I stood in front of the closet and grabbed out a sweater. I was quick and haphazard, I was cold. Any sweater would do.

The morning went on and I stuck to the routine, but I just didn’t feel quite right. This sweater that I had on was an impulse buy, on sale. It was itchy. The color was off as well as the shape so I stood in front of the mirror trying to gauge, “Should I? Shouldn’t I?”

This sweater wasn’t really MY thing, but I spent money on it so it really should be. Right?

Another lesson learned.

I took the sweater off, folded it nicely and set it on my bed. It was going downstairs to sit on my ever growing consignment pile. One wear, oh how pathetically sad.

This unfortunately has been the story of my adult life. I get something that really isn’t ME and I force myself to wear it because I bought it or I make myself do it because I didn’t have the guts to say no. My life has been filled with “I should’s” and “what ifs.” If I am not mindful, as in if I do not intentionally guard my heart, I DO what I THINK is expected of me. I do what I THINK would make other people happy which ultimately comes down to one big, fat root: rejection and the fear of.

Stuff has consumed my life in a secret attempt to fill the tiny nooks and crannies where being at peace with WHO I am has been void. It’s been a me thing, certainly not any issue of some poor, unsuspecting sweater. In reality, I have ten others just like it, but I’ve functioned on the hopeful and unrealistic mindset that ONE more could do THE trick. One more sweater could FIX my void, hence fix ME because somewhere along the way I bought into the notion and the lie that I am broken. Unwanted. Yes, rejection has been grafted into my flesh’s DNA something fierce and I am continually pulled to be a consummate people pleaser.

But not today.

Each sweater I take off, each invitation I say no to that I know is not for me, is a another step in walking in the fullness of my original identity because here’s the thing…rejection is NOT grated into my DNA. It’s just an unwelcomed houseguest that I have entertained for far too log. I actually believe, even if my thoughts don’t always line up, that I have immeasurable value and worth thanks to Christ and every day is another undoing, another unlearning and I have no shame in being honest in saying…I am a work in progress. 

Those who say our inner struggles can be fixed and mended with Jesus in an once and done exchange at the foot of the cross actually set people up for continual failure and disappoinemnt and before we know it, we have turned Jesus into another remedy for some ailment for a sickness. My need for Him is ONGOING. The continual choice to choose WHERE I live from takes daily effort and effort my friends, does not come with ease. I’m going to Him again, and again, and again so if I’m consummate about anything, it is Him. I’m not asking Him to save me, that’s already done,  but to be WITH me as I choose to remember. 

Over and over again. 

So today I took off another sweater. I took it down the steps after holding it in my hands, debating whether or not to keep it because for YEARS, I have tried to make things work that just weren’t me and to be honest, I am tired. I am tired of the clutter and I am tired of my own shenanigans. I am tired of seeking after approval and attention. I am tired of playing head games. I am tired of trying to fit in and I am tired of stepping into things I should of never said YES to, good things, but things that just aren’t ME. 

I think I should. I think they THINK I should. I kind of want to, but it’s just not the right time, but hell with the right time, I’ll do it any way. Maybe it will grow on me, maybe I can make it work, maybe it will become me. Perhaps it will fix.

One sweater at a time. One activity at a time. One thought…

Father, remind me WHO I am. Not the ME I have created, not the ME I thought I needed to be, not the ME others expected or the ME that has flittered through life feeding off of feelings and experiences, but the ORIGINAL me. Take me back to the ME you thoughtfully and creatively made. The ME you delight in, the ME you adore. I open the doors to my closet and ask you to help me sort, show me what belongs and what doesn’t. I’m tempted to ask you to give me the courage to be ballsy enough to NOT wear what you haven’t clothed me in, but then I think…I already am. All that I need is inside of me. Father, remain ever present as tenacity buries itself deep…

My closets awaits…