Women’s Fellowship Meeting Devotion
By: Jocelynn Klaus

Well Ladies I think it’s time we talk about bags! The bags I want to talk about are the ones you have been toting around with you that are weighing you down. I want to talk about the emotional suitcase you have been letting get in your way—whether it be physical mental or even emotional. Today I want to take a huge step along with you ladies on throwing that garbage away and taking leaps forward. Not only for ourselves but for our walk with the Lord as well.

Maybe you are thinking, “What are some things that I need to let go of?” Here are just a few things that came to my mind concerning things that are hard to let go of?

A loved one

Now, while you are taking time to think of what things in this list that you need to get rid of I would like to share mine with you.

There are so many things I have learned about myself since starting my walk with the Lord, and one of those things is that I have a lot of baggage. So much that it was hindering me from letting go and letting God do what he wants with me. One thing that I had to unload and leave behind is this feeling of never being good enough. That was a big thing for me. My entire life I have always felt like the black sheep. I felt like I did not belong. I felt that I was alone, and I let that hold me back from healthy relationships, friendships, mothering and even my work. I learned I need to let go and let God, because with him I was never truly alone. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous. Don’t fear or tremble before them, because the LORD your God will be the One who keeps on walking with you—he won’t leave you or abandon you.”

Maybe your baggage has to do with the very thing we are discussing, which is letting go. Maybe you are someone who thinks that they cannot let go. Maybe you feel like you are not worthy of a better life, or maybe you feel that you deserve to have these feelings. That you somehow did something and now this is your punishment. I am here to tell you that is not the case.

Those feelings and doubts along with the anxiety or even anger you may harbor for certain things is the enemy trying to stop you from succeeding. He is trying to stop you from being who you are meant to be and living the life you deserve. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”

That alone speaks volumes that you are worthy of a future that he has made for you! The hardships we have faced are to make us better and stronger but we cannot tote that luggage around. We have to let go and stop looking back. Isaiah 43:18 says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”

That one is a big one because I always focus on the past. Growing up I always heard people justify their choices with words such as, “Well my past made me this way. I can’t help it. That is the way I was raised.” That is not true! Every day that you wake up God is giving you another day to be who you are not what you were! Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV) says,
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Sometimes we do not realize that our baggage is there, nor do we recognize the impact it has on our friends and family. Friends and family that is a big one! These are the people that God puts in our path that are supposed to help build us up or to teach us a lesson. It is on us to listen to God and figure out which of these purposes they are serving at any given time in our lives. Sometimes, even though they are family, we need to learn the lessons God showed us through them realizing that in some cases it is okay to let them go.

Someone close to me recently just had to explain to me that sometimes we need to love from a distance, and that hit hard for me. I am not saying cut people off and hold a grudge. I am saying accept what they have laid before you and forgive them. Let it be what it is. Whatever that may be. You don’t have to keep beating a dead horse expecting them to change.

These are also the people I find it hardest to forgive. It is difficult due to the feeling of our bond with them requires us to keep them in our lives. We may think that we have to just forgive them and maintain a relationship with them due to the titles that they hold in our lives. That is not the case. We absolutely do need to forgive them. That is what God wants us to do. This is also helpful for our own spiritual, mental and physical health. It is not about forgiving because what they did was right.

Sit back and think about something this for a moment: The last time someone made you mad or sad did they even know know that they upset you? These feelings really only damage ourselves because sometimes the other person does not even realize that they hurt you or upset you. Sometimes a person simply does not care that they upset you or hurt you! But here you are carrying around this anger and hurt from these things they have done or continue to do, and they are continuing on in their own lives unaware or uncaring acting as if nothing ever happened.

So, I just want you to realize that feeling these things in the moment is natural. However, letting them go is very important not only for your own well-being but for your walk with the Lord. It is important concerning your walk with the Lord because how can you give your whole self to him and love him when a piece of you is missing? A piece that is broken from being caught up in these negative feelings? How are you suppose to live by his word when you are hurt and distracted by all these feelings and emotions weighing you down? It is no secret that when you are down or upset your focus is often only on those negative emotions. Colossians 3:13 says, “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. “

You have every right to feel the way that you are feeling. The feelings themselves are not sins. What makes them sins is becoming consumed with these feelings and letting them continue to drag you down. Ephesians 4:26-27 says, “‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”