*Disclaimer: I wrote this post about a month ago, I’m just horrid at publishing things on time. I’ve gained a few pounds since. #Gainz*
With a title such as “the last belt hole” you might conjure images of a stomach bulging over a belt, the belt encompassing a rounded mass. Or, “the last belt hole” can bring images of using a blade to shimmy a new hole into the leather of an existing belt that clings around a stick of a body. Two options. The last one makes you hungry.
For me, the second belt hole is my reality. I’m skinny, a bag of bones sloshing around in clothes of muted colors. An alabaster jar of reduced weight (If you didn’t get that reference, you’re not a real Christian… I only joke). Lucky for me, I have a few dresses from back in the day that make my fragile frame look like something more than skin stretched over a skeleton.
I’m thirty pounds lighter than I was last year, and last year I wasn’t overweight. I was just me. I was just doing my thing: being weird and wonderful. Mostly weird.
The weight loss is due to my change of health. Or rather, the start of treatment. I had lost my first twenty pounds as my muscles shrank and atrophied and as my diet was restrained. However, I’ve been having a particularly difficult time eating the last two months. I’m constantly nauseous and I feel full as soon as I take a bite. There’s also dry heaving… but you didn’t want to know that.
I’m the same weight I was in middle school, and other parts of my life resemble those horrid years of junior high. This disease has made me weak in many ways, and along with the weakness comes insecurity. I don’t like looking in the mirror. Every time I look, I just see a ghost of the girl that there, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
I missed the old me for a long time. I still miss her. Sometimes, when I’m in a situation I think, “What would the old me do? What would she say?” This all sounds overly quixotic and dramatic, but if you’ve ever experienced some kind of loss, you understand that you don’t quite feel whole.
Despite my “feelings,” I am whole.
I am whole, worthy, and complete because of the person who fills me: the God of Abraham. It doesn’t matter how I’m feeling on a particular day, or if I’ve lost all notion of familiarity, God is my constant.
For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
God holds the ultimate blueprint for who we are supposed to be. Running to other sources of fulfillment or confidence is an utter waste of time. It would be similar to retrieving water from a well with a bucket and then making the bucket my source of water. Once the water is gone, I would refuse to go back to the well, but put all my energy into telling the bucket it’s the best bucket in the world. I tell the bucket to visualize making water. I tell the bucket it just needs to build its self-esteem. I tell the bucket it’s perfect the way it is, even though it has no use without the water as its contents. The bucket can never make water.
The same goes for self-fulfillment, self-image, and self-worth. All of those entities fail in the descriptor of “self.”
True fulfillment, worth, and healthy image come from the creator of those entities. God is the only one who can give our lives true meaning. We are empty buckets devoid of meaning without Him. Once we relieve ourselves of the pressures of creating purpose, we are able to focus on The Purpose.
With God as our sole focus, we will find confidence as children of God. If our bodies fall sick, we lose loved ones, or we lose dreams, our ultimate purpose is always the same: giving glory to God. With full belief and action on such a notion, it’s impossible to become lost in life. It’s impossible to be made into a ghost of a person.
No matter how many pounds I lose or how many vegetables I could cut with my collarbone, I will forever have a purpose and can forever find beauty in the reflection of Christ. Even if I don’t recognize myself some days, I can find confidence in knowing that God is recognizable in His constance.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.