Lamentations Sweats

I have this pair of Gap sweats that I have had for years... over ten years to be exact.  They are slowly, yet surely, falling apart.  The waistband is tearing, so the elastic and drawstring are falling out.  The hems are non-existent.  Yet, I keep them.  I keep pulling them out and wearing them.  I lounge in them, clean in them, blog in them.  I'm wearing them right now. 

When I wear them, I remember the day I found them on super clearance at the Gap in Texas.  I remember wearing them through all my pregnancies and post-partum months (okay, fine, years!).  They are a pair of pants that never let me down. They always fit.  I don't want to donate them or get rid of them because they hold all these memories.  Forget that they have a tendency to fall down and it's a little ridiculous how threadbare they are.  I just can't let go.

Do you have things that you can't let go of?  Things that are silly to keep, but that you don't think you'll ever get rid of? 

I have lots of junk like that.  I keep ridiculous objects because of the memories they hold. Yes, I know it's silly, but I fight the urge to keep unnecessary stuff on a regular basis.  Over the years, I have gotten better.  Still, there are (obviously) things I am holding onto.  My pants are proof enough.

So forget the material things.  What about the other junk we hold onto?  What about the hurt feelings?  What about the wrongdoings?  What about the pieces of our past that we just can't seem to let go?

Are there events in your past that you replay all the time?  Things you live over and over and keep alive even though they make you fall apart? 

Are there people who have hurt you, intentionally or unintentionally?  And no matter how hard you try, you just can't let it go?  Does living in that hurt wear you out and drag you down? 

I've never felt God tell me to just get rid of these pants.  (Although, plenty of friends and family have!)
But I have felt God urge me to let go of my past.  I have to let go.  To give forgiveness.  It isn't always easy.

And for me, the hardest person to forgive is myself.  It seems like I can let wrongdoings of others go all day long.  In fact, I'm way easier on other people than I will ever be on myself.  Over and over, I relive things I've done wrong.  Ways I've hurt myself, ways I've messed up, the way I used to be. 

I hold onto memories, even the bad ones, like I hold onto my old sweats.  Some times I just lounge around in them and have a pity party.  Meanwhile, God is gently whispering, "Let them go!"  Okay, not so gently! 

He's forgotten.  He threw my past out with the trash and didn't give it a second thought.  Why I continue to pull it back out, I'll never know.  But that's not what God wants for me... for any of us. He wants us to live in the new life He has given us!  What a concept!  To wear robes of righteousness instead of old ragged sweats full of sin and sorrow. 

Are we worthy?

The Bible tells us over and over that we are! 

Take Romans for example (italics mine):

 For we know our old self was crucified with Him
so that the body of sin might be done away with,
that we should no longer be slaves to sin-
because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
Now if we died with Christ,
we believe that we will also live with Him.
Romans 6:6-8
What benefit did you reap at that time from the things that you are now ashamed of?
Those things result in death!  
But now you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God,
the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
Romans 6:21-22
But now, by dying to what once bound us,
we have been released from the law
so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit,
and not in the old way of the written code.
Romans 7:6
If you have accepted Jesus.  If you believe He died for your sins.  If you have confessed and asked God for forgiveness.  YOU. ARE. CLEAN.  Your sins are GONE!!!!

Those old memories are nothing.  Let them go.  

Breathe deep and accept your new life.  Your clean slate.  Your forgiveness!  
There is nothing so bad that it can't be washed away.  Nothing.  
Live in it. 
I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord's great love
we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.  
They are new every morning; 
great is Your faithfulness!
Lamentations 3:19-23
The words of a David Crowder song ring so true in my heart.  And on my Lamentations, old sweats kind of days, my heart jumps and I am brought to tears.

"And we are His portion and He is our prize, drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes. If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss and my heart turns violently inside of my chest.  
I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way... Oh, how He loves us, oh how He loves us..."

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