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Friday, October 29, 2004

Long-term Road Trip

God tends to teach me things in themes. This semester I am starting to see He is teaching me about baggage--both my own and others. I don't know one person that doesn't have at least a small bag they they carry with them in life Others are so loaded down that they can barely move.

As I learn how to dibaggagesciple girls, (and when I say disciple, I mean teach them more than the how to's and the why's, but get into the gunk of their lives), I have seen one thing--baggage will be's what we do with it that matters.

For instance, did yo
u know baggage is easy to hide behind? It keeps you and me safe from others ever knowing the "real us". It keeps us protected from criticism, from rejection, even from having to take those risks that are required for healthy relationships. Of course, with baggage in front of us, it’s awfully difficult to see where we're going. And it’s pretty lonely too…. Isolated, sitting in our little corner of the world, surrounded by our baggage. *Sigh*

The worst part about carrying around all this baggage is that it becomes our identity. We don’t know who we are, only what we carried around. (Abuse. Anger. Depression. Addictions. Resentments. Selfishness. Painful childhood. Shame. Guilt. People pleasing. Defeat. Codependency.)

The trouble with baggage is that when it’s your only identity, you have to do a lot to try to make it as presentable as possible. As long as everything looks pretty on the surface, no one will notice how bad it really is deep inside. Hmm.

No one....except God. He notices.
He knows what’s behind the cover-up.

David writes in Psalm 139 (The Message Bible)

“I'm an open book to you;

even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking.

You know when I leave and when I get back;

I'm never out of your sight.

You know everything I'm going to say

before I start the first sentence….

You know me inside and out.”

You see, the thing about God is that He knows everything about us. And He is not content to leave us lugging around baggage. He loves us too much for that.

One of the most amazing things about God is that nothing is ever wasted with Him. He will use all our experiences, all our desires and passions, all our talents and abilities, all our personality (with it’s quirks and uniqueness)….. and even all our pain, to grow and transform us into the person He created you and I to be.

So this year is about me unpacking my baggage and replacing it with my New Clothes (identity in Christ), and then helping others do the same, so that they can help others do the same.....

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