“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT)
For years I allowed hurt and fear to keep me from pursuing the life God was urging me to embrace. I let emotional baggage paralyze me and prevent me from going after healthy life choices and opportunities that were right within my reach.
Emotional baggage can be paralyzing. It is often passed down from generation to generation, and if we allow it to, it can continue to infect our families and loved ones for generations to come.
Is there something in your life that’s holding you back? Will you be the one in your family to stop the negative cycle — to unpack the emotional baggage? Will you, once and for all, discard the burdens that are crippling you? That crippled those who passed them down to you? And will keep crippling others, unless you put a stop to it?
Past pain can negatively affect our present and future — and that of those who intersect our lives — if we allow it to.
God has a plan and a purpose for each and every one of us, of which we are all in varying stages. Some of us are fully surrendered and fully engaged — prayerfully considering and courageously embracing each God-given opportunity. Some of us are listening carefully and cautiously walking in the direction God is calling us to go. And some of us are in a complete holding pattern, frozen by fear and uncertainty, in desperate need of hope, help, and support in order to break free and go after God’s calling. What stage are you in? If you’re not fully surrendered, what’s holding you back?
For years, I was much like the Israelites who wandered in the desert. On a journey that should have taken eleven days — they remained in the desert for forty years, walking in circles — simply because they refused to lay down their hindrances, trust God completely, and follow His call on their lives faithfully. For me, it took twenty years, growing spiritually at a very slow pace, before I reached the point in my life where I was ready and able to fully surrender to God and faithfully follow His lead. Looking back — I sincerely wish I hadn’t waited so long.
Surrendering to God will for our lives ushers in freedom. An amazing freedom that, once we finally embrace it, we can’t fathom why in the world we waited so long.
So, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is God uniquely calling me to do?
- What gift has God given me that I’m not using?
- What keeps me from embracing my God-given courage and pursuing my God-given dreams?
Let today be the day we once and for all lay down our emotional baggage and pursue God’s plan and purpose for our lives!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith,
let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)
In what ways do you plan to put your past where it belongs — in the past — and run the race God has set before you?