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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Ohhh…. (02/04/10)

TITLE: The Garbage Bag
By Joy Bach
02/04/10


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Who takes out the garbage at your house? Do you wait until the can is overflowing? Do you stick your foot in and smash it down so more garbage can fit in? If left too long, and with certain kinds of garbage, it will begin to stink up the house.

Do you have some personal garbage you need to take out?

The scripture calls this a stronghold. It is a wrong thinking pattern that keeps us imprisoned in defeat. I know all about strongholds. I lived with them for many years…and my personal house began to stink.

There can be many kinds of garbage in our bag. Having to live with physical torture can fill the bag up very quickly. Some of the types I carried in mine were:

Destroying property that was important to me
Throwing objects
Ripping clothes
Deliberately creating a mess for me to clean up
Restricting food or drink
Denying medical treatment
Driving recklessly with me in the car
Forcing me out of the car on a deserted road, with my baby on my hip

You get the picture.

But the torture of our mind is garbage that no one else can see.

Being locked out of my home
Constant intimidation
Constant put downs
The abuser must ALWAYS get their way
Weeks of punishing silence
Not allowing any friends
Name calling
Verbal threats
Making me think I was crazy

How about the garbage that tortures our emotions?

My husband moving our household while I was at my sister’s funeral
Him not coming home for days
I was not allowed to show any emotions
Him not allowing me to drive
Constant manipulation
He was easily angered – I had to walk on egg shells
He had a double standard
I was treated as a sex object
He insisted on accompanying me everywhere
I was denied use of the phone

And what about our spirit?

Misrepresentation of the scriptures to justify abuse and dominance
Putting down one’s parenting ability in front of the children and in public
Not assuming any responsibility for help with the children
Threatening to abduct the children
Blame because the infant is the wrong sex
Buying off kids with expensive gifts
Withholding money

The list goes on and on.

Do you have a list? How heavy is the garbage bag you are carrying?

It’s called emotional baggage…and is harmful to your body. I ended up in the hospital for ten days, bleeding internally. There are many physical symptoms related to emotional baggage; such as headaches, pains, fatigue and a range of unexplained illnesses.

If you fail to break free of these barriers of the past, your life will just go in circles. Don’t let your past determine your future.

I had been taught there was merit in carrying these burdens. The heavier my bag, the more I could emulate Jesus and His suffering. Stinking excess baggage makes us a less effective human being. How would that glorify Jesus?

We must release our grip on emotional baggage. If we will change our thinking, God can change our life. Change can start right now. Only you can know the garbage you are carrying around. And only you can let go of it. Some of it may be stinking up your entire life.

Maybe you’ve been living with things that have been in your family line for two or three or more generations. That’s a stronghold. You can choose to rise up and say, “With God’s help, I am breaking this stronghold”.

I did.

My husband suddenly removed himself from our life. That forced me to look at myself. After two years of soul searching, Bible reading, praying, and observing my personal behavior patterns, I arrived at an “ooh” moment. I finally understood I didn’t care for the person I had been molded to be…and I could change that. In that instant my life moved from a daily drudgery to an exciting adventure. Who knew who I really was? What kind of person would I find in my innermost parts?

The journey was not easy. It took perseverance and a willingness to change. And it took time. I made it past the emotional barriers and tore down the strongholds in my mind. The change in me will affect generations to come.

You can make the same choice. Throw out the garbage. And when more begins to collect, toss it out. There will come a day when the garbage can stays empty.


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This article has been read 423 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Robyn Burke02/11/10
Well written, plenty of emotion and descriptions.

I feel like you were inside my head, my heart and spirit and maybe even my journal!

This is a very excellent presentation of the life of an abused victim; it must be true.

So glad you had that Ohh moment and have begun breaking down those strongholds.
Margaret Gass02/12/10
What's interesting about bad smells is that those who live with them grow accustomed to them, and it takes awhile before they realize the garbage needs to go. Visitors, however, notice the odor right away, and good friends say something. Because your husband denied you both, you carried your bag far too long. So glad for that He has worked all things for good! :-)
The Masked Truelovers02/14/10
good parallel between garbage in the cans and garbage in the heart. I'm sure this story is a good encouragement to both abuse victims and anyone with issues in their life that need overcome.
Brenda Shipman02/14/10
I appreciated the transparency here, and also sense your heart to now help others in their own struggles with "garbage". Well-written and genuine.