Two years ago, I was in a season where the couches and guest rooms of various friend’s houses became my temporary homes. My stay always varied from a couple nights to a couple weeks at most. It was a season where I was determined to sacrifice in order to stay planted in the city of San Diego and close to my new church and church family.
On a normal departure from a two-night stay at a friend’s house, my hands were full with the heavy, overstuffed duffel bag of my belongings. It seemed like this time around my bag was heavier than normal, making it hard to carry down the stairs of her apartment. Truthfully, this observation was first overlooked until I realized that the walk back to my car was a long one. Normally, my car was parked a few feet away but this time it seemed like miles upon miles away since it was parked on the next street over due to construction.
As I walked, there were moments that I didn’t want to keep walking. Typical, am I right?! Seemingly, the classic story of a girl who wasn’t strong enough to carry the bag and was feeling too tired and lazy at 8 am to get the job done….. but don’t check out here because that’s not how the story ends!
In my little journey, some of the guys doing construction spotted my immense struggle and asked if they could help me carry my bags…. I politely declined with a strong sense of determination to make it the whole way. There was so much internal dialogue as I was trying to convince myself to stop being weak and to suck it up. Even through the conversation I was having with myself in my head about the bag I was carrying, I heard a voice that I knew very well in my mind, my heart, and my spirit. I could hear it like a broken record replaying over and over again. It was God’s encouragement to keep going. It was a comforting feeling and peace that reminded me that the weight is only for a while. God kept speaking to my spirit that I can trust him because he knows the destination and will help me get there….
Part of the time, let’s be honest here and say the whole time, I was running out of breath and in pain. Despite my struggle, I kept visualizing my car and the fact that I knew I could put the bags down once I arrived. When I visualized the end goal instead of getting stuck in the progress, distance, and pain, I was able to keep pushing and pushing and pushing myself to keep walking.
There were moments I wanted to rest and take a break. I wanted to put a pause in the process…. but I’m so glad I chose to move past the feeling and into the truth that I could do it! As I finally got to my car and placed my bags down there was such a gladness in me as stood knowing I had made it the whole way without camping in different spots and taking breaks.
This small story was two years ago, but it is one that has been forever ingrained in my mind. A day to day moment, that could have been easily overlooked, where God chose to speak to me so I could have an opportunity to learn something. It is crazy what he can get to us when we are teachable and ready to listen to him. Ultimately, it really had nothing to do with the duffel bag, but it had everything to do with me and the weight of the responsibilities, gifting, talents, positions, and people he had entrusted to me.
God will give us weight, like responsibility, a huge purpose or plan, a dream or a vision, and we will be asked to move with it. When we have this weight God will see if we are carrying it well and if we will trust him to help us make the distance. It can be hard to make the distance when you focus on how heavy the calling is or how long the walk is. When we focus on our abilities to get the job done, we position ourselves to see many weaknesses when we are called to focus on God’s strength.
Focus on the one who is guiding you. The word of God proves that he is more than a game changer and a helper of carrying baggage and weights, so focus on him and him alone.
Our ability to push through is completely dependent on our willingness to trust God.
The weight of responsibility may be heavier than we often times expect. Sometimes it feels fine when we first start walking, but two minutes in we start to feel like we are battling muscle fatigue. No matter how heavy your weight may be, I’ve found that the purpose within us is developed when we choose to carry on.
Keep trusting him. You can make it. You can push through. Often times, it will get the hardest when you’re almost to the end. Keep a hold of the promises that God has given you. Lock your eyes on he who gives vision and you will then be able to visualize your destination. Keep pushing. It’s worth it.
The people of Israel prolonged their blessing because they kept setting up their camps in various places when God asked them to keep going. My word of advice, don’t be like the Israelites in this way y’all. Instead, CARRY ON.
When I was in high school and hit a very hard time in my life, I had a leader tell me that she saw a vision of me and God in battle together. He was leading me and making a way through the opposition before us. Whenever I was close to him and holding his back, I kept moving, but whenever I lifted my eyes to see my enemies or the battle, I stopped moving forward.
God wants to take you forward, my friend. He wants to carry the weights with you.
I’ve also learned that you will know the weight is NOT from God when it weighs you down so much that you can no longer walk. Weight like the expectations of man or the weight of sin and shame were weights that God never intended for us to carry.
Remember, He wants to build your muscles not break your bones.
Throughout my life so far, I have had MANY journeys of walking to the car with a duffel bag in my hand. Each trip around I have been given a new bag or a new weight inside the bag that’s heavier around each time. I’m sure in the future, years from now, I will laugh at what I thought was heavy because I will be carrying something much heavier. The journey isn’t always easy but I have found that the destinations God wants to bring us to are always worth it.
Personal Development Questions:
- What has God asked you to carry in this season?
- Are you persevering or choosing to camp at too many sites?
- Where is your focus? On God or on the weight?
- Is your weight from God or elsewhere? (yourself, other people, enemy)