If you are ready to lose the baggage of the past and move forward with the future, then you are in the right place! This week, I’m continuing my Injured Runner Series. I’ve focused on some key principles to keep a positive mindset and continue moving forward despite injury.

I slipped on the ice running right before Christmas, messed my ankle up hard core, endured surgery, and the injury has sidelined me for months. I’m finally up walking around (almost normally), sometimes with a brace, but still not back to 100 percent of where I was.

There is a long road of recovery ahead still as I work to gain mobility and strength back into both my foot and ankle. Not only did I lose all of the muscles in my calf and thigh, but I also lost all of it in my foot, and it’s a couple sizes smaller than my left one! I look fairly normal walking around now, but I know that I’m not where I want to be quite yet.

Springtime = Spring Cleaning!

The good news is that it’s FINALLY springtime, and springtime means SPRING CLEANING!! It is a season full of decluttering our houses, eliminating the junk that’s been piling up, sorting through clothes that kids have outgrown, and donating toys no longer played with.

It’s a season full of cleaning all the nooks and crannies: window washing, scrubbing floors, washing walls. All the places we knowingly neglect on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. Instead we wait until the “right” time to get it all done. It just compiles until that time comes and we can no longer stand the build up.

The baggage of the past holds us captive from our future.

There’s one more type of cleaning I highly recommend in this season, and that’s cleaning out the baggage that may be holding you back. Springtime is the perfect time to dive into this concept. This season is a time to refresh and renew our houses. Why not make it a time to refresh and renew ourselves too?

Baggage From the Past

A few blog posts ago I posed the question, “What is your crutch?” I was sharing about how I held onto my crutches way too long, and they held me back from healing as quickly as I could have. Keeping baggage from the past can have the same effect.

Related post: “What is your crutch?”

Throughout my injury, there were some key resources that aided me in my daily life:

  • I had CRUTCHES to support me, which were vital whenever there were stairs involved.
  • A friend lent me a SHOWER BAG for my leg initially after my surgery so that my cast didn’t get wet. That was so much easier than figuring out how to tie a bunch of plastic bags together or saran wrap my entire leg every time!
  • Then there was the SHOWER CHAIR which was a complete lifesaver. To be honest, I may have gone days or weeks without bathing otherwise!
  • The BOOT, though extra uncomfortable, stabilized my ankle so it wouldn’t get bumped or be messed with.
  • I had my SCOOTER to get around easier and have access to my hands (I loved and miss that basket that was on the front of it!)

Letting Go

As helpful as these resources were to me throughout my injury, when I began the journey to walk again, I realized that I needed to be willing to let go of each of these items, one at a time, otherwise they would just hold me back. I no longer wanted to dwell on the injury, but rather I wanted to focus on the recovery.

In doing so, I also had to rid myself of the trauma I held onto. Paranoia set in, and I didn’t even want to walk around for fear that I would slip and fall again. It made me a crazy mom for a while too always cringing when my kids would run or walk on an uneven surface, or just play like they normally did! Trauma is real, and we need to be willing to face it in order to let it go. If we don’t let it go, we’ll remain where we are.

Wandering for 40 Years

Did you know that dwelling on the past can keep us from our Promised Land? The Israelites wandered the wilderness for FORTY YEARS because they were stuck in the past. Did you know that the trip should have only taken them about forty days? They began looking back at their time as Egyptian slaves, but with rose-colored glasses, and they figured it wasn’t so bad. They had “provision” after all.

Justification about the brutal life they survived in Egypt happened all over the place. Their minds tricked them to remember the past as more pleasurable than it was rather than to take responsibility for their future and step into God’s call and promises for their lives.

As I’ve been reflecting these past few months, it hit me that the baggage of the past holds us captive from our future.

Final Stretch

What’s weighing you down? Is there anything reminding you of your past failures or circumstances? Can you pin-point anything holding you back?

Choose to get rid of the past regrets or painful memories. It’s time to clear out the physical and emotional baggage so you can move on intentionally.

You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are still full of yesterday’s junk. — Louise Smith, female NASCAR racer

As you embrace this season, are you ready to do some spring cleaning of yourself? Are you ready to dig deep inside and draw out that baggage, whether emotional or physical? Can you let go of the past so you can embrace your future?

Don’t wander in the wilderness for 40 years when your Promised Land may only be 40 days away. The past can’t change, but you can change your future.

Remember, you are a winner. Just run YOUR race!

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