stripping off the rags
I have clothed you with purpose.
Those words make my heart melt. Yesterday, I was reading Beth Moore’s book, So Long, Insecurity, and in the particular chapter I was honing in on, Beth focused on Proverbs 31v25: “She is clothed with strength and dignity.” Hang tight for a moment while I give some context to my opening statement. She. Is. Clothed. With. Strength. And. Dignity. Here, Beth reveals the fact that the majority of times we feel insecure come from when we feel overexposed…uncovered…at risk for someone to come along and see us for who we really are:
“I have come to a place where I’m willing to be transparent with my insecurity, but I find great relief that human eyes have to see it through the filter—the clothing—of my God-given strength and dignity. I don’t have to stand before you or anybody else in total emotional nakedness. I have a scriptural covering that gives me the courage to expose my most personal self.”
What I love about this truthful awakening is the fact that I am covered and I am clothed, made complete by God. He prepares me for the occasion before me.
This morning while taking communion at Church of Hope, I spent a few silent moments with God. What took my breath away was what I heard. No, I didn’t hear a shout or an audible confirmation through a microphone. But I heard distinctly and clearly one sentence that’s been on repeat in my brain since: I have clothed you with purpose.
In that moment, I felt God’s future bursting into my present. Just minutes before, I was challenged with one question: what is it that I’m not trusting God in? Ouch. Here is where I usually try to justify my attempts at controlling a destination, when God has, in reality, called me to a direction. Living in the land between is a cocktail of adventure, opportunity, fun, and fear all mingled with emotions that make you feel like you’re on a roller coaster. And sometimes that makes me feel overexposed, unprepared, and naked.
But trusting God and brokenness go hand-in-hand. It isn’t until I come to the end of me, until I see my roller coaster mixture of fear as it is—a false attempt at control—and place that jumbled mess in the hands of my Creator, that the aroma of me is fully enjoyed. You see, I’m beginning to learn that the stuff to really be enjoyed in life…and I mean the stuff that life is truly made of—real, lasting, genuine joy, hope, love, confidence and strength—is found in brokenness, despair and hurt. I’m no Debbie-Downer and I’m not advocating living in self-degradation. I’m just saying it’s time to stop trying to clothe ourselves with decaying, worn-out rags. It’s time to strip the rags off and allow Christ to clothe us.
In the wandering of life and in the broken moments of despair, I come to the very end of me. I see me for who I really am and come to truly understand that if Jesus doesn’t show up, it’s game over. It’s in that kind of trust that a joy I can’t even explain comes pouring out.
This morning, in my own life, this simply looked like a girl opening up her hands to Jesus, asking Him to fill her. Stripping off my filthy, worn-out rags of fear and control, Jesus reached down, grabbed my hand and whispered, “I have clothed you with purpose.” My story is headed somewhere and I’m going to be ok. Do I have the answers to what that somewhere looks like? Nope. The beautiful thing is I don’t need them to thrive. I am clothed with purpose. My story is headed somewhere.