My husband and I were in the final hours of our move. Everything had gone smoothly to this point, but now we were at a mental and physical impasse. The rented moving truck was loaded, but there was still so much to do before we could hit the road and go to where we felt God was leading our family.

We walked into the house, dejected, and collapsed on the floor. There was no furniture, only random items scattered around the family room. A toilet plunger. Tools. Dog beds. Half-used cleaning supplies. A life vest. Boxes full of Victorious Living magazine. And a mound of keys from only God knows where.

Tim and I were staring blankly at each other when two friends unexpectedly burst in through the door. They laughed at our pitiful state and the chaos around us (as only friends are allowed to do) and then said, “Why are you two just sitting around? There’s no time to rest. Get up. You’ve got a lot of work to do before your final walk-through with the buyers in the morning.”

Then they said something beautiful. “What can we do to help?” Realizing that Tim and I were too tired to respond, our friends took the lead: “Why don’t we start with taking away the trash?” Oh, yes, the trash. We were moving on a holiday weekend, and with the dump and local charitable organizations closed, unwanted items had piled up in our garage.

They quickly went to work, loading up the bed of their truck with our nasty trash bags, broken furniture, cardboard boxes, packing paper, old sporting equipment, and who knows what else. Next, they gathered the furniture we’d set aside for donation and promised to come back the next day and take it to Goodwill.

With unwanted and unneeded items removed from our premises, an amazing thing happened: suddenly, we could see! We could identify what needed to go, what needed to stay, and the next steps to take. And we could breathe. That sense of being overwhelmed faded, and we found the strength to move forward.

This situation made me think about the impasses we come upon in life. Maybe like Tim and me, you’ve collapsed under the weight of your burdens and cannot see the end from the beginning. You feel stuck and exhausted and are unable to identify the next best step.

Can I do for you what our friends did for us? Can I burst in and lovingly say, “Get up! God’s not done with you yet. There’s still a lot He wants to do with you.”

But doing anything at this moment may seem too big a task. If that’s the case, take some time to sit still with God. Ask Him to search the rooms of your life and to help you identify what is cluttering your view, robbing your strength, and holding you back. Pray as King David did in Psalm 139:23–24, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

God has a destination for you, a purpose for your life. But to get there, you’ve got to remove the debris—things like poisonous relationships, proud and lustful thoughts, deadly emotions, and destructive habits. This removal process will take work and won’t be comfortable, but that is expected.

What may not be expected is that precious things, good things, may also have to be released—things like people, material items, commitments, ministries, and maybe even careers. Not everything or everyone can go where God is taking you. There’s not enough room. You will have to make certain choices and sacrifices that may hurt your heart. But then, the weight of your load will begin to lift. You’ll be able to breathe again. Your feeble hands will find new strength, and your feet will start moving toward God’s purpose for your life. And that’s when there will finally be room for God to put His new things in your path.

What do you need to release so that God can move you forward into His perfect plan? Trust Him and make the move.