The Baggage We Carry Day 2 – Failed Relationships
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11, ESV)
“Remember not the former things, not consider the things of old.” (Isaiah 43:18, ESV)
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13, ESV)
Love is a beautiful thing, but when it turns sour, it’s incredibly painful. Many of us have past relationships we wish we could erase, wiping away the wound they left on our hearts. I’m sure the woman at the well that we read about in John chapter 4 felt that way. With an embarrassingly long list of past husbands, she felt ashamed and was likely the source of gossip in her hometown.
How has love hurt you? Do past relationships haunt you or make you feel unworthy of love today? Do you feel you must be flawed as you continue to struggle with what you experienced previously? The truth is that past relationships that turned ugly can do a lot of damage emotionally, and when our emotions are damaged, we often carry that baggage with us, being enslaved to negative thought patterns.
Failed relationships aren’t just limited to romantic relationships. They include feeling rejected by unloving parents or family members that have deeply hurt us and caused emotional scars. When parents fail to love their children and raise them in a safe environment, the scars run deep. These are wounds that make connecting with others challenging.
Relational baggage is tough and can often impede healthy relationships in the present. We can wrestle with feeling unworthy of love, or look for love in unhealthy ways that further damage us and cause added confusion. It may seem as if there is no help or hope for those deeply wounded by love, but there is One who loves perfectly and He loves you—scars and all!
It’s absolutely true that professional counseling is a helpful tool in healing past relational issues; we firmly believe and accept that at Vine to Branches. But it’s also true that our ultimate healing is found in Christ, a healing that releases us from the burdens we carry and transfers them to His capable shoulders. Our Savior has felt more rejection that we can ever begin to imagine, so He understands our pain in this.
If you’re currently struggling with relationships that deeply damaged you, I urge you to do two things today: Seek out a professional Christian counselor for help, and take your burdens to the Lord in prayer. As you tell Him about your pain, ask for guidance and direction in the steps you need to take, then be willing to do what He lays on your heart. One place to start may be forgiving the one(s) who hurt you; this is a giant step toward freedom. We pray that you have the courage to do whatever He leads you to do so that you might experience true freedom from the baggage you’re carrying.