Dear Clothes I’m Saving for When My Hot Body Returns:
I hate to do it. No, really, I do. I’ve kept you, size four cocktail dress, in the shadows of my closet for 14 years now. And, you–lined-black dress slacks–you’ve been draped over that hanger for so long, I wonder if the crease will ever come out.
For all my too small tops, my too short skirts (it’s not your fault that hemlines rise when one gets wider), and my too tight dresses. . .I have some tragic news: We’re breaking up.
You’re going to have to find a new home, because you’re not living in my closet anymore.
All the Emotions
I know this is just as hard on you as it is on me. I’m going to have to hand you right over to my husband, lest I talk myself out of our parting. I’ve kept you around because, well, we have a past. A good past. I cherish fabulous memories of the time we spent together. Like the time we (black cocktail dress) met the First Lady. She said you were cute. It was a lovely night.
But that was me then.
Before four children and a husband and ministry. Before homeschooling and thyroid issues and age forty.
You don’t have a place in my new life because you don’t fit. And, if I’m honest with myself, you likely never will.
So, why is it so hard to let you go?
One reason: hope. I hoped that someday, somehow, someway, we would be close again. But, today, I’m going to let that dream go.
My Hope is Bigger Than My Closet
See, today, I’m going to let you go, not because I’ve lost hope, but rather because my hope is bigger than my closet.
For so many years–too many years–I’ve kept my hope fixed on you. Hoping that someday I’d easily slide that zipper, right up my back, and stare pridefully at my reflection in the mirror able to say–“I wore this in my twenties and it still fits!”
But, here’s what I’ve learned. My vision for my life is way too narrow if my greatest aspirations include fitting into clothing I wore almost two decades ago.
My hope is not in the return of a thin body. . .rather my hope is in the God who gives me great purpose here on earth, no matter what size I currently wear.
Salvation, I’ve come to recognize, won’t come when I can re-button my smallest sized pants again. Instead, salvation–peace, joy, and true contentment–only come when I fix my eyes on my savior, not on my size. Anything else is body image idolatry.
Truth is, I remember wearing you, even you–size two summer dress–and feeling miserable. I thought having that tiny number on my tag would enlarge my happiness. Yet, instead of finding rest and feeling like I had arrived, I still felt all the self-doubt and insecurities that plagued me when I wore a size six times larger.
Freedom to Let Go
So, though it’s hard for me to let go of you . . .Today, I must say goodbye.
I know how that even if we could go out together again, you wouldn’t determine my value. So, instead of keeping you around to clutter my closet, I’m going to sell you and buy some clothes in my new size. Clothes that fit me, right here. Right now.
And, I know, that even trading up a few sizes, doesn’t diminish what I’m worth.
Jesus determined my value at the cross, 2,000 years ago, when he paid his life for me. His love is beyond what I measure. And, size six, sixteen, or twenty-six, he still has a good purpose for my life.
On the days when I’m tempted to doubt that, you wouldn’t have helped me anyway. So, I’ll just wear my Compared to Who? shirt instead.