Has God ever snuck up on you and revealed His goodness to you in a way that left you in awe? I love how He often takes simple, everyday things and fills them with His spirit so that they become extraordinary. On our first extended journey, our van life’s theme has been one of God showing me who I really am.
This usually means there is some obstacle in the way that needs to be removed so I can see myself the way He see’s me. Ladies and gentlemen I present to you a two-part act of how a wardrobe makeover ushered in God’s transforming power!
My Clothing History
First, it’s important for you to hear a little of my clothing backstory. I like clothes, but they are not a huge focus for me. Living in a van means my wardrobe, by default, needs to be on the minimalist side; no surprise there. Our closet space is fixed, and if anything new comes in then something old has to go. All that to say, I do not have a large wardrobe collection.
When it comes to clothing, I tend to lean more towards the practical side. I also carry a strong conviction to do my best to shop responsibly, to purchase items that do not support poor work conditions. In some cases those wqork conditions involve slavery. This requires me to research companies who use ethical practices, often paying the much higher prices associated with fair labour practices. Sometimes I hit up a thrift store.
I know, I know, what a pain! I’ve heard it said, “If your values don’t cost you something, you should think about getting new values.” I am not perfect at this by any means, but we all try our best to live from our values, getting better day by day.
Act One: Hand Me Downs
Some of my favourite clothing items have come in the form of hand me downs. While visiting a friend, she invites me into a “purging party” as she pulls item after item from her closet. As I tried on a few things, my friend encourages me to try on what seemed like the remainder of her closet. She literally dresses me up head to toe; shoes, hat, jewelry, the works. The items I was trying on didn’t really feel like me, and so I wondered what in the world we were doing.
In the middle of this, two things happened. I put on a dress that made me come alive, finding a spark of joy. Second, I heard God tell me I needed to find my style.
Time to Find My Style
I took this event to heart and started down the journey of finding my style. You’d think that by now I’d know what my personal style looked like, yet I didn’t. I took the next logical step and started building a Pinterest board. That’s never really been my thing before but I did have an account and it seemed like a good place to discover and curate a “Find My Style” board.
God was inviting me into something new, and my friend even offered to take me to the thrift store and see what we could find. I was really looking forward to having my own personal stylist on board to help me out. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, so it was just me and Pinterest figuring it out.
Act Two: A Twist of Fashion Fate
This part of the story comes with a surprising twist; God showing me He knows exactly what I need, and how He has prepared a way for me. (Pretty sure that is in the bible somewhere) While I was surprised, I am sure God was not. I like to call moments like these “God setups.” This is where He brings things together in such a way you know it has to be Him and no one else. It’s as if He loves to show off (His glory) to His kids.
“If your values don’t cost you something you should think about getting new values.”– Unknown
Ok, I’ll get to it already. This twist of fate day starts off with me hanging out with an all too familiar friend named rejection. Unfortunately we are closer than I would like to be. On this particular day Lee and I were visiting another set of friends and my morning was not going so well. Fresh off the heels of an incident that triggered feelings of rejection to rise up within me, I soon found myself sitting at the dining room table with two amazing friends who were consoling me.
During our discussion, for some reason we got on the topic of me trying to find my style. They asked me to show them items I love from my current wardrobe. I brought in all my clothes and starting going through them one by one, making a pile of clothes I loved and another pile of clothes that were just practical. I think I found maybe five items I loved; that’s it.
A Personal Transformation
From these few pieces I loved, my friend says, “I think I know what your style is, come upstairs.” She begins to bring item after item out of her closet and I am trying them on. We find things I like, and then things I love. I was surprised to discover what my style actually was; much different than I had expected. In fact, my whole wardrobe ended up being transformed and in the process I too was being transformed.
In my new wardrobe I have found a freedom of expression and confidence. What is that? Is that joy? A new pride in caring about what I look like? Am I worth making an effort for? How can something as simple as clothing, breathed on by Holy Spirit, become an incredible expression of His love?
He is in it all. He inspired three woman to hugely impact my life through clothing. To discover empowerment, freedom, and love through clothing… it is a thing!
I continue to meditate on this beautiful story unfolding in my life. I will never look at clothing the same way, and every time I put on an item of clothing that was given to me I am reminded of God’s love and provision towards me. My Father always gives great gifts, and His gifts always draw me deeper into who He created me to be. I continue this journey of finding my style!
Is there something God is inviting you into to discover more of who you are? Have you had your own journey of discovering your style? Would love to hear about it!