We were driving down the highway.

I saw a shoe. Then a couple of shirts.

A sock.

Scattered for nearly a mile where all kinds of clothing, a second shoe, a few pair of unmentionables.

Finally, an overturned, half-open, battered and broken piece of luggage resting on the side of the road.

That scattering of clothes down the highway reminds me of my journey to unpack the past. 

One layer at a time, unwanted items have been pulled from my tattered legacy and discarded.

Words that once identified me, but that aren’t true according to scripture.

Tossed it out.

Unforgiveness that seems to make sense in light of what took place, but that kept me trapped.

Tossed it out.

Parenting and behavior patterns based on emotions, but that only continued the cycle of hurt.

Tossed it out.

Maybe, like me, you’ve been unpacking. You’ve tossed out the clutter and suddenly you have lots of room in your tattered legacy.

Throw away that old tattered legacy, and let’s repack together. 

Words that build you up, and that light up the heart of your child.

Pack it in.

Compassion or forgiveness where bitterness wants to take up residence.

Pack it in. 

Discovering new ways to think, relate, and view your child and yourself.

Pack it in. 

Can I tell you something?

Unpacking may feel like you have nothing to hold onto. New is scary. But when we finally hold only the good in our hands and hearts, we are prepared to embrace a powerful truth.

The past shaped you, but it does not define you.

You are not required to repeat the same ‘ole junk with your beautiful child. 

You are not identified in any way by someone else’s mistakes or evil actions. 

You have every potential to be a good mom, and a woman of incredible faith. 

It is never too late to change. 

All this week, we’ll discover what it means to repack.

Putting new tools in your hands to grow a beautiful branch on your family tree.

One that is healthy. Whole. Secure. Fun.

And normal, whatever that looks like for your unique family.


mom2beRead Chapter Thirteen in The Mom I Want to Be: Rising Above Your Past to Give Your Kids a Great Future

If you are working with a small group, turn to page 217 for small group questions. 

Q: What is one item you know it’s time to toss out of your tattered legacy?

Q: Imagine a brand new piece of luggage. Pack in the good things from your past. What are they?

Q: Now, prayerfully consider one item you tossed (or are in the process of unpacking), and ask God to help you repack something healthier. (Let’s talk about this and take it deeper, if you want.)

Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. Underline it in your Bible. Write it in lipstick on your mirror, if it helps you remember the new Jesus is doing inside of you. Memorize it so it soaks truth into your being.

Q: What does this quote, “The past shaped you, but it doesn’t identify you,” mean to you?