I am sitting here waiting for my skirt to dry.
I spilled some oil on it and didn’t want to walk around in public with a big stain on the front of my skirt. I didn’t want people looking at me and seeing the stain. And well, since I’d already decided this outfit was the one I was wearing today, I did the very non-simple thing and just decided to wash the skirt.
Just the skirt.
And to dry it.
All of that because I did not want the stain to be seen in a class that I’ll attend with Mister later tonight. A class where will walk in and sit down and remain seated for two hours until it’s time to leave and come home again.
Mister would notice the stain, but it would not impact his love for me or how he sees me. Others may or may not notice the stain, the skirt or the outfit at all. Because the truth is, they are not paying attention to me that much, if at all. People are not waiting with baited breath to see what I’m wearing so that they can comment or judge it. Well, maybe they are – but it’s most likely, they are not.
So much time given to such unhealthy thought. Like darts coming at me over and over, taking up space in my mind, pushing me to make really kind of ridiculous, incredibly vain decisions over non-life threatening things.
But, here I am, waiting for the skirt to dry.
Can anyone else relate?
I’m hoping at least one of you can relate to what it’s like when we make life difficult while hustling to cover the imperfections, the stains, the blemishes. It takes up so much space and energy and quite frankly causes unnecessary angst that stays within us long after the mess is cleaned up, the blemish fades and the stain is removed.
This morning’s time in my Bible brought me to this one verse:
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one
Ephesians 16:a (MSG)
A quick aside; this is how I’ve been reading the Bible lately. One or two (maybe three) verses each day. I stop and read, think about the benefits, blessings that come from acknowledging the words. I will then consider how I need help in this area (this is always an area that I have a revelation in), then I layer it with truth – more scripture – and then just write. (This model is from Naptime Diaries)
I’m even emotional thinking about it.
Because since I’ve moved away from quantity in the Bible (reading one whole chapter each day) and more toward quality experiencing it, I have noticed more of an ability to receive grace and give mercy, growth in areas I felt doomed to stay stuck in, a willingness to more confidently step into my blind spots and more courage facing my fears.
Like writing vulnerably on this blog…
At the beginning of the year, I set 9 big goals. And thankfully, I’m still making progress – though some months have been better than others – it’s been slow going. One of the goals I’ve been most adamant about accomplishing has been writing. Here, in this space, vulnerably.
Sharing more of myself than I feel courageous enough in the moment to share. Worried and concerned about how I might be viewed, what folks might say.
And then when I spilled the big spot of oil on my skirt and found my anxiety through the roof, I realized that I most definitely still have a lot of growing to do in the area of putting it out there. And realized that I needed to share it.
As I grow more confident in who I believe God says I am, I also tense up about sharing it with so many people. What if they don’t get it? What if they don’t like it? What if it offends or hurts them? What if they don’t like…me?
This is where my mind goes. And where my soul aches.
Because in the midst of doing what I believe I’m supposed to do (write and share vulnerably with other women) there is so much fear in what people will say or do in response. I can speak publicly in front of hundreds, but when it comes to typing and sharing my heart – I get scared.
But then go back to the verse I read this morning.
In ALL circumstances – even this seemingly small one – I can wrap faith around it and successfully defeat the enemy’s attacks on my soul, spirit and heart. I don’t believe God cares about my skirt or the stain on it, but He absolutely cares about the woman and the heart of His beloved daughter wearing it.
After attempting to remove the stain from the skirt, I only found it to be more pronounced and when the light was behind me realized it might not be the most appropriate skirt for a 45yo woman to be wearing anyway.
I tossed the skirt but am holding tight to the lesson.