Here I sit, tanned and rejuvenated, ready to tackle the world after an amazing, relaxing vacation! The surreal experience of being completely carefree and pampered in the Caribbean is a fond memory, and now it’s back to reality for me.

I have so many things I want to share, but I’ll start with a suitcase saga…

Last year, we had the misfortune of having a suitcase break en route to Jamaica- the zipper totally split. We purchased a new one whilst on vacation, and that “quality” piece of Jamaican luggage managed to fall apart on the way home, leaving us with another sad looking case- bruised, battered and handle-less.

Thanks to wonderful Westjet, we were reimbursed, and for this year’s trip we bought a super-duper “I’m virtually made of steel- just try to break me” variety. Unfortunately, we only purchased one case-of-awesomeness for my husband and I to share, and made do with the other lesser breed for the kids’ belongings.

Both cases made it unscathed to our destination, but on our journey home something just HAD to go wrong. Due to a delay, we were running late with absolutely no room in the schedule for dilly-dallying, and needed to grab our cases at lightening speed in order to make our connection. It was like a slow motion movie unraveling before me as we waited at the carousel with bated breath, standing on tippy-toes trying to spot our luggage.

As I watched for a purple case to appear, I noticed everyone’s faces were doing that “Oh no, how awful- those poor people- I’m so glad it’s not mine!” kind of look. The sick feeling in the pit of my stomach raised a notch as I realized it was indeed our lesser-quality case that was open, upside-down, and had various garments and belongings crawling from beneath it. Just great.

I have to confess- when a complete stranger handed us a rogue pair of boxer briefs, I was incredibly thankful that it was my sons’ case and not my own. My mortification would have doubled. Instead, we all hastily grabbed the strewn items, and I managed to re-stuff the case and squeeze it shut using the second, unbroken zipper. As sympathetic eyes of fellow travelers met mine, I actually felt somewhat vulnerable and exposed. Silly really, and in hindsight it is an amusing tale. But it reminded me of a verse:

Hebrews 4: 13 “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

Laid bare, uncovered, exposed. There are no secrets when it comes to our relationship with God; He knows all, He sees us even in our darkest hour. God takes all of our “baggage”, the stuff strewn on the carousel as well as the items hidden in the little side pocket, and He offers us grace and freedom as we walk with Him through it all.

Sometimes it’s okay to be exposed and let a little of our humanity show. At the end of the day, God is bigger than all of it, and thankfully, he doesn’t require pristine perfection from us. Just an open heart, exposed to Him.

And yes, we will be purchasing another super-duper, foolproof case for next year!