Unpacking My Bags

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete,

not lacking anything.”

James 1:2-4

My then boyfriend (now husband) looked over at me with a grin as we drove the deposit from the retail store we worked at to the bank. I am sure a girly giggle escaped my lips as he said to me, “We have two hundred dollars in cash right here. Let’s run away to Mexico.” Not that two hundred would have gotten us far. We’ll also ignore the fact that his suggestion may not have been too godly – what with the stealing and us not being married and all. He wasn’t serious.

Sometimes running away does sound tempting, though. Kids fighting. Dishes piling. Bills mounting. Stress looming. I confess that when the going gets tough, I want to get going – as in as far away from whatever is stressing me out as possible.

My longings to escape turn into an ever-growing “if only” list.

If only Jason and I could go on vacation, just the two of us. If only I could go on some retreat. If we could just get another date night. If the girls would just take a nap. If I could just get a day to myself, or even just five minutes, then I could get refilled. Then I would feel recharged. Then I would be able to be nicer, more loving, overflowing with patience.

 If I could just run away for a while.

Of course, after one break, all I want is another…and another…and another. Don’t get me wrong. Vacations are good, dates are good, naps are GOOD! But they can’t be what I live for.

God has been showing me how I need to trust Him to sustain me right where I am. The situations I want to run away from are actually the tools He is using to change me into the woman I desire to be. It is where my patience is challenged that my patience is being developed. It is in the moments where I don’t want to be kind that He is showing me by HIS power I can hold my tongue.

I need times of refreshing. I need moments of stress-free quiet. But I also need to remember “getting away from it all” is not a magic pill that will work out holiness in me. It is in the refiner’s fire that all of the dross will be burned away. And the Lord will be my refreshing, my strength, my portion – even in the midst of the fire.

Do I want to drop hints to my hubby some days that I think we still do need to run away to Mexico? Yep. But most days, I am seeing I need to unpack my bags. Looks like, since I want to be mature and complete in Him, I won’t be running away after all.

11 Responses to Unpacking My Bags
  1. Kris Roach
    November 8, 2012 | 7:19 am

    Home is where the heart is…you would not like Mexico once you were there, maybe a resort area for a couple days is fine, but life here is WAY better and God gave you a beautiful life full of blessings! Loved this post…

    • Kimberly
      November 8, 2012 | 7:52 am

      Indeed. I would miss my short people and all of my friends and family. And really…I am not much of a traveler. But I definitely have issues with wanting to hole up, hide, run away when life feels like too much. SO glad I can call on Him, trust in Him, and find joy right where I am. 🙂

  2. Carol Hatcher
    November 8, 2012 | 10:15 am

    Love it! I’m with you on wanting to pack my bags sometimes. Have you ever seen O Brother Where Art Thou? Whenever I run errands and have been gone a long time, Alan will text me, “Did you R-U-N-N-O-F-T ?” (It’s a quote from the movie? LOL. I’m so thankful I can get refreshed even amidst the looming bills and piled high dishes. 😉 Thanks for this!

    • Kimberly
      November 8, 2012 | 9:07 pm

      LOL. Yes, we have seen that movie. Now when I am feeling overwhelmed I will be sure to tell Jason I am going to “R-U-N-N-O-F-T”. 🙂

      Love you!

  3. Melissa D
    November 8, 2012 | 12:28 pm

    I too am guilty of wanting to run away or “hole up”. I get so frustrated easily with everything and I just want to run, get out and leave it in my wake. You’re right we need to Give it UP to Him and live in Him not in us. I needed this lately! I am sooo incredibly happy I found this blog!! 🙂

    • Kimberly
      November 8, 2012 | 9:08 pm

      So glad you stopped by, Melissa! And so glad we can run to Him when we want to run away!

      K 🙂

  4. Peggy
    November 8, 2012 | 1:57 pm

    Blessings Kimberly,

    I’m in Mexico, so where do I run now? (it’s really not the best choice) I miss all of what you wrote.

    This is me to a “T”… “A Runner”(Twila Paris song, hmmm). I am so well known to escape by running away from the problem so I really needed this. Well written! This definitely caught my eye. And the verse is one I’ve come across twice so I guess it’s time to listen to it and focus on it!

    My recent favorite song from Kari Jobe is on her new CD (in Spanish but I think English too, I just am not sure of the title in English) but possibly “I Run to YOU!” and that’s exactly what I do whether in MX or USA. We so need that time away with Him. (ya think 16 yrs.is enough to mature or come back from running away? – lol)

    Thanks Kim!

    • Kimberly
      November 8, 2012 | 9:11 pm

      Hmmmm…if I ever DO run away to Mexico, I will now know I can look you up. 🙂 I will have to find that song by Kari Jobe. She is such a gifted singer. So glad you came by and commented, Peggy!

      Ever learning to run TO Him instead of away from my problems,
      K 🙂

      • Peggy
        November 8, 2012 | 9:22 pm

        I guess it’s just “Run to You”
        Did not know if I could link it and did not want to loose my comment. You would love the entire CD of “Where I Find You”

        In Spanish, A Ti, Correre!

        And I live in a popular/tourist resort city on the Pacific but not too far south. Trust me, it’s hot enough here and way too much violence, corruption and injustices, so I hide away here.
        The only requirement to run away to here
        is you know this song in Spanish and don’t mind sleeping on the floor or 4 dogs.

        Thanks K:) Ask P to come along, I think you two are friends that’s how I started following you and you passed my blog on to her so that’s how I met her. I also watch your comments on Melissa’s OBS!

  5. Shelly
    November 28, 2012 | 4:31 pm

    Well said, Kimberly! Thank you for being faithful to deliver the Word God plants in you!