Quite the title, I know.
I have had a pair of skinny jeans for the past four or so years. They are those jeans in my closet against which all else is measured.
The scale and I have had a long dysfunctional relationship with one another so I stay away from it at all costs.
But these jeans…they have become my indicator. And the way they fit has become more significant than any number I look down upon.
Will they still fit after that week of vacation?
Will they go on with ease after not working out for (gasp) three weeks?
At this point, I have now had these said jeans patched twice in places where it should be a clear indication that it is time for them to go.
And yet, I have been unable to part with them.
For me, exercise, running specifically, became my way of passing the hours in between work. Certain days of the week became dedicated long run days. Miles were constantly being logged. And the results physically speaking paid off. As such, my first pair of slim fit skinny jeans were bought in a size that made me feel good.
Four marathons, many miles logged, and lots of worn down tennis shoes later, I look back and scratch my head at what I was thinking.
What was the point? What was the purpose?
To be honest, I am not quite sure.
To be fair, running and exercise have served as a huge piece of anxiety management in my life. But the further removed I am from my running days, the more God opens my eyes to the driving forces behind my obsession with fitting into a certain pair of jeans.
For a long time I thought my issues with weight and size and exercise were rooted in control. Control of your body=control of your circumstances.
But the more God tugs at my heart about this issue, the more I realize it actually has nothing to do with control.
Instead it is about definition and what I have allowed to define me.
It is about fitting into a definition of beauty the world has created.
As I have gotten older, the wrinkles have become more visible, and my weight has gotten harder to manage. And the fix in my mind boils down to procedure and perpetual cardio. But neither are sustainable.
And I am so tired of those stupid skinny jeans.
I am so tired of defining my worth by shape, fit, style, and size.
When we were about 30 minutes away from landing in Maui a couple of weeks ago-I looked out the window and what I saw was pure perfection. The ocean, the sky, the sun-the colors seemed limitless. They reminded me of the vastness of God, His infiniteness, His supremacy. The words of Ephesians 4:17-18 came to mind:
…And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
To know God=means to be full. It means his love for us is not bound by dimensions or man made definitions or pant sizes for that matter.
And if I am being honest, a weight or a size has never left me feeling the fullness this verse describes.
Instead, these things have left me hungry, empty, tired, and worn out from a perpetual moving target.
So today, I decided to give away those skinny jeans.
It was a simple gesture yet a profound one at that. And I am grateful.