Day 20: The curse of the skinny jeans
Thought for the Day: Tying our happiness to food, skinny jeans, relationships, or anything else sets us up for failure. But tying our security, joy, and identity to God’s love is an anchor that we can cling to no matter what the circumstances.
Once I reached my goal weight, I thought I’d never have a bad day again. I mean really, what could possibly trouble me if I could fit into my skinny jeans? Boy was I wrong.
A hurtful email showed up … a disrespectful attitude from one of my kids … a missed appointment … a messy house … a stressful situation at work … an unexpected bill. Here I was just hours after feeling thrilled at finally being able to wear my skinny jeans, falling prey to the same topsy-turvy stuff I used to think wouldn’t bother me if only I were smaller. This is the curse of the skinny jeans. The truth I’ve had to realize is that my body size is not tied to my happy. If I was unhappy when I was larger, I’ll still be unhappy when I get smaller.
For years, I tied happiness to my circumstances and hopes for the future. I thought, “I’ll be happy when my father comes back, when I get married, when I have kids, when the economy improves, when I lose those extra pounds…” But even when some of those things came true, I was still dissatisfied. Surely there was more to me than defining myself by my circumstances.
One day I read a list of Bible verses that describe who God says I am, no matter the circumstances in my life, both good and bad. I took that list of Scriptures and started to redefine my identity. It was a stark contrast to the way I defined myself by circumstances or others’ opinions of me. I finally realized that these issues don’t define me. Instead, I could tie my happiness to the reality of who my heavenly Father says I am:
- Lysa, the forgiven child of God. (Romans 3:24)
- Lysa, the set-free child of God. (Romans 8:1–2)
- Lysa, the accepted child of God. (1 Corinthians 1:2)
- Lysa, the holy child of God. (1 Corinthians 1:30)
- Lysa, the made-new child of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- Lysa, the loved child of God. (Ephesians 1:4)
- Lysa, the close child of God. (Ephesians 2:13)
- Lysa, the confident child of God. (Ephesians 3:12)
- Lysa, the victorious child of God. (Romans 8:37)
We were made to be set free, holy, new, loved, and confident. Because of this truth, we can’t allow our minds to partake in anything that negates our real identity. Tying our happiness to food, skinny jeans, relationships, or anything else will only set us up for failure. But tying our security, joy, and identity to God’s love is an anchor that we can cling to no matter what the circumstances.
This is a lesson I am very slowly but surely learning. My happiness does not depend on my weight or if I am eating or not eating, it depends on me and my perception of events. I can be happy in the most dire of circumstances and ill health, because God loves me. That is what makes me happy.