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I have a collection of perfume and scented body lotions that, to be honest with you, I have had for  too many years. They are some of my favorite scents; some of them were gifts from cherished relationships and some I purchased at bargain prices - but, they all are of great quality. The truth is that I can only use one perfume or lotion at a time, so years have gone by and I have not finished one bottle as yet. There are some bottles that are half-full, a quarter-full or almost finished, but I keep each one right in their place on my dresser.

With every year that passes and every move, my mind tells me that I should give them away, toss them or replace them but my heart’s sentimental attachment to them forbids me to follow through. I have placed high value on each one because they keep me connected to the person who gave them to me and their thoughtfulness. As you can tell by now, I'm a very sentimental person.

The problem is that many years have gone by and the bottles are just taking up more space on my dresser, Most of the perfumes I know can't be used anymore because they have gone bad or have lost their scent. I realize that they are taking up space that can be freed up and used for something else that is useful. However, the struggle to "let go" is sometimes more powerful than the will to let go and let in.

There are three main reasons for this:

1. Fear. Good ole fear which prevents our blessings from flowing freely. 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us that “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Unfortunately, due to negative experiences, fear has crept in to shy us away from the unknown or our inability to replace what we have determined that makes us feel valued.

Change of mind - We change this thinking by realizing and believing the promise and role of God in our lives in Psalms 84:11 (KJV), which says, “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” This challenges us to release the old to receive the new which is good for us.

2. Comfort. Comfort by staying in the known and manageable can set us up to deny some of the most amazing and life-changing experiences. I get it. We find safety in what we are familiar with. We are comfortable with what is in front of us here and now versus what is yet to come. The root of this comfort however creates the tendency to trust in our own thoughts and ways in order to protect ourselves from anything that we cannot control.

Change of mind - Facing the unknown makes us nervous, queasy, unstable, and without control but Proverbs 3:5 (KJV) encourages you and I to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding.” The problem is that we fail most times at trying to control what enters in and exits out of our lives, but the gift, beauty and success of gaining wisdom teaches us that “Whoever trusts his own heart is a fool. Whoever walks in wisdom will survive.” Proverbs 28:26 God’s Word® Translation.

3. Value. The value we place on ourselves through the possession of things and worldly successes can cause us to define our worth as either high or low, but never realistically. Albert Einstein once wisely advised, “Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” Without and unwavering and centered sense of value derived from our Creator we can become double minded and display unhealthy behaviors tied to our possessions, wealth, popularity, employment, number of breakups and divorces, single status, family tree, education, self-declared perception of where we think we stand within our relationship with Christ, and the list goes on. I too have placed my value many of these and have held on tight to them - even if they were not good for me - forgetting that they are temporal and not the source of where my true worth comes from.

Change of mind - Our true worth comes from identifying ourselves not with the temporal, perishable thing, but in the One who thought us worthy and valued enough to not only create us, but to die for us when we behaved as devalued people. After all when I am told to “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” Matthew 10:31 (KJV), my self- esteem soars through the roof.

I have come to realize that holding on to and grasping on what I think defines my worth only hurts my grip. This kind of grasping restricts and constrict, but releasing and giving to receive loosens us up and places us in a courageous, adventurous, anticipative, and faith-filled position. The more I free up space for good and productive things in my life, the more I can reject fear and trust in God even when I cannot see the way for “it" to happen and in in return, blessings flow my way.

May 2016 be your year of practicing a faith to release!

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