I have a closet full of bright, bold colors; they have always made me feel alive and confident. As I was getting ready for church one morning recently, I noticed a sweater at the back of my closet for the first time in a long time—soft, delicate, and lavender with flowers on it. I remembered the last time I wore that sweater years ago. I had recently cut off my long hair, and it was one of the only things I had that made me feel pretty. A man stopped me and said that the sweater was made for me.
The irony is, I never wore the sweater again after I received that compliment—not until now, that is. Mainly because the compliment came at a time when all I wanted was to be invisible. Still, I remember how I felt when I wore it—pretty and delicate like the flowers displayed on it.
When God pulled me out of the dark place I was in, I didn’t want to feel delicate; I didn’t want to feel vulnerable. I wanted to leave that part of me behind and feel as if I had my life together, as if I had everything under control. Lately, God has been helping me to remember a side of myself I had forgotten about.
I buried that pretty sweater deep in my closet and told myself “Lavender just isn’t my color.” Truth be told, not wanting to appear vulnerable has been an ongoing theme in my life. Nevertheless, I just couldn’t bring myself to get rid of that sweater.
I used to have beautiful waist length hair, and it made me feel so powerful. It wasn’t the attention that I liked but the feeling of control. No matter what happened, at least I had my beauty to make me feel worthy, and I could use it effectively to get what I wanted. Then, one day, seemingly out of nowhere, I lost the two most important men in my life, truthfully, the two men whose lives I loved more than my own. I can remember when I took scissors to my own hair shortly after my father passed away, and the man I wanted to spend forever with moved out of state a month later. It was at a time in my life I felt the most vulnerable, and I didn’t want to feel that way anymore. I wanted something new, something that made me look “tougher”.
With my long hair, my pride and protection, I wore all of the colors—lights, darks, brights, bolds, softs, warms, and cools, because I felt safe to do so. The shorter my hair became, I found myself gravitating towards those lighter colors even more than I had before. With short hair, the lighter colors felt more like me, and I felt safe to express my softer side. After all, with my short hair, people wouldn’t see my vulnerability, right?
God had to strip me down. He had to strip me down of my pride and protection, and everything and everyone I had made an idol in order to create something new in me. This time, the longer my hair grew, it represented a new me, a me I had never known before.
The longer my hair grew, the more I stopped wearing those light colors. They reminded me of a time where I felt the most vulnerable. It was the cobalt and royal blues, the clear and true reds, the blacks and whites that made me feel the most confident, the most in-control, and the most safe.
That Sunday morning before church, God spoke to me. He drew my eye right to that floral lavender sweater, and He said, “What is it you’re so afraid of? You’re vulnerable; that’s who you are; that’s how I made you. You’re also confident and loved beyond measure; you are Mine, and you are safe.” It was in that moment I was reminded God is my pride and protection; God is my covering.
I still love a bright bold blue, hot pink, and violet, but these days I’ve been enjoying softer, lighter colors as well like I used to—the icy pinks, baby blues; I’ve even been learning to once again love lavender.
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