Unpack Your Bags

I spent 25 of my almost 31 years of marriage following my husband around the world with the Air Force.  We moved every two to three years and some times after only one year because of the various schools Rick attended.   Many times we changed houses in the middle of an assignment. We currently live in our 18th home and have been in this house for almost five years now.  No wonder I feel restless.

I’ve recently discovered a pattern in my life from all these moves.  When we lived in a place that I wasn’t particularly crazy about, or a house I didn’t like, or I didn’t have the close friends I desired, I would fold up those feelings and put them in a suitcase and shut it tight.  I knew we would be moving in a year or two.  I could put up with anything for that amount of time.  Maybe we would move to a better house, a better place, or closer to my family.   I realize that I carried these bags with me everywhere we went, and the bag got fuller and fuller each time we moved.

We moved into our Spring Hill house almost five years ago, thinking we’d live here for a year or two.  This house was strictly an investment, not a permanent home to me.  I decorated it with the sole intention of preparing it to sell.  Five years later, I look at the room I’ve never finished, the painting I’ve never done, and realize my bags are still packed and waiting to move on.  I’ve never allowed myself to feel “at home” or to put my roots down.  It’s difficult moving into a civilian community when you’ve lived the military lifestyle for so long.  I hadn’t even tried.  God has been speaking to me that it is time to unpack my bags.  He can’t promote me to the next level of His plan until I accept where I am at this level.

We all carry baggage, usually from our past experiences and childhood.  No one grew up in a perfect family.  We all come with some degree of dysfunction.  It’s what you do with that experience that determines your destiny.  As long as you hold on to past hurts and disappointments, you will never fulfill God’s plan for your life.  The suitcase full of garbage in your mind will always serve as a major distraction from God and from a healthy marriage.

I think of the expression “bloom where you’re planted”, which often caused me great anxiety in the past as I strived to do it.  I discovered that the “buts” get in the way.  “But… this isn’t where I want to be…this isn’t what I want to do…I thought I would be doing something else.”  Even worse, we compare ourselves to others and wind up feeling inadequate in our own journey.

God has a special plan for each and every one of us, totally different from one another.  We shouldn’t even begin to compare our walks to others - but we do.

I’m always amazed at how sly and subtle the enemy is.  He strikes where we are most vulnerable, and we don’t even realize we’ve been hit!  We blame ourselves, and we continue to fill up those bags with our failures and insecurities until we become overwhelmed and unable to accomplish any tasks that God may ask of us.

If you feel like you have no idea about God’s plan for you, or you don’t know what direction to go, take the time to unpack your baggage.  Sort it out – get rid of the garbage.  That is probably what He’s waiting for before He can move you on to your next assignment.  Spend time with Him.  Get rid of the distractions of the world and all the self-pity that keeps you too busy for a true relationship with God.

Next week – more on “Too Busy”.


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