Thursday, July 23, 2009
Throw Away Those 'Luggage Tags'!
Freedom. July is full of symbols of freedom as we celebrate the anniversary of our nation’s birth: flags, fireworks, parades. While you may be celebrating our national freedom this month, are you experiencing personal freedom from the “luggage tags” that may identify your feelings as a result of a move?
Anger. Are you harboring anger because you didn’t want to move?
Bitterness. Do you feel bitter because this move has caused major changes in your life?
Comparison. Do you find yourself comparing everything to where you used to live?
Fear. Are you afraid you’ll never again feel that sense of belonging and security?
Anxiety. Are you anxious about making new friends and finding the right school, church, doctor, grocery store, cleaners, and hairdresser?
Disappointment. Is the house not what you really wanted? Is the job a disillusionment? Is the cost of living higher?
Loss of Identity. Has your self-esteem taken a nose-dive? Have you gotten lost in the shuffle?
Depression. Is everything overwhelming and you’d rather stay in bed than unpack a box, hang a picture, or fix a meal?
Expectations. Were you expecting the neighbors to be friendly? To find a close friend soon? To be included?
Inadequacy. Do you feel as if you just don’t have what it takes anymore?
Hurt. Do the tears come when you think of family and friends you left behind?
Grief. Are you grieving over all your losses?
Declare your independence from these harmful luggage tags that will surely keep you from your destination of peace and contentment! Freedom can be found as you:
1. Leave your baggage in the care of God. Let go of the emotional baggage you’re still carrying. Leave it in the hands of the One who loves you and who can heal you, Jesus Christ.
2. Rely on God’s faithfulness. Recall the times of God’s faithfulness in your own life. Be specific.
3. Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone else! When you move to a new place, face your transition in the beauty of who God made you to be.
4. Be equipped with:
Faith – you can face this “Goliath” with God’s strength.
Prayer – You can’t fight anger with anger, but you can fight anger with prayer.
Bible study – The more you know and study God’s word, the firmer the ground upon which you stand!
Fellowship – Seek out the fellowship of Christian friends – for support, for accountability, for group Bible study, for encouragement, for fun!
Perseverance – Keep on keeping on! Don’t give up and don’t give in. What voices are you hearing that tell you that you can’t do it, that you can’t overcome your giants?
(Excerpted from After the Boxes Are Unpacked by Susan Miller, chapter 7)