Baggage

I’m not who I was…
About twenty years ago I was a sophomore in college and I was meeting with my pastor’s wife for bible study. She made a passing comment that I immediately discarded as ridiculous and improbable.
She said, “one day you will be a public speaker”. She said it with confidence and conviction. She spoke those words to me because she believed in me and she believed in the power of the Lord working in and through me.

Unfortunately for me I did not share her faith that believed I could become anything I set my mind to.
Instead I believed I was nothing more than a product of my circumstances in those early years of following Jesus.
I believed I was saved, I believed that God loved me and forgave me, but I also believed the circumstances and events earlier in my life defined who I was and as a result would determine my future.

Twenty years ago I was a scared, confused young women with a new found faith. I clutched onto my faith in Jesus as tightly as I knew how. Sometimes I dropped it or put in my back pocket because my hands were full from carrying around my big old suitcase of shame, regret and pain from my past. I was afraid that I would fail Jesus somehow or that I would abandon Him altogether like a failed diet attempt. I thought I was supposed to hang onto all the hurt and pain because I thought it defined me.

I was like a tourist trying to backpack across Europe but instead of having a lightweight and functional backpack I had this oversized & cumbersome suitcase with the flimsy handle. I struggled and wrestled to carry my baggage on my journey all the while knowing that it was too heavy for me to handle on my own.

Over time and with the help of some amazing women whom God placed in my life, I finally came to the place in my own heart where I was willing to trust Christ enough to leave my baggage at the throne of grace and mercy.

The shame, hurt, betrayal and regret that had been neatly packed away in my suitcase were now being placed in the loving hands of Jesus, the same hands that were nailed to the cross.

I was finally able to embrace freedom in Christ without having to hold onto the past.

Fast forward 20 years…

I’ve recently been asked to speak at a women’s event and to share my story.
This is a new experience for me. I’ve been leading worship at church and at women’s events for a few years now, but never in a million years would I have imagined that anyone would ask me to speak at their event or that I would have anything to say…until now.

After many years of walking with Jesus, I am able to look back and see God’s hand at work in my life.
I can see how He has been weaving my story together. How God is knitting my past and present together to be used in the future.

I am excited to see how God will use my journey of faith and trust in the lives of the women I will be speaking to.

As for my friend Kathy Metzger who spoke those prophetic words twenty plus years ago…you were right. There I said it. Thanks for investing your time in me and for loving me. I am reaping the benefits of your faithfulness.

What baggage are you still carrying around?
It’s time to leave your past at the cross and let Jesus unpack your baggage. He knows your hurt. He loves you and He wants to heal your heart.

Grace & Peace….Karen

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5 thoughts on “Baggage

  1. Katie says:

    Very powerful, Karen. It really spoke to me. I needed to hear that this morning. I can’t wait to hear you next Saturday. Love and hugs – – katie

  2. Kathy says:

    You just gave me chills. God is faithful and I am so glad He allowed me to see you twenty years later. How can twenty years have gone sooooo fast! Love you lots!

  3. Beth says:

    great thoughts…. our baggage really does get it the way doesn’t it!! I’m praying that more gals will be able to give that neatly packed suitcase to the Lord. How wonderful it feels to have our hands freed up so that we can hold on to the things in life that are REALLY important!
    I’m soooo looking forward to next weekend and to see the way God uses you!!

  4. Chris Pedersen says:

    Beautifully written wise words. Some of us have (or had) baggage hidden in a deep recess that surfaces every time an offending statement arose. Admitting the baggage is there is a huge step to healing.

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