I am wounded. Deeply. And I am still healing. One day I think I’ve come a long way in the healing process and another day something happens to remind me that I still have a good distance to go. There are still those things… past “baggage” that I cling to, or pick back up, that affects the here and now. It comes from several sources, including my own mistakes and poor decisions.
Merriam Webster defines this type of baggage as “intangible things (as feelings, circumstances, or beliefs) that get in the way.” And do they EVER get in the way! They get in the way of joy, peace, relationships, faith, and a whole host of other amazing words to describe good things.
My baggage was once again brought to my attention again the other day with my husband. He is an amazing man full of grace and patience (he has to be with me or we wouldn’t have made it this far). He has never given me reason to believe otherwise. Yet I still question it. At times, deep within me (because I try to ignore it), I still question him and his integrity. I wonder if he truly is the man that I see every day. Part of the reason for this is my own lack of integrity in the past and part of it is the lack of integrity of other people who have hurt me.
This “baggage” and transference of my past to him “GETS IN THE WAY” of us having a solid relationship. I am quite honestly struggling with it.
We attended counseling for months before getting married. One thing that sticks out in my mind from our sessions is that we are to “assume the best” in each other. That is easy to hear and think “I can do that” until you get in the moment and what you “see” and “hear” contradicts what is truth. Our past and our baggage shapes how we view things and hear things, despite what we want to believe. When you have experienced a traumatic situation, your view of reality can be somewhat skewed at times.
Take for example the woman who lives through a house fire in which she was afraid for her life and the lives of her family. They escape but she has nightmares about the experience for years and occasionally even smells smoke when there is no smoke. Or the child that lives through abuse from his dad. He grows up thinking that men cannot be trusted and is suspicious of even the most noble people. Or the woman who lived through an affair in her marriage who is suspicious of everything and everyone.
Our fears and experiences can sometimes alter reality. It is up to us to figure out what these are and work to see things as they truly are rather than how our emotions and/or fears lead us. It is up to us to decide to give those to Jesus and let His healing waters flow over us.
So here is what I am going to do today. I am going to let go, again, of all my past. I am going to show myself grace. I am going to show others grace. I am going to show my husband grace. I am going to keep fighting my emotions and tainted reality and seek to see others through Jesus’ eyes. I’ve done it before but when I let my guard down, the baggage creeps back in. So I will do it again. It will be a continual process until I no longer have to worry about it. This may be the time it sticks. But it may not. And I will keep working at it.
“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
…a time to search and a time to give up;
a time to keep and a time to throw away” Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 6
This is is the time to give up up our baggage and throw it away. Will you join me? What is your baggage? Is it “getting in your way”? Take some time right now and drop it. Let Jesus take the weight from you and give you peace. And if it comes back, do it again. We can do this with His help! I am confident that through Him, we can do anything (Philippians 4:13). We just have to be aware of what is going on inside of us and be real about it.
It is so good for me to write these words. Being transparent is freeing. Find someone you trust and share your heart with them. Share what is deep within you so that you can let it go. Share it with Jesus and share it with someone else. Together, and with God as our lead, we can do this!
I am saying a prayer for you today… the one who is reading this with pain in your heart because of the past you carry with you. You are loved and you are special. God’s grace can cover all your past failures, hurts, and betrayals. Let Him take it from you. If needed, daily give it to Him until it’s gone for good!
Keeping it Real,
~ Angie Jenning