Love: For the Sake of Family

1 John 4:19

We love because he first loved us.

Family……

We all have one.  Some are small, some are large, some know God and some do not.  Some financially prosper and some are scrapping by.  Some live on this side of the tracks and some on the other.   Some are very doting over each other and some barely realize you’re in the room.  But the one thing that we all have in our families is baggage.  Baggage that has been carried for generations.  Some have learned how to unpack their baggage and some are carrying a full load and continue to stuff more in.

I have been on a several year journey of unpacking.    My load has become lighter.  My blessing have become greater.  DSCN0010

Ephesians 4:2

With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

This has not been an easy process.  Many tears have been shed both by me and others.   I would love to say that it was always done with a humble and gentle spirit and with much patience but I can’t.

The thing about baggage, is that it’s been shoved in that space for a long time, seeping, stewing and sometimes resulting in great sin.  So when  you’re unpacking it what do you do with all of it.  I had to give it to HIM.  A great God, who covers all the sin (baggage) with his blood and forgives with an overabundance of grace.  He is my example of how to unpack my baggage.

Luke 6:37

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;

The most recent “stuff” being unpacked was the reunion of a father, who had been absent for almost 50 years.  I have been unpacking this particular stuff for a little over a year but this was not only my baggage it was also the baggage of generations before me.  I refused to let it pile on baggage to the next generation.  Everyone doesn’t unpack as quickly as others, some unpack neatly, with gentleness and understanding, and some unpack with flailing arms, judgement, anger and resentment.  We all have to have “our time” of unpacking.   But at the end of the unpacking process, we should all come with the same mind as in Luke 6:37.

This weekend I witnessed the unpacking of much baggage.  The dad and mom, who raised me and the dad, who gave me life along with his wife gathered with my family to celebrate the 6th birthday of my granddaughter.  Baggage being unpacked little by little.  Anger, judgement, resentment being released and smiles replacing it.  No more tears only joy.

Isaiah 44:22

I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.

DSCN0011

So some baggage was all laid out for God to cover over with grace and love.  Redeeming generations and giving a lighter load to carry.  From my right is my dad, the man who gave me life and his wife, my step mom. On my left is my mom and my dad, who cared for my needs.  The rest of that crazy looking bunch is my husband and kids.  Can’t get much more blessed than that on this earth.

So there will still be some unpacking to do, I’m sure.  But we each have seen how God can replace the old with the new and release us from our pasts.  To the future with joy, peace and love.  I encourage you to do some unpacking of your own but put as much love back in as possible.

Lord, I become more grateful as the days go by.  Amen!

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