It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The rEd Suitcase

One week to the day I decided to unpack my suitcase.
Maybe I chose to leave it because I would again have to visit the raw reality of the longing in my heart.  A longing that often leaves me confused and in angst.  The longing to be KNOWN.  The longing to be in relation with those who know me deeply and authentically.  Maybe I left it unpacked because the realness of returning to a place in which I am not known and often feel childlike, small, awkward, out of place was to much to bear.

As I looked at the rEd suitcase contemplating the task before me I start playing the reel in my head about the junk in my trunk.  All of the rubbish I have acquired on my life journey.  Junk that is heavy and burdensome to carry around.  I ponder if this is  what  keeps me from delving into the rEd suitcase, the unpacking of rawness and reality.  

I would have to unpack some junk if I unpacked that rEd suitcase and I wasn't ready for that.  I couldn't bring myself to deal with what was resonating in my heart.  I did not want to have to dig deep and search my soul.  I just wanted to be in the "bubble" where I was known.  The bubble where I was free to be me.  The bubble where I felt confident and worthy.  The bubble where I belonged.  The bubble where  I was  LOVED  DEEPLY.  The place where they get me and all of my "junk".  The place where they value and cherish me.  The place where I can have authentic, meaningful conversations.
I belong.  Just as I am, I belong in that bubble.

It occurred to me this morning….yes this morning….8 days after arriving back here to where I reside, that when I went home to my bubble it had been a year almost to the day that I had left my bubble.  I have been in this place I reside for just one year.  It also occurred to me that my junk I wasn't wanting to unpack was the feeling of being unknown, lacking a sense of belonging. 

I know I must press into the feeling to go where I neither fit in or belong because that is the setting chosen by the Author of my story. It is awkward and uncomfortable and 

I struggle.  

I struggle to reveal the real authentic me…..

I try. 

I try to talk to and connect with new people yet 
I feel so weak and unimportant and misunderstood.

And so…… 
I faced the daunting painful task of unpacking my rEd suitcase.  
I took on the task of unpacking the feelings of smallness and awkwardness.

I began taking each piece out and studying it.  
Looking at it closely and telling a story to me about what it meant. 

A beautiful bracelet hand made by my precious Patti, given to each Tas Philas.  A story of connection and belonging.  


Creations Beauty~Canmore Alberta

Another beautiful bracelet from my precious Patti because she knew I would love it and it reminded her of me.  A story of being known so intimately that she can pick a piece of jewelery that reflects who I am and know how it will move my heart.

A flashlight from Trev given to each of us girls so we would always have a Light to guide us while we were out in the wilderness chasing bears!  Kindness and care for us as a group of sisters.

A new scarf purchased to celebrate our red dress night.  The night we would celebrate connection and worthiness. A night we would celebrate each sister that had climbed out of the pit of yuck and rose up.

A card with such kind words from a person whom I know 
but had not had the priviledge of spending much time with. 
 A person who sees the REAL me and chose to enter into my story in authenticity. 
 A person who gave time.

A Book and Workbook given selflessly to me by a precious man.  
They were his for his own use with his Bible study group.
He gave them to me because he knows I hunger for Truth.

A big ol jar of peanut butter and a box full of bags of Ketchup chips as per request of my children who also miss the comfort of home. I value my children and LOVE them DEEPLY wanting only for them to feel like they belong in this place.

 Roots T-Shirts that say Canada as per request of my children to remind them of the place they belong, the place they to are known and loved deeply, the place they are rooted in.

And I look UP and give Thanks…..

Pouring out Gratitude for the richness of my Blessings.
Gratitude for each Gift and what they mean to my soul….

Each Gift given as a Light to shine on my soul reminding me that I am NOT small, I am NOT a child….

My attention is caught by one last remnant in my rEd suitcase…..

I reach in to the pocket of the lid of the rEd suitcase and I pull out the papers….

And I look....
 and my heart beats faster.....

I lay them out on my bed…
A lump forms in my throat and it is dry…..

Tears roll down my face…

My precious Artist….
she has captured my heart, rocked my soul yet again.

A picture for each of us…

Personal, very very personal.
From an 8 year old child.  
Innocent and untarnished from the yuck of the flesh.

She creates a piece for each of us.

My man's heart and love!

The calling my second born feels on his life.

The deep longing in my first borns
He let go of dreams and many years of training basketball to fulfill the longing in is heart.  
My third born loves dogs.  He wants to be a vet someday.

And for me...The Ark!  She knows I LOVE my Author!

She knows us.
She knows what moves us.
She knows our interests.


Untainted, untarnished childlike FAITH.

No barriers.
No judgement.
No gossip.
No skepticism.
No turned up nose.
No hurt.
No ill motives.
No selfish ambitions.
No expectations.
No busyness.

Nothing but time.
Time with us.
Time listening to us, watching us, just being present with us.

She knows. 
She knows us!

And I can only  WEEP!
And give thanks for her childlike Faith that is placed in her heart by the One who truly knows us!
To shine bright!
To bring Light to a dark place.
I give thanks for her Art created out of innocence!

Her Art, A Gift, given to her to share.  Shared with me to remind me I AM KNOWN!

Art courtesy and copyright of Jodene Shaw Mixed Media Artist


Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
 too great for me to understand!
~New Living Translation~

And I close my EMPTY rEd suitcase and put it in the closet.