In our search for an authentic life that honors all that we hold close, many of us have reoccurring struggles we find ourselves battling again and again. Mine has always been managing my emotions. My loved ones have seen me swing from exuberance to hopelessness as I bounce back and forth between saving the world and suffocating under the weight of it. One of the unhealthy ways to manage the discomfort of that emotional turmoil has been food. There are some pretty amazing brain chemicals that get released by foods. Over time I convinced myself they work better and were safer than other interventions. The big glaring truth that I was avoiding is that the long term side effects are devastating.

As with most attempts to avoid the difficult process of healing from past events, food can become an addiction that adds physical and emotional layers to our identity. We believe that those layers protect us from our pain, but more often than not they are actually trapping that pain within us. Keeping it close and leaving us vulnerable to flare ups. We find that life is like crawling through a haystack full of hidden needles. We are emotionally poked and scratched until we start thinking that not moving is the only way to feel safe.  We give into the fear of being too broken to save and our desire to keep trying slowly dies away.

But how does this impact our ability to live the life God has created for us? Sadly it weighs us down and we cannot see ourselves through God’s eyes. Not because He resents us for our shortcomings, but because we are unwilling to believe that He still wants us. 

God often chooses people with mountains of baggage and self-doubt to fulfill His plan. He wants us to know that He is so much bigger than the obstacles we have faced. The miracles of faith are created by His perfection, not ours. They rely on His ability to be constant and just in all things. Once we accept that truth we must realize our scars can not block out His healing.

At the end of the last post I asked you to identify your dreams, things that make you feel safe, and whether or not you are doing them now. With those things in mind, are there layers that you have added that are preventing you from experiencing those things? Is the baggage authentic to who you want to be? If you could redesign yourself and wake up tomorrow with YOU 2.0, would you still have those self defensive layers?

That is the opportunity God has given us. He calls us to drop the baggage and let Him start healing those old wounds. The powerful truth is that even a life filled with regrets, brokenness, and epic failures, cannot keep us from Him.

This week set aside a few minutes each day to redesign yourself. Think about what baggage you would like to drop and what opportunities it might open up for you. Be kind and gentle with yourself during this process, and above all else do not give up hope! Remind yourself that your hope lies in God’s promise of forgiveness and nothing you have done negates that promise.

Copyright 2014 AngelaJHerrington