Hope you've all had a good start to this week! I have a little slew of posts in the works, so rest assured that though I haven't given the blog as much dedicated time the last few months, it's not because of lack of inspiration! Anyways, one of those posts I've had in the works, aka, in the back of my mind to do is just tell y'all a bit about the why I dress the way I do and how I got to where I am today! About time don't you think?! So thank you for reading and I hope what I have to share will be of interest and encouragement to you!
So, starting off, both now and growing up we've had "modesty guildlines" set as a family. We girls don't wear sleeveless tops past preteen years in public, skirts above the knee is a no-no, words on the front of T-shirts can't be across the chest, and of course a higher neckline have all been rules instilled in us as a young age. But we are allowed to wear jeans and shorts; pants being regular cut (no skinnies) and shorts not being "short-shorts". Though, since both Bek and I have chosen to not wear either, at a fairly young age, (we'll get to that later) I'm not quite sure how our parents will make it, say, if one of the younger girls wants to still wear them once older since they've not had to cross that bridge yet. So, now that you know a bit of my family's standards, let's move on to what I call my first "trigger moment".
Fast forward a few years and about a thousand testimonials read on the issue later, I was really feeling the urge to give up pant wearing all together. I'm an old fashioned girl, so wearing skirts/dresses was already more frequent than your average teen, but I really began to examine myself and how I acted when I chose to grab jeans over a skirt. I realized it was when I was feeling extra pretty and just wanted basically flaunt it that I did. Though this was by far my main intent each time I wore them, that guilt was there each time I did wear them. And let me tell you!-- that "guilt" was called conviction!
I began to wear pants less and less. I felt different while doing so, like I was actually me. Have you ever done something, read the results of a personality test maybe? And just thought, "Wow, this is so me! This is who I am!"? Well, that's exactly how I began to feel as I gave up wearing pants and started wearing skirts more full time. I feel like I'm myself, like "this is how its supposed to be". I feel content, me, and oh so important, that God loves me so much that He would give me this wonderful gift I saw so many other girls embracing with such passion. That's how I felt and the way I feel now, overwhelmed that I can have such an amazing outward symbol to show to others of how we are to be holy-- set apart.
As I embraced this new kind of "lifestyle" if you will, I felt nervous at times almost too; timid about what extended family especially might comment once they caught on. I started to read more and more about the topic to gain some insight in how other girls answered both the snide remarks along with the honest-to-goodness questions. I knew pretty much my whole life what 1 Timothy 2:9&10 said, "I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God." But I felt kind of lost at how to apply it; how to be able to explain to others about how I was interpreting it for myself.
As I read thoughts from both sides of the spectrum; from those who believed in being modestly dressed mattered and those who didn't, it seemed to me that one thing always came up that seemed to kind of tip the boat in the direction of those who said, (and here comes the famous phrase) "Modesty is a heart issue! It's all about the heart! Not what we wear!". Then they'd quote 1 Samuel 16:7 which reads: "For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." My little 14/15 year old brain couldn't quite wrap my head around a rebuttal around that one! I knew that modesty of heart of course mattered! But what did it mean in light of dressing appropriately? "The Lord looks at the heart guys!-- So the outward appearance isn't really important to Him!" I heard this over and over, so many times and it wasn't till I read a blog post just over three years ago did I have another one of those "trigger moments".
While this verse is so widely used for the cause of those who believe that modesty of dress doesn't altogether matter to God, because of their interpretation of it, I was gitty with excitement as I read for the very first time in all my readings, that this verse actually had a much bigger meaning for us- one that could be used to enlighten those who fought it so hard with this very same verse.
So, we have it; the verse so clearly says that man and God do not look at things the same way, while human looks at the outward appearance of each other, God however looks into the heart. I don't know if this will be such a wake-up moment for you as it was for me that Fall day as I sat reading yet another blog posting, but it was! We're to be light in the darkness, a set apart people, a witness to those who are lost, fishers of men for the Kingdom of God so that all may hear the Good News, right? Well, that verse in Samuel so clearly says the truth, we look at the outwardness of others first and foremost, what better way to show that there is something different about us to others than to show them by the way we humans look at things?!-- Through the outward appearance! A huge lightbulb went off for me when I heard that and again I was convinced God truly did (does!) care about how we represent ourselves and again I had a benefit from it!
The ramifications this time were totally and completely overwhelming though. God had not only given me confirmation without me even outwardly asking, but had again showed me how special I am to Him; how special I am to be His. That I am chosen. That all of us who are believers in Him have a giant responsibility and that He's given us the tools to do it.
I've chosen to wear my legs skirted for so many reasons, this post could really go on and on because it trickles into so many other issues, but mainly I just wanted to share some of where I come from and a couple insights I've personally found to be huge.
Please believe me when I whole-heartily say that this is not to judge anyone of you who may not be on the exact same path as me. This was solely for encouraging those who may have questions and for the interest of those I may have known a while who never knew about how I got to be here! I do very much think modesty of dress is important, but like Samuel says, God's looking at your heart, not me! Follow Him and don't ignore is all I can say because I know that many blessings are awaiting you if you've turned from what He may be trying to show you!
This is just some of my story, how my thought process went through the whole journey. And, I'm still on it y'all! I doubt God is done showing me how beautiful this is, how it all meshes so effortlessly together. His ways are truly wonderful, I'm in awe of how He brings each of us to the understanding of His Word. I hope you've gained some more understanding for your own journey with Him while reading through this! Please comment with any questions you may have!
Do you have a 'journey to modesty' story to tell??
Please comment and share with us all below!