Perspective on the Loose

I watched the luggage leisurely slink and shake its way past me on the squeaky airport conveyor belt. Each suitcase looking strangely like the one before; strangely like the one behind. My eyes eagerly scanned the sea of bags for just one thing: my suitcase. The luggage continued to wind and circle past me, claimed by other tired travelers on my flight. The conveyer belt slowed, shuddered, and then stopped altogether.

I suspiciously eyed those around me. Maybe someone had mistakenly grabbed my case. This couldn’t be everything from our flight, right?! I hurriedly glanced around the baggage claim area for a navy suitcase with a hideous leftover gold Christmas ribbon dangling from the handle. Nope. Nothing.

With empty hands I made my way to the airline customer service desk to inquire about my missing bag. A girl with big bangs and copious amounts of glossy red lipstick greeted me, popping and snapping her wad of gum as she impatiently waited for my driver’s license and ticket stubs. I proceeded to give her all my flight information and received this encouraging response: “Um, yeah. This happens all the time. We’ll have to call you when we find it.”  More popping. More snapping. But no real answers.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.  ~  Proverbs 16:9

Awesome. All my clothes. Makeup. Podcast mic. Everything I needed for the writing conference I was attending. Misplaced in a world of computers, tracking of flights, and scanning of bags. Lost. Gone. And apparently it happens all the time. I wondered if that was supposed to make me feel better somehow.

So I did the one thing I knew to do. I sent up a huge flare prayer. Then I took a deep breath and texted my husband while trying my best not to go to pieces. And with a lump in my throat and a sick feeling in my stomach, I admitted it was totally out of my control. I looked around the baggage claim area one last time, hoping for my luggage to magically materialize. When it did not, I walked out with the clothes on my back, my purse, and two dear sympathetic friends to comfort and console me.

As I pondered my missing suitcase (in my borrowed clothing from my generous roommate), I came to the conclusion that it was all just STUFF. The world didn’t stop simply because I was without my carefully selected convention outfits and appropriately coordinated jewelry. Apparently what I needed was a little attitude adjustment and to be reminded to clothe myself in HIS righteousness, not my own.

You see, God has a habit of being God-of-the-last-minute with me. Does He do that with you too? He truly knows what is best for His children. He does. This time He let me sweat it out and stay in my prayerful state-of-waiting for 32 hours before miraculously making my luggage reappear. And let me tell you, I was a joyful recipient by the time it arrived, praising God from whom ALL blessings flow, quite thankful to discontinue borrowing all my clothes (although LISA ALLEN’S offer to share her wardrobe was awfully tempting).

It’s a lifetime lesson to learn to hold loosely to the temporary and cling to the eternal, for all of us.

Maybe I simply needed to lose my luggage to regain my perspective. To adjust my point-of-view to a place where I could dwell on the importance of His purpose and His plan (versus my own). For the stuff that’s here today, may be gone tomorrow. Because it’s just stuff. It can never clothe my soul the way the Spirit can. With or without my suitcase, I have enough. Because He is enough. Enough to fill me. Enough to cover me. Enough. Always enough.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. 

Proverbs 19:21  

Have you ever been stuck in a place where God pressed you to reformat your expectations or ideals? Maybe your day isn’t going according to your master mom plan. Or your week. Or your year. Would you be willing to share with our Masterpiece Mom community? Your comments matter!

**Also, it’s time to announce the second winner of Praying Circles Around the Lives of Your Children by Mark Batterson. Congratulations to Amy Fischer! We’ll be in touch shortly.**


Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family's party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won't go away.

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  1. says

    what a wonderful perspective about gripping things loosely and trusting God. You were a troope- such a wonderful attitude. Thanks for sharing and including me in your journey!

    • says

      Thanks for your kind words, Lisa! Of course it was easy to have a good attitude surrounded by our favorite P31 gals. Seriously, She Speaks is our Disneyland!!! (And warm weather is always a plus for the Alaska girls!) Sure appreciate YOU!

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