An Emotional Baggage Check: Laugh, Love, and Look in the Mirror

ArynChristian Fiction23 Comments

Emotional baggage check: Baggage is everywhere, and yet we’re often surprised by the effects of it.
It gets packed by us, and by others. We carry it around and as miserable as it makes us, it’s reassuring because it is familiar.
Then sometimes our baggage gets a little bit too full and heavy, so it explodes on those around us.
Making sure that we go see the Baggage Handler* with all types of emotional baggage is the best way to deal with our baggage.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links for your convenience.  If you make a purchase through one of these, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I also received an advance copy from the author through Celebrate Lit/Netgalley, though all thoughts are my own. You can read my full Disclosure here.
Woman looking ad a suitcase bigger than herself, black and white. Overwhelmed? Overpacked? Read the baggage handler

Examples of Emotional Baggage ?

Here are a few examples of emotional baggage that we should be aware of. Growth cannot happen unless we’re aware of the areas in need:

Types of Emotional Baggage

  • Envy
  • Comparison
  • Hurt (real and imagined)
  • Pride
  • Expectations (my own and others)
  • Dreams deferred (voluntarily and not)
  • Loneliness
Emotional baggage check: Give it to God. What is your sore spot? Pray, trust, and watch him work. Sometimes he works through doctors, and other times he works in an Instagram post or a novel or a friend dropping by with a treat and a word of encouragement. But he is always working!

Spiritual Baggage Counts Too

In today’s world, removed from the culture and thought processes of the Bible times, spiritual baggage can accumulate quite easily.
We can gather spiritual baggage from misquoted scripture, or verses taken out of context. This can be done innocently or on purpose.
Spiritual baggage can come from lack of understanding, but God is willing to give us understanding of the mysteries of His Word!
There are all kinds of baggage, but One Lord, who loves us!
Spiritually loaded emotional baggage check: The burden of legalism and the burden of self(ish) gratification come at a high cost. God wants us to lay our burdens at the foot of the cross, and then LEAVE IT THERE!! I am so thankful for this privilege!

A Library of Emotional Baggage Examples (My Thoughts)

Pull my heartstrings! I connected with all three stories, for myself, and what I know loved ones are walking through.
Dinner with a Perfect Stranger was good, but this is better! Just as direct, but in a completely different way.
I found myself looking in a mirror as I read, with more clarity and perspective. This may be because I have been deliberately dealing with my emotional baggage a little at a time over the last year. It hasn’t been easy, but as a journey, I am making progress!
Beginning with awareness of the emotional baggage, they could next deal with forgiveness, proper focus, and expectations.
The Baggage Handler is like a road map of emotional baggage examples from which you can enjoy the read, AND examine yourself.
I’m having a really hard time finding the words to give a review without spoilers, so I will leave you with this. I plan on reading this book at least once every 3 years. There’s only one other book besides the Bible I have ever done that with, though this is the second inside of a year to be added to the list. (Leaving a Legacy of Faith as a Christian Mom is the other one)
Emotional Baggage Check: As a sensitive person, a regular emotional baggage check is a good idea. You can end up carrying all types of emotional baggage, especially other people’s baggage if you are not careful!
“Couldn’t put it down, can’t get it out of my head, and I’ll be re-reading it for sure!”
Me, to the Celebrate Lit team.


About the Book

In a similar vein to The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews or Dinner with a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory, The Baggage Handler is a contemporary story that explores one question: What baggage are you carrying?

Three people take a flight that will change their lives forever.

Fresh off a run-in with his wife, harried businessman David disembarks the plane angry and impatient.

Gillian thought she would be more excited about coming to her niece’s wedding, but she is just hoping to survive.

Malcolm has gambled everything on this trip to start his fledgling artistic career. To him, failure means working in hardware in what his father calls “a real job.”

After each picks up the wrong suitcase, they make their way to a mysterious baggage depot in a deserted part of the city. There they meet the Baggage Handler, who shows them there is more in their baggage than what they have packed.

A simple baggage mix-up at the airport is more than an inconvenience when it forces three people to face the baggage they are unknowingly carrying around.

Watch the trailer:

Click here to purchase your copy.


Stacks of suitcases: if you are carrying emotional baggage, read the baggage handler


The Camera Never Lies

Another book along the same lines by David Rawlings, is The Camera Never Lies. Talk about an emotional baggage check! The truth is costly but far more valuable than whatever it is we’re trying to hide.

Meet a marriage counselor who’s hiding things to the point that his own marriage is falling apart. One final gift from Grandpa has the power to turn his world upside down. or maybe, just maybe, it will turn things right side up again!

If you change the details a little, this could be almost any of my acquaintances at one time or another. Including my family. Stress, secrets, anger, escape plans…

I love how this story reminds us of the power of our secrets. Luke 8:17 in living color. The consequences of our actions have ripple effects far beyond what we might imagine. When we are WILLING to see the truth and make the changes necessary, God’s forgiveness is amazing. There is normally still a price to pay, but that’s because of cause and effect.

Will You Accept the Challenge?

What are your thoughts on these books? Have you read them? Will you? Do you think you’re ready for the Challenge? They are both a lot of fun, but they pack a punch if you’ll let them!

Love God, Love Books ?   Aryn

23 Comments on “An Emotional Baggage Check: Laugh, Love, and Look in the Mirror”

  1. I was going to comment about baggage, but this book sounds intriguing! We all carry baggage, I think for me it is a matter of turning it over to God every single day, and being able to let God actually keep it!

    1. Exactly! The book is awesome, and it really gives food for thought on a wide range of emotional baggage!

  2. Praise the Lord, I found you. I love hearing about good books and I will check out The Baggage Hander. I love a good story that drive truth straight to ones heart. Thanks for these review. I have often thought about becoming one who does this in order to get free books. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    1. You’re welcome. It’s fun and a privilege. And I’m grateful to have gotten to read the Baggage Handler!

  3. Expectations are a huge piece of emotional baggage! And quite frankly, most of the time, I don’t even realize I’ve set myself up for this downfall, until it happens. Thanks for linking up at instaEncouragements!

    1. Exactly! We set ourselves up sometimes without realizing it. The ladies in this story really helped me see how I do it myself.

    1. And how often do we stop to take an emotional baggage check and declutter it? Not nearly often enough!

      Enjoy the book!

  4. Sounds like you got some really deep and great takeaways from this book! Sounds like a fascinating read. We all deal with baggage!

  5. This book sounds fantastic! We serve the ultimate baggage handler, and yet it’s so easy to want to keep it all for ourselves and let it ruin our relationships and lives. I can’t wait to read it!

    1. Guess you’re just going to have to read the book! ??

      We have so much to be thankful for, that He is willing to deal with our emotional and spiritual! baggage

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