Marriage is a journey. The logistics of this journey are different for every two people that join hearts and hands and choose to take this journey. The journey begins with each person packing their own bags and then they meet up and set out together. She has her baggage. He has his baggage. She has her GPS programmed her way and he has his programmed his way. She has her dreams and expectations of what the future should hold and he has his own dreams and expectations of that very same future. They have discussed these dreams and expectations as best as they can, but what they have not yet learned is that discussion is different from actually walking it out.
In this baggage we carry all the experiences of our lives that we are trying to pack away in order to step into this new future together as well as all the things we want to use to build this new future together. When we both show up to the wedding dragging a 26 foot U-haul behind us… the journey is going to be a lot tougher than if we both show up with a lightweight backpack. Sometimes one person shows up with the U-haul and the other has a backpack and this can make the journey just as hard and just as frustrating.
When we stand up there at the altar and say “I do” and “I will”, we are both so full of adrenaline and bliss that we don’t even care about the baggage, because we are young and strong and fresh on the journey. The baggage doesn’t seem heavy or burdensome. We both are convinced that we can handle it all just fine. However, we are not aware that there will be times when we will have to carry the others baggage nor do we realize that there will be baggage we will also pick up while we walk the journey.
Along the way there will be baggage that is handed to the both of us and in order to carry it we will most likely have to stop and choose to either leave behind the baggage we brought with us, or quite the journey because we refuse to drop the old baggage in order to be able to carry the new. This can be a hard decision, especially when some of the baggage we might have to discard has not been opened in years and most likely never was wanted to be opened again. Perhaps it was brought on the journey for the simple fact that we wanted to make sure it remained safely tucked away, hidden, and forcedly forgotten. I understand, I really do… and so does God.
Therefore they inquired further of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?” So the Lord said, “Behold, he is hiding himself by the baggage.”
(1 Samuel 10:22)
When God called Saul to be the first king of Israel he chose to hide by the baggage. He didn’t want to step out into the unknown and move forward on this journey that God had called him too. He wanted to stay hidden. Yet, in this life we don’t get to remain hidden or stagnant anywhere. We will move, it will either be forward or it will be backward.
Then David left his baggage in the care of the baggage keeper, and ran to the battle line and entered in order to greet his brothers.
(1 Samuel 17:22)
In marriage we will either leave our baggage in the care of the baggage keeper or we will hide by it and be drug backwards by the weight of trying to keep hold of it.
Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
David chose to leave his baggage and ran to the battle line. In doing so he was able to enter into the future that God had for him. David knew that he couldn’t carry all his baggage into this new journey. He couldn’t fight the battles he needed to fight and lend a hand to those who needed a hand if his were already both full, and neither can we.
We come to marriage with our bags packed. We come programmed with the way we think things will be. We come ready to take each other hand in hand and we don’t realize how many twists and turns and detours and hills and mountains will lay before us. Life brings us to the foot of a mountain time and time again and in order to get over the coming hump, you often have to leave baggage behind. If you choose not to, then this is when the hand in hand stops. You either leave the baggage and take old of the hand, or you grab tightly to the baggage and push the hand away.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
My husband and I entered our marriage both dragging 26 ft u-hauls behind us. We have both had a lot of unpacking and casting away in our nineteen years of this journey. Many times we have come to a mountain that seemed to high and too hard and we held in our hands baggage that we really didn’t want to get into and didn’t want left behind. The baggage of opinions, personality, and habits can be even heavier and harder to leave behind than the baggage of carefully packed away pre-journey sin, but if we want to get over the hump we have to deal with the baggage.
In the beginning we usually just start discarding our own baggage, because we realize it was like our favorite old t-shirt, comfortable but not really that important. We don’t even discuss what we are casting away with the other, we just do it and move on. Then we come to the foot of a mountain when the other looks at us and we literally have to choose the baggage or them. This is where it gets hard. However, if we will just trust the Baggage Keeper and leave our burden with Him… we will realize that what looked like an unclimbable impassable mountain, was really just another hump.
Once we get over this hump the decision of the baggage no longer is a choosing of his or hers. Once we get over this hump when the next mountain comes we have lightened our load and combined our bags. Now we are able to sit down and go through the baggage together and lighten the load by combining and dividing according to each other’s strength at the current moment. Now we do not look at the mountain with fear and anxiety, but with hope and determination.
Beloved, I don’t know where you are on your journey. Perhaps you have not even began the journey of marriage yet, or perhaps you are reading this and you are standing there staring at that mountain that is forcing you to choose your baggage or your partner in the journey. I know it’s scary… but precious one, once you lay that burden down at the foot of the cross and take their hand and turn to face that mountain… you will discover it was just a hump.
Once you get over that hump, yes, there will be more mountains to face, but you face them together… carrying only the baggage you both have decided is needed for the next leg of the journey.