The clothes I wear say who I am.
When I was younger I imagined that early on I wore clothes that said
Tree climber with skinned knees
Roller-skater who was afraid to fall
Dare devil that loved the challenge
Creative with space
I’m not sure of the exact age, but I can speculate, when I started noticing these clothes disappear.
They would get shoved under my pillow. Or in the corner. Maybe they got left under the picnic table that fateful summer.
Whatever happened, I seem to find new shirts to wear. Ones that spoke for me.
Imaginative girl who never knew the difference between the stories she told and what was real.
When the knees stopped being skinned and my pigtails were gone, I started letting others put clothes on me.
Or take them off.
And at the end all I was left with was clothes that said
As a teenager I wore empty like it owned me.
It did. It owned me.
Empty love. Empty food. Empty exercise. Empty puking. Empty drugs. Empty attention. Empty feelings. Empty touch. Empty alcohol. Empty lying. Empty school. Empty fear. Empty friends. Empty security. Empty soul. Empty faith.
I continued to wake up every day for years and decide that this was what I was going to wear. I deserved to wear it. There were days or moments when I wanted to find another shirt to wear. To borrow someone else’s shirt. To see if what they were wearing would fit me. I was convinced that I could feel better in what they carried on their backs then the years of weighted clothes I carried on my shoulders.
Years later I knew it was safe to start taking the shirts of lies off. I had begun to surround myself with souls who breathed life into me. Who called out truth. Who saw the truth and leaned in even closer.
When I began to explore the thought that there was a God who wanted to slowly come to me with palms open I was timidly skeptical. Was I willing to take the layers of clothes I had worn off? Was I willing to throw them away? Was I willing to lay them ALL at his feet? Was I brave enough to let others see the scars that I had been covering for years?
Exposed for the world to see.
For Christ to wash me.
For my husband to understand me.
For my friends to receive me.
For the mirror to reveal me.
Who I was years ago. Who I am today.
The shirt He asks me to wear.
He asks you to wear everyday
You are not what happened to you. You are not who cheated on you. You are not your child’s illness. You are not your pain. You are not your divorce. You are not your weight. You are not the food you eat. You are not the alcohol that devours you. You are not your addiction. You are not your husband’s rage. You are not the fear that drowns you. You are not the loss you ache for. You are not the girl who didn’t know better. You are not the countless times you gave yourself away. You are not the porn that calls you back to feast. You are not the secrets that hold you captive. You are not your job that engrosses you. You are not your child’s behaviors. You are not the girl you used to be.
You are brave enough.
You are courageous enough.
You are enough.
Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” Ruth 2:10
It’s time. It’s time to take off the layers of lies you’ve been wearing. It’s time to stop letting others put filth on you. It’s time to be brave enough to wear the truth Christ has been holding in his arms for you.
The truth that says
Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, Ruth 4:14