In a week I will be in North Carolina for the Proverbs 31 She Speaks conference. I am excited, overwhelmed and a bit nervous. But thankfully in the past few days in place of some of the fear God has provided peace.
Today I had some time set aside in which I intended to focus on some prep work for when I will be gone. Now as that time has faded, I realize nothing I envisioned accomplishing has been crossed off my list. That could be a reason for panic and frustration, but God had plans so much bigger and better than mine. He was doing prep work I didn't even realize needed to be done.
He has shown me before I pack I have more to do than the simple things that made my list. Before I can pack my bags to go, I need to set down the ones I've been carrying.
So you're not confused, I haven't just returned from a trip. In the last 7 years I've rarely left the state! So you ask what am I talking about? It's the baggage I carry around from my past and misconceptions about who I am. It's the stuff that weighs me down and keeps me from seeing myself the way God does.
Now in the past 6 months God has helped me lighten the load a bit as He's helped me become more secure in Him. He's shined His light in the bag I carry and revealed things I didn't even know were there. I'm trusting Him more and living to please others less. I'm beginning to realize He doesn't compare me to anyone else, so I shouldn't either.
Even yesterday I was visiting with a friend and she shared how she sensed I was more at peace. I agreed and driving home reflected on how God has moved me from there to here - what a blessing to see Him take my pain and replace it with His peace.
But this morning after a long talk with my husband, I realized I wasn't allowing God to work in all areas. I was still holding on to some things - mistakes God had forgiven and others had too, but yet I had not.
And as the day has continued, this precious on-going conversation with God has as well. He has reminded me His blood covers it all and I can't continue to beat myself up over things He has forgotten and I can't let mistakes I've made define who I am - His daughter, one He loves and has a purpose for.
I know He will meet me at this conference and though I don't know what is in store, I trust He has a plan. But before I pack, I have to empty the bags - I have to lay it all down and He will lift me up. He's shown me though it will be important to pack the right things, I will never be prepared until I let Him remove all the wrong ones.