Over the years I have been graced with ample closet space. Living in a residence hall for four years as a professional, even then I had several closets for storage and clothing. When I moved to Nashville the first place I lived had seven closets. Seven. One was like a nesting doll, you kept finding additional closets within it.
For many that would have been a dream come true. But for me, it was wasted space. I am a purger of things. I don’t like to keep them around much if I haven’t worn it or used it within the last year. I have talked about this before on here, but I circle back around on it today because I have been dwelling on the idea of purging thoughts.
Much like Katherine Heigl’s character in 27 Dresses I cling to the past in a way, just in case I might need it for later. My thoughts are stuffed full of moments and words, things I think about myself more than anything else, storing up mistakes and bad choices with the words I call myself.
I encourage and speak support into other lives, but myself? Not so much. I pull out the dress of dumb when I am just not getting something at work. I wrap up in the fabric of not good enough when I think about my singleness. I zip up in ugliness as I look around me at my beautiful friends. I pull the hood up on not qualified as I attempt to write.
Over and over again I run to this closet full of the garments of thoughts to clothe myself in, these invisible dresses and shirts of my own design that I can wear which no one sees. But they do. People can see how we talk to ourselves, because out of the overflow of our hearts come our words. We self-shame, and one of my go-to shamings (because this is a time to be raw with you all) is “big girl.” I call myself that pretty often around others, in attempt at humor but it’s also a defense mechanism…call yourself that first before someone gets the opportunity to think it, get the upper hand and let them know you are confidence in your looks.
Let me just tell y’all right now, this isn’t confidence. Identifying and dwelling in the untrue words of our thoughts is a lie. A lie we believe and cling to, hoping for comfort in whatever we are in. But the truth is it’s a mess and something we need to stop. Our thoughts lead to actions, lead to words and the building (or tearing down most likely) of ourselves and others.
I have had to take a good long look at my thoughts recently, and how they spill out in words. When I look at all those dresses of names and identities I have chosen for myself over the years within my thoughts, I recognize the ugliness and ridiculousness of them all. With all that Christ says I am, I have chosen to put on the robe of “not good enough” for far too long.
Now I choose to purge. To relinquish that which isn’t flattering. It isn’t pretty. It isn’t in season and it most certainly should never come back in style. Today I pull out all the thoughts I have been clothing myself in and make room for the thoughts He thinks towards me.
Daughter. Chosen. Beloved. Beautiful. Mine.
“Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come. ” Proverbs 31:25
I go back to these words which hang in my bathroom and are slowly being etched in my heart…ladies, (and gentlemen too) I hope you too clean out the thoughts of your mind if you are choosing the wrong things to clothe yourself with. It’s an every day choice, and sometimes that old sweatshirt of your former thoughts can look mighty appealing in the hard times, but trust that He gives you a crown, a robe of white….and those are far greater things than some dingy hoodie.