Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Baggage Claim


Baggage and luggage are not the same thing and understanding the difference is crucial to our growth and freedom. This concept was brought to my attention listening to Mark DeJesus recently. He didn’t go into great detail but the thoughts lingered long after he stopped speaking.

Baggage is something that hinders someone’s freedom, growth and development, and luggage is something that carries one’s belongings.

As I sat at the kitchen table today I saw a picture of a baggage claim carousel in front of me and the Lord asked me, “Would you pick up someone else’s bag?” “No! Of course not!,” I responded, but yet I do it all the time. Picking up someone else’s battle, argument, or struggle that is not mine to carry. I’ve been doing it my whole life, I was groomed for it, but now I have a choice. I see it!

Don’t get me wrong I have my own baggage, but I’ve never dealt with baggage that someone else was willing to carry for me, nor would anyone else. If I carry it for someone else, they can keep it. It doesn’t cost them anything, it’s not even heavy because I’m bearing the weight.

Luggage on the other hand is where I carry my “belongings” the things that make me uniquely me. Even those things that might free me of my own baggage or be the catalyst for change for someone else. If I’m carrying around excessive baggage, mine or someone else’s I don’t have the capacity to carry my own luggage. I may set it down, forget about it or lose track of it altogether.

In the past, I’ve seen this play out seemingly on repeat in my life. For the last five years or so, since I’ve been aware of my propensity to carry baggage, mine or other’s, it’s made me quicker to return baggage to its rightful owner. I’m still learning and growing in this, but since the initial revelation, I’ve come a long way. 

Baggage is heavy and weighs us down. When I was willing to carry other’s bags I couldn’t hold onto my luggage and struggled to be myself. When I made the exchange, kindly handed baggage back and picked up my own - I could handle the weight. I’ve never done this alone, the Lord is always by my side illuminating, healing and comforting. He ultimately bears the weight of the baggage as I work through it.  When I give up baggage, He always has something better. 

As humans, we are incredibly resourceful and will find ways to manage this way for a long time through addictions, codependency or other numbing mechanisms. They can even be good things we use as a means to check out like work or church. It only delays the inevitable moment of awakening. The moment we realize the baggage belongs to us, no one else can carry it and bring lasting change. We have to deal with it. Dealing with it is simply opening it, acknowledging what we find inside, being willing to face it and address it.

My luggage, now that it’s been in my possession, has been opened and explored and I’m fully becoming who I was meant to be. It has been the catalyst to securing my identity. It is a crucial step in self-awareness and what is and isn’t working in my life.

We’ve probably all done this, carried something that isn’t ours, at one time or another, but once you realize it, the weight becomes too much. We were never meant to carry other’s baggage and Jesus came so I wouldn’t have to even carry my own. He carried it and now I apply that to any piece of baggage that’s been in my hand too long. I just simply hand it over and He overs love, grace, mercy and a solution. There is always a solution.

If we are not willing to bear the own weight of our baggage it will never be too heavy for us to let go. Read that again. It’s the weight that brings about transformation. So, when we carry someone else’s we bear their weight. Yikes!

Baggage is a relationship killer! Baggage will interfere in relationships with God, yourself and others. Baggage stunts your growth!

If any of this resonates with you, take a moment, send up a prayer with a question, “Lord, what am I carrying that is not mine?” and if needed, “How do I let it go?” Follow it up with, “What’s in my luggage that will help me deal with this and be fully who you created me to be?”

I don’t know about you, but I have some unpacking to do.

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