There is nothing fun about ruining a new pair of pants the first time you wear them.
A few Sundays ago, I went to church wearing a pair of beautiful flowy pants that were just the right style and fit. A bunch of people complimented them… I felt great in them.
These pants were perfect.
After church, I grabbed lunch with a girlfriend. We were having a great time discussing different parts of the sermon from that morning. All of a sudden, I felt something dripping onto my leg. I reached underneath the table and discovered that this mystery substance was also sticky. Gross! So, I looked down and discovered about thirty different dark black dots that strongly resembled car oil had dripped down from my thigh to my ankle. My once perfect pants were ruined.
I was irritated. Every woman knows how difficult it can be to find a good pair of pants and now mine were soiled.
In my irritated state, I rambled to myself, “What is this? Will this stuff even come out? These pants were expensive and I don’t want to buy another pair. I don’t even know if they’ll have another pair!”
My friend responded to my frustration sincerely.
“All you need is some soap and water,” she reassured me.
I thought, “Yeah, right. This looks like oil! Soap and water are not going to get this out.”
But eventually I yielded to her suggested and got to scrubbing.
The stain started to lift slowly, but not all the way.
I grew even more frustrated.
Now, I was not only dirty but I had a HUGE wet spot from scrubbing, right between my thighs all the way down to my ankle. At this point, it looked like I had wet myself. I was uncomfortable and self-conscious.
I started to think about all the other tasks I wanted to accomplish after lunch. But with my dirty wet pants, I was ready to go home! Deep down inside, I knew it would be silly to give up on the day just because of my pants. So eventually I recommitted in my heart to finish the day strong – wet pants and all. I made up my mind to just let it go.
I continued to scrub until the rest of the stains started to disappear although there was still no guarantee that the pants would fully recover. I would have to wait for the pants to completely dry in order to find out.
My friend continued to encourage me. We paid the bill and left the restaurant.
Accepting New Seasons
As I headed to my car, I prayed silently, “Lord, is this the season we’re in? Where I have to move forward when I feel absolutely ridiculous, uncomfortable, and slightly irritated? Concerned that everyone will see my ‘dirty spots,’ my flaws, and imperfections.”
I heard the Lord say, “Yup. Ashley, you are in a season where you must move forward beyond your discomfort – beyond your need to have everything perfect. Move forward in your flaws and in your awkwardness. Move forward even when you’re concerned about what others will think.”
Isn’t that how life is with God? He makes us move forward in our mess so that He can make us into a masterpiece. After all, if everything was based on us “getting it right”… how would He ever get the glory?
I don’t know what you’re afraid of other people thinking, seeing, or knowing about you…
The details of that terrible divorce…
The job you were fired from…
The imperfections of your body or face….
The abuse you experienced as a child…
But just know that whatever “it” is that it does not disqualify you from being everything that God has called you to be. You are enough. Just the way you are. Move forward and let God turn your mess into something meaningful.
Remember – He is more concerned with your progress than your perfection.
Side Note: I finished the day with my wet pants and all. No one even seemed to notice. In fact, I received more compliments.
So what are you struggling with? What do you want to achieve? Tell me in the comments below!