30/30: Welcome, Ghosts

7 03 2008

baggage.gifThis week I was having writers block about Emotional Baggage (My Secret Message #4). It’s a topic we all struggle with… hurtful words and actions by others, regret from the past, doubt, hurt, fear, lost things, etc. Last Sunday at Epic, we brought forward all our baggage and gave it to Christ. We’ll leave it at the “unclaimed baggage” counter. We can’t carry it anymore. It was a powerful worship experience as Christ took our baggage and set us free from the junk in our past.

About year ago I was listening to a song entitled “Welcome, Ghosts” by Explosions in the Sky and thinking about all my emotional baggage and those voices/ghosts from the past. The following words flowed as the song played.

LINK TO THE SONG

http://www.temporaryresidence.com/mp3s/explosions_welcomeghosts.mp3

Welcome Ghosts.

Welcome Ghosts from My Past…You have come to haunt me. You have come to bring me down. You have come to remind me of the mistakes that I’ve made. You have come to replay all the hurtful words said to me. Will you ever leave me alone? Why do you constantly torment me? You steal what little joy I have today and rob me of the peace I have. You take me on a journey to those dark places of my mind where I am haunted by everything in my past.

Welcome Ghosts…You come to fill my mind with thoughts of regret, thoughts of missed opportunities. You remind me of the broken heart within me caused by others. You remind me of the broken hearts in others caused by me. I’ve always felt powerless against you. I try to wish you away, but that only makes you stay longer. Why do you taunt me? Why won’t you leave me? I am so tired of going to that place over and over in my mind…why again? Will this ever end?

Welcome Ghosts…My reaction is always to try to hide from you. But when I hide from you, I end up hiding from the people who love me the most. Life seems to stop, as I sink deeper and deeper in the mud. Every step forward seems like a step in reverse. Will I ever overcome this? Will I ever be free from you? Will life ever seem to move forward?

Welcome Ghosts…I’ve tried to never think of you again, but you always come back. I’ve tried to change myself on my own, but I can’t do it. I am not strong enough. I am not brave enough. I am too weak. The hurt that I feel goes too deep inside me. The pain is too deep for healing. Will I ever be whole? Will I ever not be afraid? Will courage ever replace fear? Will I always be that scared little kid…all alone?

Welcome Ghosts…In my darkness, I hear a knock on the door. Why do more of you come to haunt me? To my surprise, this one is not like the others. There is something different about him. He sits down with me and says “I have heard your cries. I have come to set you free.” He asks me about my life and begins to listen to my story. He tells me the story of what He dreamt about when He created me. He whispers the first words of real hope that I have ever heard, “I have come so that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” As we talk deep into the night, I hang on every word he says.

Welcome Ghosts…Another day awakens with you, but today something is different. I don’t understand it fully, but something has changed. I don’t have to face you alone. I don’t have to be powerless against you. I don’t have to give in to you. There is someone here with me now who is walking with me. Let me introduce him to you. He is the Lord of this world. He is the Lord of my thoughts. He is the Lord of my past. He has come to set me free. You laugh at me and say, “Yeah, you’ve tried that before, it doesn’t work. He can’t really change you. This is just the way you are. This is the way you’ll always be.”

Welcome Ghosts…He has covered my sin with his blood. He has forgiven me of my past. He has set me free to live today. He has redeemed my whole life – past, present and future. I am different person now. I am not defined by words spoken to me. I am not defined by my past. I am not even defined by actions today. I am not defined by anything I did or anything I failed to do. I defined by who He says I am…His child, chosen and dearly loved.

Welcome Ghosts…You mock me again “We’re still here. He didn’t erase the regret in your mind. We still have control over you.” For a moment, despair rushes over me. “Maybe what they are saying is true? Maybe change is just a pipe dream for me? It’s works for everyone else, but not me.”

Welcome Ghosts…In the darkness, I see a light of hope. Everything is not the same as it always was. He didn’t let go of me. Jesus is still here. He didn’t leave. I ran away, but He followed. I gave up, but He didn’t give up on me. He hasn’t let me go. He looks me in the eyes and whispers “I am here to stay…I will never leave you or forsake you.”

Welcome Ghosts…In Jesus, I have found rest for my restless heart. I am walking with Him now. He owns me now, not you. You are welcome to come along with us on this journey. He is rewriting the story of my life. The ending is not defined by the beginning. My future is not determined by my past. There is joy and hope on the road ahead.

Welcome Ghosts From My Past…Actually I am glad you are here. You remind me of His love for me. You remind me of His forgiveness. You remind me of His healing. You remind me of His grace. Without you I would have never known the depth of His love or experienced the depth of His healing in me.

Welcome Ghosts of My Past…you are welcome to stay with us as long as you want. You are a part of me. I can’t deny it. I can’t hide it. But now if you want talk to me, you have to go through Him. He is the Lord of my life. He is the Lord of my past and He is the Lord of my future.

Welcome, Ghosts.

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2 responses

16 06 2008
Eric

Tim,

I am speaking in a couple of weeks on the topic of emotional baggage, and I love your graphic. I found it on a google image search, and was wondering if you can send me a higher resolution image for my powerpoint. I’d love to steal the art work 😉

-Eric

13 09 2010
Tony Sutherland

Great blog Tim! I also like the fairly odd parents costume! I totally identify. I preached a message called BAGGAGE just this past weekend from Ezekiel 12:7. I had never seen this blog before. I recently blogged about it as well. I liked this If you have time check it out. Also, check out my website as well… Great Pic. Can I use it too?

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