There is a time in recovery when you get really frustrated with your clothes that aren’t fitting, because you are getting healthier. But you are still struggling with your mind telling you that you are defined by the ‘size tag’ on your clothes.
Do you see that picture above? I was happy, but I was also discontent. I wasn’t content with the way God made me still, after 5 or 6 years of recovery, because I was worshipping my clothes instead of my Lord.
I totally came up with this topic while on a walk tonight, because I was really excited that Julia is back and that she’s going to share more of her Spain adventures with us. I was also excited about Mental Health Monday, but I had no idea what to write about.
Well praise the Lord for His inspiration, because this post came out of thinking and walking and watching His amazing sunset tonight. I thought I would link it up for Julia’s Mental Health Monday, probably one of my favorite ‘thinking’ link-ups. 🙂
But, that was the time, the time when I came face to face with this.
Do my clothes define my identity?
Or does Christ Jesus define my identity?
You see; clothes are superficial. Clothes are the outside.
As human beings, all we can see, naturally is the outside. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to wear clothes, because I want to protect my body as a gift from God, but clothes are not the foundation of my life.
We can see the smile on their face, the clothes they are wearing, the amount of money they make, the car they own, the things they write, and the words they say, but we can’t see the heart.
But Jesus Christ doesn’t save souls in order for us to define people, to define ourselves by the outside.
This prayer that Jesus prayed in the garden before His agony on the cross so wonderfully shows the depth of Christ’s love, why Christ came.
In John 17:23, Jesus says in prayer to His Father, ‘I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
When Jesus changes people, the change starts to flow, from the inside out. Luke 6:45 says, ‘A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.’
The Number One Thing I had to learn about those clothes was…
#1) I was so concerned about the outside, that I had forgotten what Jesus had done on the inside.
I’m defined by what Jesus did when He died for my sins, died to take my guilt, my condemnation, the fear that has torment, and mend the broken relationship between God and us.
If something is weighing me down, keeping me from seeing that Christ Jesus is the One who covers me, I need to get rid of it. That’s what I’ve learned.
So I had to do what the writer of Hebrews says in Hebrews 12:1-2, ‘
‘Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’
So what do you do with those old clothes? What did I do?
I had to lay aside those clothes, and even though I was sad I didn’t fit into many of them anymore, I was reminded that Jesus Christ defines me. My clothes aren’t my life. My body isn’t my life. Jesus Christ is my life.
Galatians 2:20, ‘I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.’
Jesus Christ came to save souls, because the saving of souls changes the outside. It changes lives from a focus on the outside, the money made, the job that I work, to the glorious work of Christ.
When I’m depressed about how my clothes fit, I put something else on that: takes my focus off my body.
Because, I want to focus on what God is doing, what God is working, how God is giving sight to the blind, healing the brokenhearted, setting captives free, not on myself.
I don’t want the frustration over clothes to get in the way, so I give them to others who can use them and get new and bigger ones.
I’m thankful for the gift of clothing, that God has given me the gift of clothing to cover, to protect the precious gift of the physical body that He has given me, but whether I’m stylish or not doesn’t define my identity. I want to focus on what Jesus does instead.
Hebrews 2:9-10, ‘
‘But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.’
Christ Jesus in me makes me who I am:
Redeemed (John 3, Galatians 4, Ephesians 2)
Accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1)
Reconciled (2 Corinthians 5)
Free to Love God and love His Word (Psalm 119, 1 John)
Freedom to throw off what the culture says I must be: Pretty, thin, successful…
Free to see God’s glory in my life, not my own problems, because God is Lord over all my problems, and He will work them out for good. (Romans 8:28)
This is my prayer. What you see is not a perfect Christian girl, cause God is working on me. What you see is a helpless girl who can’t do anything apart from Jesus. I hope I don’t sound falsely humble at all, but this is truly me.
I realize everyday that I can’t survive this life without Jesus. He is my life. Without Him, I would be nothing. In Him, my life is everything.
Tonight, this is my prayer, in this constant battle against the lies of the devil, against the sins that I still fight against in the power of Christ from Psalm 18:1-2, ‘I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.’
So, instead of worrying, I want to WONDER, WONDER at what God does, to lose my life for Christ’s sake, to love with abandon, and to forget about the size of my waist and the number on the scale. To live isn’t clothes. To live is Christ. To die is gain. Will you help me do this?
Matthew 16:25, ‘For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.’
You are you. You are a person, created, purposed, defined by God’s image.
The days I get discouraged about my clothes, I have to remind myself of that. I’m not defined by what I do, because I will always be imperfect on this earth, but what I do and wear is defined by what Christ did in me.
Does the size of your clothes ever discourage you?
How do you define your identity when you are tempted to think that your worth is based on things you ‘do?’
In recovery did you ever just up and DUMP all the clothes you had and went and bought comfortable clothes that took the focus off of your body?
I’m so thankful for God’s mercy, and I want to share the God’s love with you with a GIVEAWAY today!
The Giveaway Will Include:
1. A book called, ‘Our Founding Foodies.’ (It’s really interesting, especially if you are a foodie.)
2. A jar of one of my favorite nut butters! It will either be: Nut Butter Nation, Naturally Nutty, or Bhappy!
Comment with your very favorite CLOTHING store where you can find clothes that always compliment the way God made your body and how beautiful God made you.
The Giveaway will end on August 1st, 2016. I will email the winner the following day. 🙂