I’ve moved around the world three times in my life. I was twelve years old the first time. I remember feeling excited and scared but was with my family, so I trusted my parents would ensure everything would be okay. The second time I was newly married and my husband and I were young and thrilled to be together on a great adventure starting a new life in a new country. We only had a suitcase each and off we went to make a good life. The last time I moved around the world was 17 yrs and three children later. This was the move of all moves!
Each of us had 2 suitcases and a carry on. For a family of five that’s 10 big, heavy suitcases and 5 carry on bags in total. We packed and unpacked and repacked those bags for 2 weeks before we left, right up until leaving for the airport. On top of that, we had shipped ahead a 6’x6’ wooden crate with our worldly possessions that wouldn’t fit into our suitcases. This was not a carefree trip. The weight of responsibility for changing our family’s entire life and the hope we had for what laid ahead was a dizzying mix.
We look back now and realise that the anxiety, fear and trepidation we felt was rooted in two things. The first was our past experiences, (more specifically our past mistakes) and second, an unknown future. I feel like many people relate to this right now. We talk about “going into” a new year or “entering” a new year, or even “ travelling into” a new year. For some of us it may be the only travelling we do in 2022! (Just joking!) Whichever way you prefer to say it, I know one thing for sure…it’s time to travel light.
When we moved all those things of our family’s around the world, they seemed so important at the time. How we agonised over bringing things that we thought was so significant to our life only to never use them or realise they were irrelevant to our new life. I’ll share a couple of funny examples. One thing that stands out in my mind is that we brought leather jackets…to live in the tropics on the Great Barrier Reef where we sweat in the heat 365 days a year. Another is bringing not just our paperwork in neatly labelled files but EVERYTHING from our office including scissors, paper clips, pens, etc. Because Australia wouldn’t have any of those things, right?
We can laugh at these things (and should) but we do this in so many ways. As we travel into 2022, what baggage have you brought along from the past year, years, or even lifetime, that you are better off leaving behind? What are you pushing or dragging along into this new year that should have been buried and forgotten in 2021? Heartache? Pain? Family drama? Loss, in any form? Disappointment? If we allow these things from the past to rob us of our hope for the future year, we are likely to have a repeat of the same life, the same cycles and the same defeat we have experienced previously.
I encourage you to let go of the negative baggage you are bringing into the new year. Those things that seem so important, those feelings that you feel so justified in having, are heavy and weighing you down. It’s time to travel light. Jesus asked the question: “Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to your life?” The answer is no one. Anxieties rob your hope and joy in life as well as negatively affect your mental and physical health. When we choose to carry negative baggage into the next season in our life, it is us who is doing the harm. We can’t blame the person or situation that initially hurt or stole from us when we choose to continue to hold on to those things.
As we travel into 2022, I urge you to be intentional about what you are bringing with you. Choose peace, choose joy, choose good memories, choose good relationships and situations that help you to flourish and grow. Choose to forgive. Ask God to make a beautiful exchange in your life, removing your fears, anxieties and hurts and instead filling you with His love, peace and contentment. This can be your best year yet if you choose to live free of the bondage of the past and travel forward with hope and faith for this next year.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 NLT
My prayer for you my friend in 2022 is that you would know your value, receive God’s love and love others as He loves you. May you prosper and be in health this year even as your soul prospers. (3 John 1:2)
Until next time,