I purged today. Truly purged, for the first time in a long time.
I have a lot of undergarments. I really like having nice undergarments. I have a lot of really nice undergarments. And for the past 10 years, I’ve been accumulating new undergarments without getting rid of the old ones.
Like I said, I have a lot of undergarments.
The old undergarments aren’t gross, they’re still in nearly new condition and still very cute. That’s why they’re so hard to get rid of, and because of all the money invested in them. I’ll even be the first to admit that I have some mild hoard-y tendencies.
But each year, when RJ and I go through our things to either trash or donate a couple of garbage bags full of junk, I can easily get rid of old clothes that I haven’t worn for a while and things that have been sitting around the house collecting dust. And yet each year, I linger over these old undergarments, contemplating whether or not to finally get rid of them, only to keep them for another year, even though they haven’t been worn for nearly a decade.
If I have to be brutally honest with myself, I’ve held onto these old undergarments for so long because I haven’t been able to completely let go of the way my body used to be.
God has brought so much healing and freedom in my life when it comes to body image and eating disorders, friends, don’t ever doubt that. But I still struggle. There are days where I still loathe the way my body looks. There are days where I ask RJ a billion times if I look fat. There are days where clothes feel too tight and I feel like I’m muffin-topping over my jeans and everyone is laughing at me about it behind my back.
There are days where I look at these old undergarments, sigh, and think, “One day. One day, I’ll be able to fit into these again. One day, I’ll go back to the way my body was.”
These old undergarments, the last remnants of the way my body used to be, the last shackle enslaving me to my old physical self.
As I was putting away laundry today, I pulled a couple of them out, looking wistfully at them, thinking about how long it’s been since they’ve last been worn and how much weight has been gained in the meantime.
And something in me snapped.
Why, oh why, do I keep longing for the past when I could be living fully in the present and moving towards the future? Why do I keep myself under the yoke of slavery when Christ has already set me free, so wondrously and gloriously free?
And so I trashed them. I purged them all. I stuffed them in a garbage bag, never to be seen again.
And I grieved for where I was and where I will never be again.
And I was freed to move forward.
It was cathartic.
Behold, in Christ, the old has gone, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Of course, there will still be days where I long for the way my body used to look. There will be days where I look back. But no longer will I be bound to the physical reminder of where I once was, and where my flesh longs to be. No longer will I hold myself captive to some “standard” from the past.
Because I can’t. I threw them all away.
The old has gone.
The new has come.
What’s your “undergarment,” the physical reminder of a place you long for from the past, that keeps you from living fully and freely in the present and moving towards the future? And is God asking you to let it go? (cue Idina Menzel. Or Adele Nazeem.)