When Richard and I moved last year we
fought over discussed whether we should pack a heavy bucket of industrial sized tools.
“Hon, they’re rusty. They’re heavy. You haven’t used them in five years. Let’s sell them in a garage sale or give them to someone who will use them.”
He held tight to the oversized white bucket. “I might need them someday.”
So we lugged the rusty, 75 lb. bucket of tools on to the moving truck and across the state lines. They’re still with us — rusting away under the house.
Some of us carry around our old selves like that bucket of rusty tools.
I want it.
I might need it.
I don’t want to give it up.
I HATE IT.
I wish I could just let go.
It doesn’t give me what I thought it would.
I want it . . .
You are sick of this cycle. You are sick of hanging on. It’s been going on for a long time and you might even feel trapped.
Maybe it served a purpose at one time. It numbed you. It was your go-to. But now it’s heavy. It’s a burden. You don’t want it and you certainly don’t need it.
How do you let go?
. . . put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22b-23 (NIV)
We call it what is. . .
It’s our old self. It’s not who we are.
We stop offering excuses about why we might need it, and point to the fact that we’ve carried it around for years and it’s not useful at all.
It’s a rusty bucket of tools.
Calling it what it is might feel hard in the beginning, because it’s been such a part of you. But oh, the healing that awaits when you strip it of it’s power.
When you call it what it is: a burden.
One God doesn’t want you to lug around for one.more.second.
We let go
Your grip is going to be tight at first. That’s okay. Remind yourself that it’s a heavy rusty bucket. Put it down.
Over and over again.
One day you walk past it and this thing that used to keep you stuck no longer looks shiny. Or attractive. It’s just an old bucket of rusty tools.
Why in the world did this hold such power over me?
And you walk past it, leaving it behind forever.
We begin to think differently
The other day someone said things about me that were not true and damaging. I don’t know her. We’ve never met face to face.
“Are you okay, Suz,” a friend asked gently when she read the words.
My old self would have been tempted to make this personal. To hurt because of the words. To want to fix it. To help this person understand how unkind and untruthful the words were.
But my new self knows that people are messy. God loves her so much. She’s a work in progress, just like me.
But there was more.
Those words didn’t represent me so I didn’t have to claim them.
Believe me, this is a work of God in my heart. It’s something He’s done over time.
Because my old self would have held them close and worried and wept over them. Or wrangled them until they tied me in knots of anger.
Over time, as we walk closely with God, our thinking changes from our old selves to our new. In cases like this, we find what we need. We stop fighting useless battles, or trying to prove who we are.
We know whose we are and that’s sufficient.
We put on our new self every day
My “new self” is that I’m His. It’s the truth.
So are you.
So we claim that identity daily. That completely changes the cycle to:
I want Him.
He’s so good.
He changes me
I LOVE HIM
I’m so glad I surrendered.
He is all that I need.
I want Him.
Do you need a resource to help you break a cycle?
I want to share two resources that will help you #livefree. One (The Unburdened Heart) helps you lift the burden you are sick of carrying. The other (The Mended Heart) helps you fill the gaps left behind.
These resources are gentle. They are healing. I pray that they bless you. ~ Suzie
I am so glad that the Lord has faithfully set your heart on his love and grace. It is hard when people say, do or act hurtful, but it is in these moments where we have the opportunity to fall back onto Jesus and remember his promises. It is so hard. The Lord really is doing a powerful work through you. I celebrate his beautiful work-in-progress that is – Suzie.
Suzie, your post reminds me of how we can sometimes fall back into bad habits if we don’t stay diligent in prayer and study of God’s word. I’m participating in #keepitshut OBS, and thoroughly enjoying it! But I’m also remembering how much I need to keep my mouth and my heart in check:) Thankful for His gentle but oh-so-needed lessons today!
Yes, yes, yes!
“Over time, as we walk closely with God, our thinking changes from our old selves to our new. In cases like this, we find what we need. We stop fighting useless battles, or trying to prove who we are.”
Thank God for His ability to transform our thinking!
Great post, Suzie!
“Those words didn’t represent me so I didn’t have to claim them.”
and how true.
I appreciate the truth in this so much and will remind myself of this if and when I’m in a similar situation again.
Thank you for sharing
This post resonated with me. I am becoming that person who can walk past the stuff that once weighed her down both figuratively and literally–breaking my addiction/obsession with food for comfort in addition to other things! I must add that your books were tools that God used to help me get to this point. I highly recommend them to anyone who is struggling to let go of their old self. I am as Lysa TerKeurst (hope I spelled her name right) says making “imperfect progress”. Thank you for all that you have done to help me and others like me!! Be blessed!!
Oh my goodness I can relate so much having moved twice last year! After having thrown out some items in preparation for our first move we came up with the rule that every time we bought something we had to throw something away…well you know that didn’t last long!! Our second move involved the same process and it was the same challenge. I want it…I need it…I know I haven’t worn it in 2 years, but I might!
It was so freeing to leave some items behind. Things that hindered and didn’t need to move forward with us. Things that had some use but not to us. We donated, we trashed…and we moved forward to a new season with freedom and release.
Thank you for this awesome reminder today Suzie xox
Suzie, thank you for this timely post. What jumped out to me, “My old self would have been tempted to make this personal.” I have done that most of my life but especially with a friend the last 4 years. “I am too tired to tell her again, and she didn’t listen before, so I have had to separate myself from her.” Now I’m home 24/7 mostly for health reasons and I’m gaining strenth in Gods Word, Wendy’s Read Through the Word, your words and I’ve started your first book. My new self says, ” I am a daughter of God and I deserve to be heard, happy, and enjoy my life each day.”
Oh did I so need this today! Thank You Suzie!! There is freedom in letting go and then clinging to Him!
God is so good! All of the time! I was just sitting here on my couch praying about this very topic before I opened your emailed message. I have been plagued recently, daily, hourly with thoughts of the past that have been torturing me, causing me to be not so nice to my husband and to not be able to have a positive thought process. I was asking God for help in this area because I am very tired of letting this burden go only to pick it back up again and allow it to make me miserable everyday. I have traveled this cycle for years now and I need to be free of it! MY heart is tired of carrying this baggage around. I own both of your books on this subject and am going to begin reading them today!
Donna, we are here for you as you read the books. I have an amazing prayer team and a strong group of women who love to come alongside and encourage women as they live free!
Sometimes words just do not come out right from those who are wounded and weary and angry about anyone, anything and everything. Their toxic words wound our our ears and hearts and minds and make us question ourselves. Someone described these words as the “devil’s chatter”. Suzie you are an amazing woman of God. You have greatly impacted my life and influenced my spiritual life. You are important in the Kingdom of God. Someday, I hope to meet you. Meanwhile, put that smile back on your pretty face and the glory of Jesus in your heart.
Thank you sweet Marilynn. I am good. You are so right. Words can come from a hurting place and there is grace for each of us!
Thank you, Thank you, Thank You! Your words often speak to my heart and that is so true today. Your line, “Those words didn’t represent me so I didn’t have to claim them” hit me smack dab in the chest. Not only for the future but for the past. I will treasure this, plaster it on my forehead and on my heart. Thank you for the tools that help me recover.
God morning Suzie, I’m praying for you a spirit filled and safe trip. I pray you dressed warm enough.
I love this. : ) Thanks, mom. I promise I brought my coat, hat and scarf. Thanks for loving on this 50+ year-old Gaga with such mama love. <3
This is a post filled with truth. We so need to remind ourselves daily so as to be able to walk in our new identity each & every day. So glad to join you today!
He’s still working on me, Suzie, but when I look back I can see how far I’ve come. It’s all because of Him. You’ve inspired me to keep moving forward today. I’m so thankful for the promise in Philippians that He who started the work in me will continue until it’s finished. It’s ultimately not up to me, and that’s a relief. Thank you for letting Him use you.
Thanks so much for sharing your space and hosting this. Today I wrote an original because I got the prompt in advance!
And by the way, how did you know I was carrying around my plastic bucket of rusty, HEAVY tools? LOL! Man did this speak to me! Thanks for sharing! Reminded me of this passage:
Matthew 28-30, 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I had the great blessing of hearing you speak at a conference this weekend in NJ. What a blessing it was. I was married 30 years, living with 2 of our 3 sons and my 3 grandsons. I knew something was wrong. I felt like am outsider in my own home. I loved Jesus so much and one day on the way home from work I said, “Lord, I know this is a dangerous prayer, but I can’t hold these balls in the air one more day. Do you want me to leave my home and become a missionary. Quit my job as a warden of a state prison with over 2000 inmate? Whatever it is, I’m ready. I promise you I will do what you want” and I went home. Made my husband dinner, as usual. Then I went into the bathroom. My husband cell phone was on the sink. I
looked at it. There was a text from my daughter in law, who I loved liked my own child. It was 5 little words. “I love you so much”. It changed my life. In short, my family had become my idol. As soon add I saw the text, I looked up at God and I praised his name. My Lord has always held me in the palm of my hand. I was alone for the first time in my life. Not alone. Jesus was with me. I forgave my husband. I know it sounds crazy. But the Lord laid it on my heart. We still have so much healing to go.
I pray that God continues His healing in your heart.
I loved your church and the conference. It was such a joy!