It’s Time To Unpack Your Bags

I always knew wanted two things from my life:
1. A great adventure
2. Someone to live the adventure with

But I always felt like I was waiting for the adventure, like maybe it would be the next thing, but not now.

After I graduated college, I chased adventure in a one-year ministry internship in another college town in my state, and quickly learned that was not a good fit for me.

I started looking at other options for careers and places to live, and got invited back to the town of my alma mater to help with a church plant. So I got a job as a social worker and moved back.

I felt like I was making a pretty big sacrifice coming back to my college town because I knew this whole dream of “adventure and someone to live it with” would be on hold while I was there. After all, I knew there were no husbands and probably minimal adventure in this mecca for transient 18-22 year olds.

So I gave God two years, and then I’d be gone. I felt like that was generous. After I did my two-year duty, I could move to India or somewhere else exotic and live the real adventure I was destined to live.

I wanted to get to the good stuff, to get on with my real life. To the real mission work. 

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After one year of living here, God threw down a challenge. He wanted me to unpack my bags in this little town and stay until he moved me.

This was a terrifying request.

I first got wind this was his challenge for me when my friend, who had been doing missions in Spain, told me her story about wanting to teach dance in Madrid, Spain, and how God moved her to this tiny town on the coast and told her to unpack her bags. It took all her courage to do it, but when she did two things happened:

1. She had the freedom to love and enjoy the moment and the people she was with and truly minister to them.
2. God ended up opening a door for her to move to Madrid and teach dance just like she wanted.

So when she surrendered and unpacked her bags, she got to enjoy her time in that small town AND God gave her what she wanted.

It sounded like a good deal, but I fought with the logic. God wasn’t asking me to unpack my bags in tiny coastal town in Spain. He wanted me to unpack them in The Middle of Nowhere, United States, cozied up with a bunch of college kids and no one my age. How was I going to find my adventure here?

God and I wrestled, and in usual form, he won. As in, he won me over. I unpacked my bags and erased my two year deadline off my mental chalkboard.

And that’s when things started to happen.

Once I stopped looking for the exit, I started to notice all the good things that were right around me.

One of those things was the man who is now my husband, Josh.

Two weeks after I unpacked my bags and really surrendered myself to all God had for me here, Josh and I started dating. And wouldn’t you know it, just before that infamous two year deadline I gave God, he gave me my husband, my “someone to live the adventure with”. Now we pastor a church and are raising our kids in this rapidly-growing, always-changing, used-to-be-small city, and it is one wild adventure.

I can’t tell you what God is going to do or what he will give you when you unpack your bags where you are. For me, he gave me my dreams in the city I couldn’t wait to leave. For my friend, she unpacked her bags and God fulfilled her dream by moving her from her current place.

It looks different for all of us.

But I can assure you he wants to give you the desires of your heart AND he wants you to leave an impact and a legacy wherever you go. 

And you can’t do that with your bags packed, looking all nomadic.

When you unpack your bags, you will receive the gift of enjoying the people and moments around you. And you will be released to leave the impact and legacy God has for you.

What’s keeping you from unpacking your bags and living fully present? Or do you have a time when you decided to unpack your bags – what did God do? Share in the comments below.

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One thought on “It’s Time To Unpack Your Bags

  1. That’s good. When I first moved home, I thought I would be here for a month, two months, maybe til the end of summer. Partway through the summer, though, I “unpacked my bags,” and now I’m loving life in the town I used to say I would “never” move back to. And God is fulfilling many of my dreams right in my own hometown. He’s funny like that.

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