Pitching Unnecessary Baggage

by Delores Liesner

Packing for a recent writer’s conference in New Mexico was record breaking for me. I managed to get everything into one carry-on suitcase – clothing, toiletries and even an extra empty bag for books on the trip home!  For a clothes horse like me, it was no less than a miracle.

I’d often likened my early life story to baggage that I carried into our marriage.  Now, standing at the luggage carousel watching others haul gigantic suitcases or multi-pieced sets, I thought about the time so many years ago when I left home after high school.

Talk about baggage: I was so emotionally battered, I might as well have been hauling an entire carousel’s worth.  After spending a childhood being told how worthless I was, I carried an unquenchable need for love and acceptance. My brokenness was expressed in an obsession over my physical appearance—on shallow things like makeup and clothing. But any attention I received for my efforts felt shallow and false, which never satisfied my longings. Ironic isn’t it – that I would artificiality try to add to who I was, then be surprised and disappointed with a superficial response?

Ken and I both entered our marriage loaded down with baggage. We wanted something better: a strong spiritual standard for our marriage and family.  We believed the Bible was God’s Word and began reading and applying it to our lives.  The more we learned about the Lord and His love for us, the more we loved him, and the easier it became to trust Him with our baggage.

Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your burden upon the LORD, and He will sustain you.” (NASB)

Cast comes from a Hebrew word meaning to pitch over or toss out. Now isn’t that a concept – not just to tell God about my burden, but to toss it over to Him, like using a pitchfork to move dirty hay from a barn!

Our casting began with material possessions, because things were easier to let go of than emotions, fears, hopes, and dreams.  God was faithful to accept those weak offerings and turn them into assurances that He could be trusted with more.

The longer we walked with God, the more we opened up to Him. It was a lot like Robert Boyd’s illustration in his little book My Heart, Christ’s Home. Metaphorical doors in our lives were opened, rooms were being cleaned and aired, and God faithfully led us toward the good and the healthy.

Some days when I read Scripture I felt God saying: Have I let you down yet? Haven’t you figured out that what you have tossed to me I have replaced with abundance? Letting go became easier and easier as I gradually learned that our Mighty Savior is absolutely worthy of my trust.

That trip to New Mexico was a definite time of emotional healing for me.  God opened new doors for me and proved His faithfulness once again. I left the airport carrying less baggage than ever before, thankful for His abundant blessings in my life.

I’m truly lighter– inside and out.  How about you?  Got your pitchfork ready?

delores liesnerAbout the author: Delores Liesner loves to reveal the dynamic hope and confidence found in the heritage of our personal God. She writes from Racine, WI., is a CLASS graduate, 21st Century Grandma and Life Tales columnist. She has published hundreds of stories and articles. Check out her Amazon Author page!

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Join the conversation: What baggage do you still need to toss?