Many of us caught up in the dysfunctional dance of fear-based choices can trace the roots of our distorted thinking back to a time when the baggage we carried was no more than the size of a small tote bag. But those days are long gone, as many of us now carry a matching six-piece set of luggage painfully stuffed with memories of people, places, issues, and things we can never change. We have obstacles on top of obstacles shoved into every compartment.

Some of the baggage we carry is packed with fresh hurt, and some of it we have been lugging around for years. In my experience, a great many brokenhearted little girls and boys are living inside the shells of broken women and men, all carrying huge trunkloads of excess baggage.

It’s time to unpack our bags and lighten the load.

We can do this as we surrender to Christ’s call and commit to Him, lessen our burdens, and find rest for our souls. Matthew 11:28-30 says,

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

We must identify the obstacles we need to overcome on our journey to find freedom from the bad habits that hold us hostage. In our quest for courage, let’s think of ourselves like archaeologists who are always committed to digging. It isn’t just about one project, one discovery, or one dig. It’s about an ongoing commitment to find what’s buried underneath the surface of what we can see. Archaeologists have a great many obstacles, like boulders, rocks, sand, trees, and dirt—a lot of dirt—to remove before reaching any kind of treasure. But they’re trained to look beyond the surface debris, to look underneath the layers.

When it comes to making fearless choices, we need to train ourselves to look beyond the surface debris—to see past the obstacles in our way and expose the treasures beneath them, like hope, healing, joy, and grace.

Obstacles are often referred to as roadblocks, the hindrances that restrict us from traveling on a clear, unobstructed path. External and internal roadblocks impede our travel and cause us to be rerouted, detoured, or completely blocked from reaching our destination and achieving our potential.

Being able to overcome obstacles has been a difficult and oftentimes exhausting experience for me. But I thank God every day for bringing me to a place where I had no choice but to plow through the roadblocks to find courage and joy. God allowed me to get to a place of brokenness, where I could lay aside many of my fears and overcome the shame, hurt, and sin that kept me in bondage to fearful choices. God gave me the strength of a soldier to dig and remove the surface debris that separated me from the treasures He wanted me to have.

Do you want to be an overcomer?

In my book Courage For Life, I discuss several underlying issues that are often at the root of our obstacles such as fear, hurt, sin, and shame. I also dig through ten common obstacles that we can identify and address on our journey to courage and emotional healing. I’d love for you to join me.

Get a taste of courage by downloading a sample copy of my book Courage For Life or jump right in by purchasing Courage For Life in our bookstore.