Happy “Nikolaus Tag” to everyone!
The kids used to put out their boots the night before Nikolaus Tag, Dec 5. And then during the night the good old St. Nick would fill the boots with goodies. Well, now that the girls are older and we have these pretty stockings, we started using them for the little gifts that we exchange on “Nikolaus Tag”.
Anyway, this is not why I’m here and writing. I’m writing because I had a major meltdown on Sunday morning before church and it still haunts me. I had had some trouble already earlier in the week with downloading my pictures and creating a Christmas card. By Saturday afternoon, I had made 3 trips to Costco and still didn’t have my Christmas cards. Vanessa had a sleepover at her friends and Courtney was gone to Minneapolis, and all of a sudden I realized, while driving home from Vanessa’s friend, that I would be all by myself in the house. This really does not happen very often. But here I was, all by myself.
I decided to finish a sweater that I had knit for myself. A very pretty one, with a complicated pattern, and limited wool. I had to open it at least three times to change the design and adjust the pattern, just because it didn’t seem to be enough wool. So on Saturday I finally finished the sweater, sewed it all up and cleaned it up. I was so looking forward to wearing it on Sunday morning to church. It did not occur to me to try it on on Sat night. Then came the morning… of Sunday, about half an hour before church… I got dressed and put the sweater on… Well, you would not believe this: it just didn’t fit. It was waaaaaaay too big!!! Oh my goodness, I looked into the mirror that’s in my room. My family members think there’s something wrong with my mirror in my room. So I decided to go to other rooms that had mirrors and take a look. But it just would not change. It just got worse. Apparently the mirror in my rooms makes you look slimmer. And so here I was with this huge piece of a sweater on my body and where was Meggie? Well, somewhere in there… By this time Vanessa was back home from her sleepover and so I asked her what she thought. She saw how miserable I was, so she tried to be positive. But when I offered her the sweater, she politely declined. So now I knew for sure, it was hopeless. And I just lost it! I cried and cried and cried… Finally I got myself presentable again, changed into some other clothes and off I went to church. But this “episode” never left me. It’s just haunting me.
Didn’t I see what I was knitting? Didn’t I see the size of it? I put so much effort in it and was so happy to have it finished… And still here I was so devastated. What did I expect to see in that mirror when I put this huge sweater on? Well, here is the honest answer to it: I (still) expected to see the size 20 woman that I had been several years ago. In all these years since that fateful day, when I went to Walmart to buy some bigger pants, because I didn’t fit into size 18 any more, since that day I have never adjusted my view of myself. I am still stuck with that image, even though I wear size 10 now, I have never adjusted to the size that I’m actually at right now.
That day, shopping at Walmart, was the day when God opened my eyes and showed me my body and He made it very clear to me, that I did not need to buy bigger pants. I needed a change of heart, a change of mind. That day began a very difficult journey of weight-loss and exercise. God has been so faithful on this journey, He has taught me one lesson after the other. Sometimes my head was just spinning with all the things He taught me. This has been the most difficult journey I’ve been on. It affected me physically, mentally and most of all spiritually. Yes, spiritually. I have clung to God’s Word like never before. And I needed God so badly on this journey. I give Him the praise and glory for all I’ve been able to achieve. It was not I, no, it was God and I.
And when I started to change clothes on Sunday morning, my next best pick was – again – a shirt that was way too big for me. I sorted out a lot of clothes some months ago, but I realized on Sunday, that I still had kept some. I did not make a clean cut, I hung on to some and have not let go. And God showed me how disobedient I have been in this area. How blinded I have been!
This morning I was reading Paul’s letter to the Colossians, and 2:20-23 he writes:
“You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.”
And God opened my eyes this morning that all my own efforts will not help me in conquering my evil desires for food. I call them evil, you might not. But to me these have been really hard and big temptations. I have not always walked away from them. But I’m trying, with God’s help, I’m trying. I am not giving up. And I am reminding myself again and again, that “Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.” (Colossians 3:11 – last sentence in NLT).
Christ is all that matters, and He lives in all of us. He lives in me! Oh, I’m so grateful for His love and mercy and grace. So as I process all this, I want to adjust this picture in my head and I pray for a clear view of myself, of what God has done in my life. Oh, I never want to forget where I have been. But it sure does not show any progress if I continue to live and to dress myself (or keep these huge clothes) in sizes that I’m not anymore.
I am so encouraged by Paul’s words in Colossians 3:16: “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives…” And that includes my closet and my mind. Funny, just writing these two words in one sentence: closet & mind. We just did a Women’s Bible study by Jennifer Rothschild “Me, Myself & Lies – A thought closet makeover”. I believe I have to get back to this study and look up some Scriptures that we’ve studied during that time. (Big smile here!!!)
I love, that it says, “the message about Christ, in all its richness,…” This sound so big to me, in all its richness. I can’t even imagine how rich the message about Christ is. I have the feeling, that I only know a glimpse of it. So if that message is so rich, and it’s filling every nook & cranny of my life, there should not be such a discrepancy between the picture in my head and the reality, right?
Well, I am a work in progress. Lord, have mercy!