Baggage

We will probably be moving in the next month or so, which means I am packing up our household of 6.
The last time we moved we only had 2 children and moved just a couple miles away so it wasn’t a huge “pack and drive” kind of thing, more like take a load in the car and hope nothing breaks. This time we’re moving significantly farther and with significantly more stuff.
I wish there was an easy way to go about it. I want to be organized about the whole process so if I need something I can find it easily when we get to our new house. I also want to make sure that I utilize the help I have when we get there. In my mind I envision having a “master plan” list that shows which rooms each bin/box goes into so we only have to touch it once. We’ll see…
As I’m packing I’m thinking too about baggage. The “stuff” that one carries around for years sometimes. Baggage shapes who we are. Sometimes baggage boosts us up to reach our goals, sometimes it weighs us down so much that we never move. Regardless though, we all have it.
I have been sorting through bins from my childhood and adolescence the last couple of days. There are times when I read notes to and from friends and I laugh. I laugh at the silliness and the nicknames we had for one another. I have found things that I wrote to help me cope with difficult times at home. I read love notes from boyfriends and the one boyfriend who became my husband. I cringe sometimes at the person I was. I feel wounds being re-opened because I remember the hurt, the anger I felt back then and if I’m not careful it can come sneaking back up and leak out into my life now. I can remember the black I felt so often years ago.
I have looked back the last couple of days, I have laughed at pictures from my high school years with my boys. I’ve told them stories of the friends I had and the things we did. We laughed at how young daddy and I looked when we started dating. But…I’ve kept the journals and poems I wrote tucked away for later when they’re older and I can explain what was going on in my life then. But I can look back and can see how I’ve grown because of and in spite of my baggage. I can see that God used those experiences and my baggage to shape who I am today.
Most of all though, I am reminded of His grace. I am reminded that even then, He was guiding my steps. Much of the baggage I carried early on, I have left by the wayside. It no longer attaches itself to me, it no longer adds weight to my shoulders. But this last week I was reminded just how much baggage I used to carry and how far I have walked away from it all.
And I am grateful.

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