Opening the Baggage

Everyone has their own unique set of baggage. We haul it around with us. Sometimes it is pretty, all packaged up nice. It looks beautiful from the outside. Other times it is an old beaten up suitcase with sentimental value. Most of the time it is what we could afford when the suitcase was needed and we hope it lasts for many years to come.

Different kinds of baggage

JamesDeMers / Pixabay

We care for our baggage, putting it up in the closet when we don’t need it, making sure it is tightly packed away. When we get it out, we dust it off, unzip it and put in clothes and other items before whisking away on this journey or that. We label it and keep it close to us. We put locks on it so nosy airline employees can’t snoop or steal our precious cargo. We tie ribbons and bows on it so our baggage stands out from the rest, a secret code only known by a few.

We treat it well and take it with us everywhere.

But what happens with emotional baggage?

We’re told to leave it behind and check it at the door. Everyone has their own unique set of emotional baggage as well, but we’re told to neglect and get rid of it. We’re told to deal with it, and then move on. But how do you leave behind something that shaped who you became?

What happened to you in the past–good or bad–influenced who you are today.

By saying to leave your emotional baggage behind someone is saying that part of you is flawed, not good enough, or needs improvement. When that baggage is tied to your core, to the root of who you are, it can rattle you.

How do you get rid of that baggage? Even if you are to improve the suitcase and upgrade, it is still with you. If you check it in at the airport, you have to pick it up sometime. If you leave it with God, He’s got it, but it is still yours. You will go back to it some day. I don’t think you can ever get rid of your baggage.

Old baggage

werner22brigitte / Pixabay

I’ve been dealing with one of my suitcases recently. When I was in elementary school, my dad left his job. The plan was for him to get another job soon–that never happened. I was out of High School before he found employment.

Instead my mom worked full time as a second shift nurse. That meant she was gone 5 evenings a week. I only saw her in the mornings when she got up in the middle of her ‘night’ to fix us breakfast before school. My dad was the parent during my teenage years. I was not an easy child and our personalities clashed often–I know it affected our relationship. My parents did the best they could given the situation they found themselves in.

I thought I had dealt with this suitcase. I got rid of it a long time ago, put it up on a top shelf to collect dust and be ignored. I didn’t upgrade it, I let it turn into one of those classic pieces with the hinges so broken that you’re not sure if it will ever close right again. I forgot about it–I ignored it–I left my baggage alone closed and sealed tight. I was done with it.

Funny thing about baggage, you always have to go back and get it.

Here I sit in a similar situation as my parents so many years ago. Intellectually, I know it is different. Times have changed, the husband is in a different career field where he has a larger variety of employment options. And I find myself a child again, scared to death of what is to come.

I put my baggage away, to be ignored. I dealt with it several years ago, processed through it, gave it all to God and moved on. I was done with it and left it behind. That is what they say to do, right?

Just leave your baggage behind and it will all be okay.


My baggage was still there, it was just lost luggage. When you lose your luggage, oftentimes the airline finds it and brings it back to you. Oh, thanks! So thrilled to have this back.

Instead of leaving it behind only to be haunted by it again in the future, I’m opening this suitcase. I’m not sure what I’ll find in there. I think there’s going to be a shirt or two, some pants, socks, and underwear. Definitely some sunscreen and maybe a book.

I’m unpacking this suitcase and whatever I find in it I know is part of who I am. Even if the shirt is stained and torn, it is still mine. It is part of who I am and who I became. You can’t leave behind what happened to you in your past, it will be with you forever.

I don’t know what my life would have been like had my dad found a job. I probably wouldn’t have ever met The Husband because we would have relocated. I definitely wouldn’t have the friends I have today, live in the house I do, or have Miss Crafty and The Inventor.

Who I have become is defined by my baggage. Instead of putting it back up again until it is time for the next journey, I’m going to take that shirt and pair of pants, fold it up and put it on my self. I’m going to deal with it and instead of putting it all away again, I’m going to keep it out and embrace it. It is part of me.

Who wants to get out a key and unlock a suitcase with me?




In today’s patch of grass:

Standing in contentment in green grass

LoggaWiggler / Pixabay

  • I have enjoyed having The Husband home these past few days. We pray often for him to find a job, and it is necessary, but it is also nice to have him around.
  • Whatever it to come I have faith and assurance that God will see us through this. Nothing has happened as we planned, while scary, that tells me God is working on something else.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. ellenlandreth
    May 07, 2014 @ 17:17:54

    How exciting. I suppose you are doing like I have done many times. “Oh God, I am so sorry I worried and fretted instead of just waiting patiently for your answers.” He was there all the time and already knew the plan when you were only filled with questions. Thank you blessed Father.



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