It was a typical morning. I was trying to get clothes for me and E, finish getting us both ready, pack lunches...and eventually head out the door.
"Mom, look what I made." I was distracted by his world of make believe. Without looking, I grabbed a pair of brown pants off their hanger.
I attempted to zip up my dress pants only to be stopped in my tracks when I realized that simply wasn't happening.
"What in the world..." I was asking myself as I grasped tightly to the hook-and-eyes and made an effort to close them. Realizing there was no hope of that happening either, I started to panic.
It was a tug on this side, a pull on that one, and I was now sucking in my stomach and holding my breath. Nothing. It was now apparent there was absolutely NO WAY these pants were going to be zipped and fastened...and I was about to have a meltdown.
I could feel myself getting hot, wondering how on earth I had gained that much weight.
Let's just say that at 34 years old and 12 years removed from college, I've finally gained my "freshman 15." I affectionately call it my "happy fat." :) And no, I'm not complaining at all. But when it came time to get dressed and clearly these pants were NOT fitting, I admit to being stressed.
I had a problem. A BIG problem. Frustrated and flustered, I pulled at the much-too-small pants and looked down at the tag. "Ohhhhhhhhhhh! Thank goodness!" I exclaimed. "I was about to be worried!"
E was now aware of my world. "What's wrong mommy? Why are you worried?"
"Oh I'm not worried, E. I'm relieved! Mommy grabbed the wrong pants!" I explained.
A quick glance at the tag informed me that I had not gotten bigger but I had grabbed pants 2 sizes smaller than what I currently wear.
Try as I might, I was NOT going to fit into those pants. Those pants were from more than a year ago. They were -15 pounds ago. They were, in fact, MY pants - but they fit a slightly lighter version of myself. Those pants don't fit me anymore.
Growth can be good. The problem remains when you leave the reminders of the past mixed in with the present. Sometimes it means you reach for the wrong thing. You get confused. You are reminded of a time in the past, an older version of yourself, that you only somewhat resemble. The truth is, you can try it on for size, but it just won't fit.
Try as you might, you can't relive the past. You can't change it. While it has shaped you into who you presently are, it remains something that must be shelved and put away. The past, like my old pants, can provide reminders that help us continue to grow, but we should never try to wear that which we've outgrown.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old
self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires... Ephesians 4:22
Paying close attention, I grabbed the right pair of brown pants, checked the tag to be sure, and much to my delight, they fit perfectly! I tossed the old pants aside, adding to a growing donation pile. No more confusion. No more mix-ups. I don't need old pants hanging in the closet to be confused with the present.