Jen’s Gem: It’s time to put on the new you!
The other day marked eight months that I’ve been in my new home having downsized from a house to a condo. The living is easier but there is much to get used to and I continue to adjust a little more each day to the many differences between condo living and house living.
Before I moved, I made a list of all of my belongings and where their new position would be. I recall vividly tossing and turning one night until this task was completed. Each item had its spot. It made sense. Couch on this wall, piano on that wall, bookcase here, and dresser there.
I paid strapping young men to move all of my furniture from point A to point B and put each in its predestined spot. I was surprised at how it all came together. Everything seemed to fit perfectly… until it didn’t.
My old wingback chairs were too big for my new living room. My super comfy couch was too small for the long wall. The entertainment center was too big. The lack of a dresser in my bedroom wreaked havoc on my psyche as I searched plastic bins in my closet for PJ’s and other items of clothing. The old was not working with the new.
One by one, these items were sold or given away and replaced with new pieces. As I look around my condo this morning, it’s barely recognizable from move in day. My children scoff at me as I swore up and down that I would not be purchasing new furniture. I had better plans for my hard-earned monies. I’m eating crow now.
As much as I tried to adjust to my old furniture in my new place, it just didn’t fit. It didn’t work. Oh, sure there are a few pieces that remain, but not many. My beloved secretary, my piano, and my children’s beds along with a few small items have survived the overhaul. But mostly, it’s a clean slate.
There are days when I scratch my head and say “Why did you pay movers to transport items that weren’t going to stay and then pay furniture stores to deliver new pieces?” Oh, the money I could’ve saved! However, I had no idea this would happen. I had no idea that my old life wouldn’t fit into my new life.
The Bible speaks about the consequences of mixing old and new things in Matthew 9:16-17:
“But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results. Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
You can see from these verses that trying to fit something old into something new just doesn’t work sometimes. It’s a bit like the square peg, round hole theory.
This is similar to my walk with God. Some of my old behaviors, actions, words, and mindsets just don’t fit into my new life. In fact they are so far from what I believe now that they feel like a scratchy wool sweater against bare skin. They’re irritating.
For example, when the day tries to kick me to the curb with life’s responsibilities, I used to bemoan my circumstances and accept the invitation to the pity party. Today, those same duties are still there, yet I greet them with a promise of God – “I can do all things through Christ who is my strength.”
When client work decreases, I used to stress over my bank account balance. Today, the tattoo on my shoulder reminds me that God has my back in Jeremiah 29:11:
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
My old life was filled with doubt, stress, and weakness but my new life is about joy, strength, and confidence – not in myself mind you, but in the promises of God that as a believer I can take a hold of. John 10:10 sums this up perfectly:
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
The thief (Satan) wants to steal my life. Jesus came to save it. The devil wants to destroy me. Jesus came to build me up. I don’t know about you but I’m going with what Jesus has in store for me – a new way of life, a new me. As Paul says in Ephesians, we might all do better if we simply put on the new and relinquish the old.
“…that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
What’s not fitting you any more? It might be time to try something new.