Paying the Cost of Staying in the Past
Today a dear friend was celebrating her birthday. I was looking forward to spending time with her and celebrating her victories. Since it was a special occasion I decided to go all out. Now in my world, that means eye shadow and lip gloss. Lol! I had laid out my clothes the night before because I am time challenged and I really wanted to be on time for the festivities. Today I took my shower, got my shirt on, did my “make up” and agonized over which flip-flops said “birthday fun”. By this point I knew I was cutting it close with my time. But I breathed a sigh of relief as I looked at the time. Whew! I got the hard stuff over, now just to put on my shorts and I was good to go.
Well dear reader, you may be anticipating this, but this is where the plan fell apart. A seemingly simple task turned to at least 20 minutes of WASTED time. Let’s just say I was late to the activities for the day! This then led to my frustration with myself and a mad rush out of the house. Have you ever been mad at yourself about something and in your current dilemma this is compounded because you know the foolishness going down is because of YOU? Ugh! I hate that! Where’s a good old fashion scapegoat when you need it? There’s no excuses to be found and your faced with taking a long hard look at The Man/Woman In The Mirror.
So what went wrong? I put on the shorts and they didn’t fit. I mean like really didn’t fit. This wouldn’t be a big issue except I hardly have any clothes that fit me. I lost weight! That’s another post, for another time, but I will say in the past year and a half I have lost about 40 pounds, mostly in the last few months. Today I had to frantically search through my clothes and find something appropriate for the occasion AND something that fit. It was quite the challenge! And I HATE clothes shopping (and yes I pulled out the bold font for emphasis).
Now a few weeks back God was reminding me of the new season ahead. I toyed around with thinking about buying new clothes. I even put it on a list of things to do to prepare for the new season. Clearly I’ve been disobedient! I put off even the thought of it until earlier this week. See I was okay with holding onto the past.
Let me say that again. I was just fine with holding on to my past.
I have been wearing clothes for months that were way too big for me. I would slap on a belt, use a safety-pin or even roll the tops of clothes to make them stay put. There was NO way I was going shopping. And as long as I could make the old clothes fit, gosh darn it, I was going to work it out. I mean who needs new stuff that functions better or looks better? Not this girl! I’ll take my past dysfunction please! And I will confess a part of me (although I didn’t want to admit it) thought this weight loss is too good to be true. What if I don’t keep the weight off? Then it will be a waste to buy new clothes. It seemed too much of a risk to let go of my past ways (today in the form of my old clothes).
So here’s to my point. My stubbornness to not move forward cost me. Today it cost me my peace, my celebration time and my sacred fellowship time. I was late to something I wanted to do because I hadn’t actually tried on the shorts beforehand. I had NO idea the severity of how much they wouldn’t fit. And this time my normal quick fix to cover up the dysfunction wouldn’t work. Has that ever happened to you? You get so comfortable with your bad habits that you don’t see problems down the road coming from the dysfunction until it smacks you in the face? Sometimes you can function in your old ways for a long time, but there will come a time when you have to be honest and realize your past ways no longer benefit you. The same ol’ same ol’ will no longer do.
I refused to accept or for that fact acknowledge and celebrate things were different now. God can do a new thing in us and we haven’t noticed the change. In my case, I didn’t want to believe I really was healthier. If I’m healthier that will mean a whole new way of doing things. It just may mean that I’m getting closer to something bigger and better in my life and I’ve gotten so use to settling. Truth be told I’ve needed new clothes for a hot minute, but my denial and avoidance of an unpleasant task was in full force. And today my hesitance to embrace the new derailed my positive attitude and wasted my time. Had I been obedient to my changing needs and got with the program before today I would have known that my old season clothes wouldn’t work for a new season celebration. I would have remembered that often the blessing comes from the obedience. I wouldn’t have wasted my time on the past when all along God was preparing me for the future. And most importantly I would have been ready for celebration time if I had chosen to move forward in His timing instead of desperately clinging to the past. Today I had to face the weight (pun intended) of my past and pay the cost of my unyielding ways.
I learned my denial, my lack of preparation for the new, and settling for less than God’s best had a high cost. I encourage you to move forward when God is prompting you. You may be uncertain of what’s a head, don’t want to do something He has asked you to do or feel it’s too hard to deal with your past. Move anyway. You may feel like your past is so horrible you’ll never be free from it. Move forward anyway. Maybe the step you’ve been asked to take, you feel is too small to make a difference and you’ve got plenty of time to make a real change before the new season. And you ask yourself what’s the point? Move anyway. Maybe you feel you don’t deserve bigger, better, healthier, etc. Move anyway. Whatever it is know that God has a plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11) and that He wants the best for you. So maybe it’s time for YOU to move forward. What areas of your life is God prompting you to move forward? Don’t get stuck on the old you, just celebrate all you’ve overcome and keep it pushin’!
3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.” 5 Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by. 6 The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua: 7 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.