Before I got saved, my greatest aspiration was to be a fashion model. I spent countless hours watching the show, “America’s Next Top Model”, attending casting calls, and even convinced my mom to spend money on modeling school. While other kids were out at the movies, I would be having mini photo shoot sessions at home and spend hours editing the photos after. I actually enjoyed this.
Then, when I got saved, that part of me died. My heart was exposed and I realized just how vain, self-centered, and narcissistic I was. I was blinded by pride. I was so focused on looking pretty on the outside, but on the inside, my heart was ugly.
“3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” – 1 Peter 3: 3-4
Yet what I didn’t realize about my season of transition, was that my love for fashion and style wasn’t “all” bad. Actually, if you read in the Bible, the Proverbs 31 Woman was “clothed in fine linen and purple” (vs. 21) but that wasn’t the only thing she was clothed with. She was also clothed with “strength and dignity.” (vs.25) That’s what I was missing. The clothes may have seemed “fine” according to the world’s standard but they were never worth my dignity. I wasn’t modest at all.
Style, actually comes from God. If you don’t believe me, go outside and take a look at all the flowers. Everything on this earth was created in it’s own unique style, even you and I. Even our days are fashioned, styled, and ordered by God.
“Your eyes did see my substance, being yet unformed; and in your book they were all written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” – Psalm 139:16
The problem with my situation was that my style was being nurtured and raised with the wrong perspective and motivations.
I never knew that as a Christian woman, you could slay and pray at the same time. So when I grew convicted about my style of dress, I resorted to simply wearing jeans and t-shirts. Then on Sundays I would occasionally wear dresses. I stayed away from experimenting with anything that looked too “flashy”. No extra accessories, shoes, bright clothes, skirts, or anything that would make me stand out too much.
In college I went through a depression after experiencing a horrible breakup. As a result of this, I stuck to wearing shades of gray, black, and any other dark or plain colors. I was struggling a lot in my spiritual walk at this point and it could be shown through my style of dress. I also gave up on taking care of myself. I stopped working out, didn’t care to eat healthy, I put no effort into my presentation whatsoever. By the time I was married to my husband, Kal, I figured, “well he loves me anyway, why try?” This was very unhealthy thinking.
It was only a couple years ago that I started introducing color back into my wardrobe and started putting
a little more effort back into my appearance. Why? Because I’m representing God. I’m a daughter of the King? So why should I have to walk around looking all frumpy and depressed? I thought that my denial of color and bright clothing was a form of humility, but it was really just low-self-esteem. Now I’m committed to painting this world with color and light!
If God created the rainbow, why should we have to hide in the shadows? We were called to be a light. We were made to stand out. Maybe I AM called to be a model. A model of Christ’s love. A model of natural beauty. Just not a model of this world.
You see, though I pulled away from fashion and dressing up, the gift of “style” has never left me. Over the years God has given me many different outlets of expression. I have used these various phases of my life to share my personal style. These include photography, poetry, writing, music, hair, graphic design, and the list goes on. Yet when it came to fashion, I always felt like I had to hide and escape the desire. I feared going back to the pride of my past and old ways.
What I had to realize is that it was never about the clothes, it was about the person wearing them. It was never about the “look” but it was about the way I saw myself.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.”
– Psalm 139:14
A lot of people will say, “Oh it’s just clothes!” “Oh it’s just hair!”, or “You’re being too deep.” But for me, it’s not just clothes, just hair, or just words. My style in every form is a direct reflection of my spirituality, creativity, and mind.
We see the beauty in a flower that is healthy and well-nourished. But once it lacks the proper nutrients and environment, the petals begin to wither, the stem dries up, and the flower dies. The style of that flower is hindered, and it does matter. It makes a difference. The purpose of that flower is to bring beauty to the world.
In the same way… my writing, my journeys of expression, whether it be my natural hair journey, fashion evolution, or artistic modes of expression, all reveal a glimpse of the person that I am.
So with this new year… 26, I am excited to start re-introducing my journey of personal style and re-creating who I was always made to be.
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