“She called it baggage. “You’re scared to open your suitcases and see what your mother packed.” ~A.S. King
Each painful moment in our life should lead to some kind of breakthrough. Most of the time we give up right before our life-changing breakthrough happens. Why? Because this is when it hurts the most.
Somewhere over time, tattered places, and rifts in who I was hoping to “become” I realized I was holding on to traits, fears, and conditions passed down to me. Starting in my teenage years and into my early twenties, I had learned how to adapt, almost morph somewhat into whoever the person standing in front of me wanted to see. I became a girl jumping through hoops hoping to earn love based on performance. If I jumped high enough, if I was good enough, everyone would be happy. I had realistic fears, the data and statistics predicted that my future would mirror the familiarity of brokenness. I would become someone unable to hold onto a relationship, unable to hold on to hope, numbing my pain while pretending that I was okay. But, I looked around and viewed something that did not have to be my reality; or my identity, and yet I was tethered to mistakes I had not made. I was carrying someone else’s broken baggage.
I had a decision to make, freedom would look a lot like changing my mindset to mirror the promises of God. The Holy Spirit will always be more powerful than the moments that try to break us.
My need for approval followed me into my early years of ministry, isn’t the minister’s wife supposed to have it all together even at twenty-two? Um, no. She needs room to grow and stretch like every other twenty-two-year-old. I had so many eyes watching me so I went to war with the sloppy perfectionist inside of me. I still needed to know that I was enough, even the messy parts of me.
Somewhere along the way, I learned to lay down the baggage that didn’t belong to me, to walk uncharted territories towards wholeness in God. This is a choice. Freedom is ours for the taking but, sisters, we have to work for it.
Deep within the tattered places within me, a blazing hope consumed my timid, insecure heart. I believed that somehow God could use a girl who didn’t have it all together. To move forward, I needed to lay a few things down.
My inner craving for approval and belonging had become my baggage weighing me down. It became a mask to hide behind, a chain around my heart, crippling the gifts that God had placed inside. But He came to set me free, not part of the way- just barely getting by free, but free indeed. His freedom is so sweet, so satisfying and paid for, no jumping through hoops required. You just open your hands and heart and receive the gift He wants so much for you to have.
I learned that “almost free” wasn’t freedom at all. It was a trick the enemy uses to hold us captive by a counterfeit freedom that leaves us soul starved.
Our worth and value does not have to be tied to the bottomless pit of people pleasing. We don’t have to throw away our confidence or dumpster dive for the blessings of others.
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.”(Heb 10:35 NIV)
A few years ago I felt slapped with an approval rating, it was a pretty low score, actually, and it hurt. It really did. A decade ago I might have spiraled in a pit of depression and accepted this “low score” but somehow growing up gives you room to reject things that might otherwise destroy you and your self-worth. We have a choice about what we are going to take into our hearts and carry around with us. Unconditional love doesn’t come with a scorecard and a measuring system. My choice is to travel light. I might have to throw a few things away and unpack my bags from time-to-time, but I will not throw away my confidence.
More than anything I want to walk with you on this journey. I want to introduce you to a new way to really move forward in life and make that insecure little girl inside of you proud. Next week I am starting a new series that will include journaling prompts, downloads, and simple ways for you to have a way to process your hurts and hangups.
Leave me a comment and let me know which topics you would like me to discuss. I would love to hear from you and pull you into this conversation!