What Do You Need To Leave In 2016?

 In Choose To Be Her, Emily Cummins

Last December I was preparing to make my second cross country move from the fabulous city of Las Vegas to sunny Florida. As I made my game plan, I knew I didn’t want to make the 2,233-mile trek with a trailer in tow, so I began sifting through my apartment (aka. the #babecave), making piles “to keep”, “to throw away”, “to give away”, and on and on. I thought I had sorted through everything really well and as the eve of my moving date arrived, I was even patting myself on the back for a job well done in prioritizing what to keep and leave behind.

And then I tried to put everything in my little red convertible…

Let’s just say, not everything fit. I thought I had gone through my stuff, I thought I had truly whittled down what I needed and wanted to keep; but I was still left with piles leftover. Rather than taking the time to go through the overflowing bags, I decided to ship what wouldn’t fit in my car. Win-win, or so I thought.

My Mom and I piled my car with bags, drove to FedEx and stuffed boxes with clothes and pillows to ship across the country. I paid the fee and moved on, not thinking twice about it—until about 3 weeks later when I unpacked, cleaned out my closet, and then proceeded to get rid of the same amount of items I had just paid to ship cross country. *Face palm*

I paid to ship stuff that a few weeks later I ended up getting rid of…I could have used the baggage fees to buy new clothes, rather than worrying about shipping the old!

Isn’t this so life? Stepping into a new season, a new chapter, a new day, a new year, I tend to want to cram all of the old in with the new…not realizing that in doing so, I’m paying a baggage fee…

When I carry unforgiveness with me, I’m paying in broken relationships and internal chaos.

When I carry anger with me, I’m paying in frazzled emotions.

When I carry others’ expectations with me, I’m paying by exchanging freedom for bondage.

When I carry fear with me, I’m paying by missing out on what I was made to do, to be.

When I carry the pursuit of perfection with me, I’m paying in a lack of confidence in who I am and who I’m becoming.

When we don’t take the time to go through the present and the past, we ultimately can’t make room for the new. We pay for everything we carry—and not all baggage fees are bad. When I set my alarm for an early morning workout, I’m paying in the form of an hour less of sleep under warm, cozy covers! But I’m gaining health and strong muscles. We pay for what we carry…we just need to decide what we want to pay for…

“This is what God says, the God who builds a road right through the ocean, who carves a path through pounding waves, the God who summons horses and chariots and armies—they lie down and then can’t get up; they’re snuffed out like so many candles: ‘Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.'” Isaiah 43:16-19, MSG

In order to become who God made us to be, we just have to choose to be her. And to choose to be her, we’ve got to decide what we’re going to carry with us…what we’re going to pay for.

There are many things I want to carry with me into 2017:

Love

Laughter

Friendship

Lacing up my warrior boots

Growing stronger

Learning new things

Embracing the journey, the process, the becoming.

As I’m reflecting on 2016 and stepping into this New Year, I’ve also assessed bags I don’t want to ship into 2017, I don’t want to pay for, I want to leave behind:

Unforgiveness

The pursuit for perfection

Fear of failure

Fear of missing out

Doubting that God does know what He’s doing

Being so hard on myself.

We’ve all got suitcases headed into 2017. What do you want to carry with you? What do you want to leave behind? If I could rewind time and go back to my little piles in the #babecave, I would have said, “Emily, you don’t need this stuff…you’re going to get rid of it anyways! Don’t pay the couple hundred dollars to ship it. Leave it behind.” In 365 days, I don’t want to look bak on kicking off 2017 with the same story, wishing I would have left things behind. Warrior friend, let’s do the heavy lifting today. It’s worth it tomorrow. And the next day and the next.

What do you need to leave in 2016?

Author: Emily B. Cummins

Emily Cummins is a University of Florida & College of Central Florida grad who is passionate about partnering with people to become who they were made to be. Emily is the Online Campus Pastor at Church of Hope in Ocala, Florida. She’s passionate about storytelling, good cups of coffee, and jamming to country music. And most importantly, she’s passionately pursuing becoming the woman God made her to be.

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  • Melissa Lopez
    Reply

    I love the idea of “becoming.” We put so much pressure “to be” that we forget about the process. During the process, God stretches us in ways we could have never imagined. I’m learning so much about God, life, others, and myself in the process.

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