By Dann Niegocki
I have a problem that seems to be accelerating yet again. My clothes don’t fit, or at least my old ones wear poorly on my body. It isn’t a fitting problem with my body getting larger or thinner but it is a “fitting” problem where they dont look correct on me.
No, it isn’t a style problem either, that my clothes are destined for a second hand store, still being worn while they are a dozen seasons past due. They just don’t “fit”. I can’t say those clothes are me anymore. They are me from the past, me in prior years with different thoughts and beliefs.
I have gone through a lot of clothes over the years, changing them as I have changed.
They were well suited clothes back when I listened to my parents as I thought they could do no wrong. I changed those out to something more cynical when I realized they weren’t perfect.
Years later, I changed out of those clothes when I understood how much grace they extended me throughout my youth. They were well suited for when I was first married with very little understanding of how to be a selfless husband and to pursue my wife instead of my own goals.
I have repeatedly changed clothes as I have learned to love and cherish my wife, each jump in maturity dictating a change in what I wear. They were well suited for my first child and how I cared for her and loved her, but by the time we had our 4th child after many miscarriages, those old clothes would never fit.
The truth is, though I may have fond memories of living in those clothes, I can’t beat myself up for what I wore and how I was at those times. I was who I was. Sure, I wish I was able to wear something different, but nobody could help dress me. I’m just glad I’m not in those clothes anymore. I meet far too many people wearing clothes that have long since worn thin, held together by whatever means as they just can’t part with what they are wearing.
The reality is, we should always be changing clothes. Every few months I see the world and God a bit differently, and I change. My beliefs are not static or perfect and what I clothe myself change. My either/or clothes were discarded for my both/and clothes.
My understanding of the rules clothes made way for my grace and love clothes. My “it has to be this way!” and stomping around and giving black eyes to those I was to care for were tossed out for my comfy slippers and “I am glad you are here” outfit. I am not sure if I retain many of my old clothes as I change but I am not so worried about my clothes as I am about who I am. I am going where God wants me to go, and I want to be dressed properly. Each day my outfit is a little different, sometimes it is a lot different.
Trust God to be your tailor. He’ll keep you current with where he wants you to be, but only if you are willing to be naked and say, “this is me, nothing else.”
Dann is the husband to one and the father to four and spends his days making everything a bit more beautiful.