I have a shoe problem. I love them. Heels, wedges, flats, docksiders, flip-flops, I love them all. I cannot go out of the house unless I have the exact right shoes for what I am wearing. I deliver 200lbs of paper in heels, I trapes through ice in silk flats. Heck, I’ve had to jump into a three-foot snow bank in a pair of suede pumps because I could not outrun a snowplow! (It’s a long story that was emotionally scaring… It may show up as a vignette…) If I have too much of anything other than books, it’s shoes. There is just something about that new pair. They make me feel new as well. A new outfit or fresh pair of shoes makes me feel lovely in a way nothing else can. Admit it: Doesn’t it feel fantastic when you feel good about what you’re wearing and everyone you see is complimenting you? They know you look good, you know you look good, everybody’s happy.
We all have a deep-rooted lie that we believe. It sits in the gut of our soul longing to be proven false, but in this broken world, the lie seems to always prevail. The lie I believe is that I am not lovely. The complete opposite in fact. If I can boil it down to one word, I believe I am repulsive.
Because I believe this about myself, I feel if anyone truly gets to know me, they will be horrified and leave. I think I am unworthy of relationship. I believe no one will ever find me beautiful. So I must do something so no one will find out I am broken, ashamed, and ugly. We try to cover up our lies in a lot of ways. One way I try is through clothing.
If I have on the right outfit, if I am on top of the latest trends, if I am unique and stylish, no one will notice I am ugly. I can cover up what I feel is a lack of physical beauty with clothing. If I can’t be beautiful, at least I can be stylish. In this way, clothing becomes my coping mechanism. If I feel ugly, bloated, or unfeminine, I can go to a store and buy something that does make me feel lovely, willowy, and sophisticated. I believe that somehow, someway, if I have the right outfit, I will magically have a date to wear it to. If I figure out how to wear my hair with that new dress, I will meet prince charming and dance the night away. I feel in my core that if I look the right way, everything I have longed for will come my way and all of my fears will be no more.
And I am ashamed that I do this. Because the fact of the matter is how I look – how I was made is not in my realm of power. No one can find out the “truth” about me, so I have to have control in order to maintain the facade I’ve created. Clothes I can control. Everything else, I can’t.
I am not in control of the fact that I am not in a relationship right now. I am not in control of what job I will have in the next year, or where I’ll live in the next two. I cannot control where my friends move to or my ability to travel to see them. I cannot control who I am, where I have been placed, or what I have been called to.
I can trust. That is what I am in control of in the here-and-now. That is my only responsibility. I am capable of nothing else if I cannot trust.
When I am able to trust in the Lord, everything seems to make sense. It has order, though I am not controlling the show. I am at peace because I am resting in truth. I do not need that new pair of heels because I am being truly fulfilled. He is able to reveal who I really am to him and what that means in the call to serve others. Finding lie-cover-up in clothing serves me and only for a short amount of time. By trusting in Christ, I am able to be who I am made to be. Breath-taking, peaceful, and compassionate. I am able to be the vessel he needs to love others well, not the drain sucking down whatever love and affirmation she can get.
Being clothed in trust is what will truly makes a girl lovely, right shoes or not. and still, it is the accessory I always seem to leave the house without. It is a daily struggle to surrender my lie to the Lord and let him drape his truth over me. To know that my longings are supposed to drive me back to him and teach me to trust in his wonderful plan.
I guess this is my attempt at giving up. I cannot make myself believe I am lovely. Control is not something I was ever supposed to have. I have to put my trust in that which is bigger than I. Only God can find the perfect truth to fill the hole made by my lie. It is only then that I can be filled with the truth that I am desired, loved, and beautiful.