I was embarrassed with the state of my daughter’s wardrobe. Her closet selection was laden with stained and belly showing T-shirts, high water pants that could be mistaken for capris and socks that aggravatingly ride below the heel into the shoe.
So me and my girl, we set out for a fun shopping date. And, later at home, my husband and I sat down to watch a one girl fashion show, a cherished tradition of hers to celebrate her new collection of clothes.
After the show she is spent. So it’s up to me to walk “backstage” where the leftovers of the fashion party are strewn about. There are newly pressed shirts and pants to be folded, tags to be picked up and tagging barbs to be ignored until vacuum day!
Then opening her closet door, I start the emotional process of sorting through a memorabilia of old clothes that need to be thrown away or donated in hopes of ever fitting the new ones inside.
She lays on her bed watching, and though tired, I know this pruning is hard for her too. So, to comfort her, I tell her, “To make room for the new pretty clothes, we must get rid of the old.”
“But I like that shirt Mommy, can’t I save it for my daughter?”
“We’ll buy her a new one. That’s what she deserves.”
“Can’t we keep that one Mommy, my friend gave it to me?”
“We can’t keep something that is dirty and too small, sweetie. You’re too pretty and special. Wouldn’t you prefer to wear these new ones? We’re throwing out the old, to make room for the new.” I repeat and kiss her goodnight.
I thought she was fast asleep but about a half hour later she timidly appears at the corner of the living room entrance, “Mommy, I’m having bad thoughts and I can’t go to sleep,” she whispers in hopes that I’ll give her my approval for being out of bed.
“Come here sweetie.” I tap the empty sofa space next to me. “What are you thinking about?”
“What if I ever get sick or hurt?”
“Sweetie, you don’t have to worry about that. You’re a very healthy young girl.”
“But I still can’t stop thinking about it.”
“Ok, this is what I do when I have bad thoughts. I put other things into my head. For example, why don’t you think of the good times you had playing with your girlfriend the other day. Oh, I know, let’s think about your birthday party.”
“Um..hmm.” She said softly, snuggled into my arms.
“Mommy,” she finally said, “is it like getting rid of the old clothes so that you can put the new clothes in?”
She sleeps now. But at the corner of my living room entrance, I hear Him whisper as if asking for permission to come in, “Out with the old and in with the new.”
My spent and cluttered spirit yearns for His presence so I place my hand at the empty space beside me on the couch and invite Him to sort through my patched and threadbare closet.
To make room for only Him.
He pulls out Comparison and I say “but these women, they teach me so much.”
My faithful work can only be complete when you recognize who I designed You to be.
Next is a drawer full of Disappointment and I respond “but I’m just being real, I’m ditzy and unfocused, I’m not a finisher.”
You are who I say you are and you are chosen to do good works.
And finally Self-Loathing, worn and tattered. I try to excuse it with truth “there’s nothing good in me Lord, that’s why I look to You.”
Yes, look to Me, child, and see how I created every piece of you with intention and perfection.
My grip loosens on the old as I gaze at the new dazzling clothes decorated with Confidence, Wisdom and Righteousness that He has designed just for me.
So we throw away the old to make room for only Him.Leave a Comment
smart daughter!! being taught by a good mommy! thanks for sharing!
Thanks Tami! She is a smart little girl. I tell her, when I grow up I want to be just like her! Thanks Tami!
Shelli Littleton says
Thank you Shelli, it’s amazing how God can use our little ones to gently teach us in such unexpected ways.
Sarah McTernen says
Hi Friend! So nice to see you here! Thank you!
Love this. Comparison, disappointment & self loathing are certainly hanging in my thought closet, as well! Thank you for the gentle push back to Him & Truth. Also, don’t you love how well he loves us? How we find sanctification in parenting? He’s so good. Thanks for sharing!!
Thank you Julie. He does love us, oh how He does. Now to keep all that junk out of the closet so that I can see that clearly everyday. Big Cyber Hug Friend!
Beautiful insight! Thank you for sharing! 🙂
Kim J says
The word comparison really stuck out for me, as living with chronic illness, I am always comparing myself to what others can do vrs what I can not! Thank you for showing me that it’s time to empty my thought closet of this destructive thinking, and putting my focus back on who God says I am.
Well said. Comparison is an easy but deceptive trap and it robs us of the uniqueness and specialness God designed in each one of us. I just heard Lysa TerKeurst speak and she reminded us ladies that it just doesn’t make sense to compare because what we’re doing is comparing our inside to someone’s outside. Apples and Oranges, right?! And each one is delicious!
Chris Valpiani says
So beautiful, Christine. It is so hard to detach ourselves from our old way of thinking. Our old thoughts about ourselves. To welcome in the love He has for us truly helps to clean out the old perceptions. Why is this such a struggle for us? … if only we would practice let go and let God each moment of each day!
Such wise words Chris. You nailed it with practice. It’s a habit, it’s precept upon precept. Yes.
Liz Jones says
Wow- I love this…and I so want to be clothed in His righteousness but sometimes I pick up that old sweater of Comfort and put that on instead and hide. It is kind of like that show- “What to Wear”- we need to throw out all of that old stuff and let God (kind of like Stacey and Clinton! ha!) take us on our own little shopping spree. And when we try to pick up similar stuff- He will rush in and say, “No way daughter- this is not for you- you need THIS- THIS shows your beauty.” THIS meaning trust, self-control, patience, etc…Thank you for sharing this lovely story!
Of course, “What to Wear”. I’ve only seen snippets while channel surfing but yes, exactly what you said!
Lisa Mac says
Thank you so much for painting a picture with your words that helps me with what I am struggling with right now. I will save this “picture” and come back to it often to remind myself what He wants for me. I am often hard on myself so that I can become “more of who He wants me to be” and forget that I AM who He wants me to be. And the more I get rid of those “old clothes” the more I look like who He made me to be.
Christine, I’m in awe of your beautiful and wise spirit. You are the Lord’s favorite daughter. Your words and the comparison between discarding the old and embracing the new, brought tears to my eyes. Love you.
The Lord doesn’t show favoritism, He’s perfect that way! But I know I’m you’re favorite (and only) daughter! Thank you Mommy!
Wow…didn’t know we shared a closet! Thx for putting it into words!
What a wonderful visual for a great story. Thanks!!
Caroline McLeod says
Love love love this.
Thank you x
Jamie Rohrbaugh says
Beautiful, Christine. Thanks for sharing.
Beth WIlliams says
Comparison, regret, and disappointment are hanging in my closet and in my head. It is a constant battle to take out that trash and let God take over. It is soo hard to understand that God created each of us differently and we need to be who He created us to be!
Tina Crispin says
This is a great word picture. One I believe I can hold on to, and remember to apply, when I recognize I’m wearing the wrong outfit. His Word is so faithful to direct us in all things. It’s just pulling it out, putting it on, and choosing to believe it over and above all other voices. That’s where we have the true strength and victory. Thanks for reminding me. All too often, like your little one, I tend to hang on to my old familiar “clothes” thinking they fit…it sometimes takes a friend to point me back into His gaze to see the Truth.