Ever since I can remember, I have loved fashion. Unfortunately, I was often an individual “before my time”. When I was in Grade 8, I wore a dress and shoes that had belonged to my Mom. The dress was sleeveless with an orange and white thinly striped top and a drop waist pleated orange skirt. I completed my ensemble with my Mom’s white leather kitten heel sling-back shoes. I thought I looked “cool” but probably I just looked “unique”. LOL! In high school, I put together an outfit consisting of a belted tan safari shirt over matching pants that had been tucked into almost knee-high shiny black boots with 3″ heels. To top it off, I sported a brown felt “poor boy” cap worn cockily off-side. Heidi Klum move over! A hindrance to my indulging in fashion was the lack of funds. I couldn’t afford the “latest” or “hottest” trends so I had to make do with sales, comprises, and inventiveness.
I married very young, to a guy who’s idea of an outfit was forest green work pants and work shirt! I moved to Northern Ontario where the local costume was jeans and a flannel shirt or sweatshirt in the summer and long johns and snow suits in the winter. (Just kidding – sort of).
My husband disapproved of my fun and flirty sense of fashion and being the good submissive Christian wife that I was (choke-choke) I tried to assimilate myself into his wishes. After long periods of time of stifling my inner fashion goddess, I would break out in protest by buying and wearing what I considered to be “sexy” outfits – much to my hubby’s great displeasure. I found his reaction strange as I would have thought that he would be proud to have an attractive wife but it seemed like he wanted me to be kept “under wraps” (break out the burka).
My inner fashion struggle was shoved even deeper inside me when I reached my forties. I thought that I should be wearing appropriate “middle-age” lady clothes. I sure didn’t want to be one of those ladies that people would look at and whisper “what is she thinking??”. This was made worse by my knowledge that I was one of those people who whispered! (Shame on me!) And then there was the fact that I was attending and ministering in a very small Baptist church led by a lovely, but somewhat “traditional” and older male pastor. I was under the mistaken impression that in order to be a Christian woman and an effective ministry leader, I had to look and dress very shapeless and boring.
Although I thought that I was dressing a certain way for the right reasons, I felt drab, old and unattractive. My sense of confusion and inner struggle came to a halting stop one day when I realized that my mother dressed younger than I did! And she is a Christian woman. And her sense of style is part of her personality. And people thought she looked like my older sister. And – I decided then and there that I was going to break out of my humdrum, middle-aged, boring, and uninspiring cocoon! So I got my hair cut short and spikey, dyed it red, and bought a fun summer top coloured with oranges, greens, reds and browns. And I haven’t looked back since!
Even better, I now have a hubby who not only enjoys my fun and colourful sense of style (he laughingly calls me his bohemian magpie because I like colour and bling) he encourages me to buy things that bless me. He even offers to buy me things too! And now that I am working in a clothing store, I get to feed my inner butterfly personality on a regular basis.
No more boxy, baggy clothes in boring neutrals for me! Just like in Cyndi Lauper’s song “True Colours”, my true colours come shining through. I wear clothes that are colourful and fun and that make me feel good. And I think my heavenly Father is just fine with that – after all, the same God that created flowers and rainbows also created me! And my joy in wearing fun and colourful clothing reflects my love of the Creator and His beautiful creation. And if you don’t think that God has a unique sense of style, you should watch some nature documentaries. Those Birds of Paradise rock!
God does not judge us based on our appearance. He judges us based on our hearts. I think that as long as our appearance does not dishonour God or lead others astray, we have been given the freedom to express our inner selves. So let your true colours come shining through.
Joh 7:24 Do not judge according to sight, but judge righteous judgment.
2Co 10:7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s.