Today’s topic: STRETCH
I don’t dare put the jeans in the dryer because then it will be a wrestling match trying to get them on and zipped and I’ll have to do deep knee squats in order to loosen them up. I don’t dare put the shirts in the dryer because then it will become a contorted elbow yoga session to stretch out the part that clings too tightly to the parts I don’t want anything clinging too tightly to.
Just a year ago I didn’t have to do the squats and the yoga because after I ran the half marathon I was completely at peace with my body even though I still wasn’t even close to a size zero. It was strong and had endured 13.1 miles and I was proud of what my body and I accomplished together. But now I find myself stretching my arm around to my back so I can beat myself up for where I was then and where I am now.
It’s tedious to do this — this dance of tricking myself into believing my clothes are shrinking not that my body is growing. It’s frustrating to do this — this slap-a-grin-on-my-face-and-pretend-the-change-in-medication-that’s-caused-me-to-gain-15-pounds-in-two- (15 pounds!) (two months!) doesn’t bother me. It’s disheartening to do this — to force myself to get up and out and face the world and not hibernate until somehow miraculously I wake up with a changed body. I want to stay in and withdraw from all outside activity and hide because I feel awful and terrible and horrible about myself. It’s vain and ridiculous and superficial but it’s true.
And yet in the midst of it all, God continues to call me up and out and in front and in back and to the left and to the right. And He doesn’t let me hide and He doesn’t let me be alone and He doesn’t put it all on hold until I can dry my jeans in the dryer once again. Instead, He stretches me and reaches me out further and deeper and higher. And He shows me that the calling and giftings and talents He placed in me are not contained by my physical body. And He stretches my mindset and tells me just to be honest and open and share about my struggle regardless of how embarrassing it is to me. Because I’m not embarrassing to Him.
So I sit here in an unknown yoga position with my body stretched in ways I haven’t wanted. And I hang up my jeans and I hang up my shirts and pray they somehow fit when they dry. And I allow God to dry my mind from being so soaked with thoughts that my body and my size determine who I am and what I can do and who I can be. And maybe in the process it will all stretch out to a perfect fit after all.