Sunday, November 22, 2009

Baggage & the Dirty Laundry

I've sadly spent much of my life confused.  Consumed with guilt that I should have never owned, depressed and angry for [at the time] unidentifiable reasons.  I'd like to say that discovering God's love for me put an end to that confusion, however, that simply wasn't the case.

As I developed in my faith and uncovered some of His direction for me, yes, some of that lifted.  Although I'd known this was a path worth taking, I would find myself surprised at how easily I could be derailed.  How easily the confusion, guilt, anger and depression could return after a quick stumble.  Discovery was only the start of that route.  The road itself is quite a trip.

Not to discourage those who have yet to begin their walk of faith, but an awareness and love for the Lord does not instantaneously squash out emotions that have been collected, bagged and zipped up over the years.  In all honesty, it has been my experience, that to truly allow the Lord to do His work means allowing Him to unzip the suitcase and permit Him to help clean all of your laundry.  This can be quite a process. A few times I recall yanking my luggage out of those mighty hands, and firmly zipping that suitcase right back up.  I was very unwilling to sort through it all.  I had hoped He would have sorted and laundered it all for me.  I would have been quite happy to put it all away after it was clean.

Fortunately for me, the Lord does not wave a magic wand and work His laundry mojo without the requirement of work on our part.  I am also thankful God waited until we really got to know each other before he started digging around in that suitcase.  The carry-on bags I'd been hauling around were enough to contend with before we got to the big stuff. 

It's now about a year after we started on the mother load of all loads has been a tough job.  And while I've had my hands deep in dirt and grime - God has been gracious enough to help smooth out some of the stuff that is rough and scratchy. 

While no scheme of man could ever pluck me from His hand, I am fairly certain I will, some time in the future, bring forth before God my luggage filled with dirty laundry once again.  I am hoping it will be a much smaller bag next time.  I think it may even possibly be stained with those guilt, anger, depression feelings again. 

 We will always, at one time or another, be a victim of another's free will.  It is sometimes difficult to not feel bound by that.  I will rest in the conviction that God will help me with my wash again no matter how stained or dirty.  I am reassured that He needs not the most powerful of detergents but that the strength of His hands will take part in that chore with me is what brings me true peace.  I never did like doing laundry alone.

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