Nov 072011

I was doing the laundry and hanging my clothes back up in the closet this morning. And it struck me. My clothing isn’t the same color that it all used to be. What happened to the overabundance of dark colors and boring neutrals? Where did the shapeless shirts and ugly pants go?

I had a lot of navy blue and khaki for many, many years. Clothes that didn’t stand out, didn’t say look at me, and were designed to hide in. And clothes that never looked great on me either.

I don’t get new clothes very often with our budget. I’m relegated to garage sales, 98 cent day at the DAV Thrift Store and presents of clothes. So it isn’t like my wardrobe had a sudden change all at once. It was very slow and gradual.

All my new clothes, while there is some khaki (it is all the brighter khaki except one skirt that is darker that goes great with maroon) are all brighter, especially the shade of pink that my husband has told me repeatedly that I look wonderful in. It is a shade that while I know he loved on me, I rarely wore as I was scared to. I even have a denim shirt I never would have dreamed of wearing before and prints. I always shied away from prints, even if I thought they were pretty. Because they weren’t “me.” Because they would draw attention to me. And now I have this gorgeous white shirt with the prettiest pink and lavender and blue spring flowers on it. I have a fairly bright red skirt and top outfit with a bit of a brown design in it. In fact, I even have a polo that is white with a bright orangy/salmony colored floral design.

I was shocked when I realized this drastic change in my wardrobe that has just sort of crept up on me over the last year or so. I stopped hanging up my grey skirt (love this skirt, it is the perfect shade of grey to go with nearly any color top from black to chartreuse. Not like I would look good in chartreuse, it’s nice to have that option) and just stared at all the pretty colors hanging there. I nearly started to cry when I realized that this subtle, gradual shift is a reflection of the changes in my life.

I’m not the person I once was. I used to be painfully withdrawn. I used to not be able to express myself all that well (typically verbally, still working on that one…), I hated myself, didn’t think myself worthy of love. Felt ugly and stupid and believed so many lies from the enemy . I believed the lies of my past from people that I love dearly. The state of myself was reflected in my wardrobe. It was nothing spectacular. Most of my clothes didn’t fit right, I never dressed to feel pretty, or to be noticed (by saying be noticed, I’m not meaning in an immodest sense. I mean dress to blend into the wallpaper and pray no one notices you at all versus, being ok to be seen and being modestly attired).

God has been bringing me on a journey that I never thought I would be on. Slowly, over the last six years, I have started to realize that I am not who I was taught to be. I am not someone with absolutely nothing worth saying, I am not ugly, I do not sound like a wounded animal when I sing (granted, I’ll never be a gorgeous soprano like Sandi Patty, I don’t sound like a wounded coyote either.) I am allowed to feel pleasure. I am not being selfish if I need some time to myself. I am loveable. I am a worthy child of the most high King. My clothing choices now (except on heavy duty cleaning days) reflect that.

I won’t pretend that this transformation has been easy. We get comfortable in our pain so often and it is so hard to let it go. To not let it define us like it always has before. I haven’t always been a willing participant at times either. It’s just easier to keep things going the same way as they always have.  You don’t have to make the hard changes if you stay the same, you don’t have to deal with questions from those who have known you for a long time. You don’t have to work on it. But I know now (like I had been told) that the change is worth it. The change in me has been so worth it, even though it was scary (and still is at times). I am more stable, I find I have more joy, I delight in life more. Life is more full than I ever dreamed it could be.  And I never want to return to the way I was before.

I realized all of this as I was hanging some clothes in my half of the closet. Something simple as a pink, tuxedo ruffled cotton shirt shows how much I have changed. I am amazed at the journey God has taken me on and I look forward to where else He leads me. And who knows, maybe someday you’ll see me in sequins..

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