformed my room. By the end of the weekend, the impromptu makeover was complete.  

Thanks to my determination to make my books fit into specific places without leaving any on the floor as “part of the décor,” I filled two bags to take to Half Price Books. I even tossed in some from my To Read pile and my Currently Reading (as soon as I finish one that I like better) stack. I decided to treat them the same way I would an old sweater that I hadn’t worn in over a year, or one that dated back to The Reno Years: If I hadn’t finished it by now, I probably wouldn’t, either because I honestly didn’t like it that much or it was something that I’d needed in My Past Life but no longer did.

I moved a few meaningful items to a treasure box that I bought while reading Michele Cushatt’s book Relentless, which encourages creating Altar Stones of God’s faithfulness. Doing that turned cleaning my room into a holy experience.

The longer I worked and saw the space I was freeing up, I more I felt like I was preparing my bedroom/office for a future that looked a lot brighter than this time last year or even this time three months ago.

On Sunday evening, as I looked around at my new room, I noticed something.

I could breathe better.

It seemed brighter and more open.

I felt less suffocated.

I was in a better mood.

I had a sense of accomplishment.

My books and art supplies were in places that made sense. I felt like my old typewriter was on display instead of just where I could find room for it.  

My Altar Stones box was complete, and I hadn’t even planned to do that.

I enjoyed knowing my magnifying machine would get even more use and benefit others instead of only me.

All because I decided to rearrange a few books and move the magnifier.

Sometimes we don’t know what is making us feel suffocated until it’s out of the way. Even when we do know, making things more manageable takes work. It requires coming up with a solution, following through with it, and seeing those points of no return as good things. Transformation requires getting rid of what we no longer need, so we’ll have room for what God has for us next.

As we see a light at the end of the tunnel of a terrible time—a light that is finally staying lit—I sense that we’ve all reached a point of no return. We’ll re-enter the world as different people with new priorities. We’ve been transformed without setting out to be.

Are you doing anything to prepare for the next step? As you look ahead, how can you make room for new things? What do you need to let go of? What do you have that others might benefit from? What do you want to tuck away as a memorial of God’s goodness?

How has He changed you during this difficult season?

I look forward to the stories we’ll share.

Now this stands out more instead of looking like clutter.
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  1. Hi Jeanette, I laughed a little as I read your article about needing to move one thing and how it turned into a major project, then into feelings of renewal.

    To make space for a new lawyer’s bookcase in my bedroom, I moved a bookcase that overflowed with books. The entire project ended up being far more involved than I originally had planned. In the end, I was also able breathe better and the room is now brighter and more balanced. Thanks for the fun read. Have a blessed day, Pamela

    • Jeanette Hanscome

      Hi Pamela!
      Isn’t it wonderful what a difference a rearranging can make? I’m glad that you got to experience this too.

      Have a great week!

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