When we face seasons of pain, emotional baggage from other injuries can threaten to swallow us. Eryn Eddy leads us towards wholeness.
Look At Your Baggage
By Eryn Eddy
My parents manufactured furniture and so in my growing up years, our family spent lots of time on the road, attending furniture shows. One day, as we trekked to a show in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, I was nearly asleep in the third row of our Suburban with a trailer full of furniture attached. I was jolted awake by the sound of squealing tires as our vehicle crashed into a stalled tractor trailer. My seat folded in half and our family’s luggage flew forward, toppling onto me. Startled, a little bruised, but not seriously injured.
When we go through a painful season in life, it can seem that all of our past emotional baggage comes flying forward, just like those suitcases in the Suburban. In such situations we ask: “What is happening? How did I get here? Who am I? And who can I trust?” When things fall apart, whether it was a slow drip or a sudden jolt, there’s an awareness of who we thought we were and who we’ve become. In that awareness, we might feel lost. Embarrassed. Alone. Ashamed. Dismantled. Heavy.
The “car accident” we face could have come in the form of a breakup, or an abrupt end to a friendship, filing for divorce, getting fired from a job, or a million other things. But after “it” happens, we’re left obsessing over what we could have done differently, and we wonder if our lives will ever be “normal” again. Will we ever feel okay again? If we do, will that feeling be meaningful and real, or will we be afraid that our joy and progress could be suddenly taken away again? We ask ourselves, “Will I ever be whole again after the debris settles?”
But what does it mean to be whole? By definition, whole is healthy, complete, wholesome, free from damage. Could we ever be those things? Could we ever be healthy? Complete? Whole? Damage-free? After my own painful season, I had a very long list of things that damaged my self-esteem, damaged my sense of community and what I believed about relationships.
Here’s good news for the tired soul searching for wholeness: Whole does not mean flawless or error-free. It means coming to an awareness and looking into “truths” we have agreed to about ourselves. Being whole is accepting that we just can’t do life by ourselves. Childhood wounds, doubt, anxiety, generational curses, illnesses and betrayal are far too heavy for us to carry. God wants to carry these very things for us. Wholeness is accepting that God is the only One who can completely heal those places that are hurting.
As part of seeking wholeness, I realized I had agreed with “truths” about myself that really were not true, they were lies. I needed to identify those lies. In your own situation, are there specific words you tell yourself that you know deep down don’t reflect who you are? For example:
I’m not pretty enough.
I’m not smart enough.
If only I were more of ____, then _____ would happen.
Like me, you may need to silence everything around you and take time to listen and journal to identify the lies.
Then, work to replace lies with truths. If you are unable to combat the lies, text a safe friend or mentor and ask them to help you replace the lies with truths. Write down these truths and place them where you’ll see them daily:
Tape them to your mirror, on your fridge, and next to your sink.
Set reminders on your phone and desktop to pop up throughout the day.
May we move toward wholeness, knowing God is the one who heals, and he speaks words of truth over us.
A verse to cling to:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG):
A prayer to lift up:
Lord, we come to you for protection over our thoughts and relief from our circumstances. Lord, we may feel tired but unsure how to tell you how we feel. We may all be in different places in our lives right now but we do know you draw near when we invite you in. Lord, our hearts may be jaded or hurt. We may be angry or confused. We may not know how to talk to you. Will you gently nudge us? Lord, we know you aren’t scared of how we feel. We pray we will experience your presence and that your presence will overpower any fear or anger the enemy will attempt to bring out as we look in. Looking in takes bravery and courage, and Lord, we believe you will respond to our bravery and courage by speaking up and speaking loud as we begin to look into what our hearts are made of. We believe you will help us on our journey to understand that we are so worth loving. You are so good. And so loving. Thank you, Jesus, for your continual compassion. It’s in your heavenly name we pray. Amen.
Eryn has created a downloadable PDF to help you process your wounds.
Eryn Eddy is the author of the newly released, So Worth Loving: How discovering your true value changes everything. She is also the founder and CEO of So Worth Loving, a lifestyle clothing brand. Eryn is the co-host of the God Hears Her podcast, with Elisa Morgan. Eryn and her work have been featured on CNN and MSNBC, as well as Southern Living and Atlanta Magazine. This creative enjoys oil painting and singing, and she's even had her music featured on MTV and VH1. Eryn is also an author and a speaker, and she calls Atlanta home. Connect with Eryn on Instagram, Facebook and at ErynEddy.com.