I’ve been thinking a lot about clothes recently.

Fashion and styling have always been high on my list of hobbies. I truly enjoy shopping and creating outfits, keeping up with the trends, and inspiring others. Some cute new article of clothing can actually make me giddy. 

In an instant though, clothes lost all of their importance.

Last week, a deadly tornado ripped through my hometown, killing several, and completely destroying homes, my sister’s included. In a matter of seconds, my sister’s entire wardrobe was scattered across the city. She couldn’t care less. In the emergency room, the nurses literally cut the rain soaked clothing off of my family. As I ran into the ER, I saw their destroyed garments strewn all over the floor. I couldn’t care less. My sister and brother in law’s glasses were both blown off during the storm. In the ER, I gave my brother in law the glasses straight off of my face. I had just gotten new, perfect lenses without any scratches. I couldn’t care less.
I’ve pretty much worn the same no-nonsense outfit every day for the last two weeks. I haven’t styled my hair or worn makeup. I couldn’t care less. 

I’ve experienced this overwhelming feeling of apathy towards clothing (not to mention The Bachelor, COVID-19, and the political climate) in the last two weeks. Suddenly, wearing cute outfits, notifying my friends and followers about sales, and yapping about my new favorite shoes just isn’t important.
Like, at all.
My family is alive. Banged up, bruised, and hurting both physically and emotionally, but they are alive. The same cannot be said of all of their neighbors. 
I can’t stomach the idea of posting an outfit on Instagram with some stupid, cutesy caption. I can’t bear the thought of putting on scrubs and returning to work next week at the hospital. I’m not ready to start “being normal” again until the rest of my family can too. On the other hand, in this same few weeks’ time, while I’ve hardly been able to look at the clothes lining my closet, I’ve also realized the vital importance and even the healing properties of clothing.

My niece suffered a brain injury during the tornado and remains in critical condition. She’s been in the hospital for almost two weeks now with a long road of recovery ahead. Her nurses bought her a Frozen nightgown and the gaudiest bow (y’all, it lights up) for her 2nd birthday which we celebrated in the hospital, one day after the storm. These sweet clothes bolstered all of us. Friends, family, and even strangers have offered clothes to my sister and her family. Everyone knows the importance of literally having something on your back, especially something cozy. My closet remains full of pretty things, yet I keep choosing to wear the most comfortable and functional pieces. They just make me feel the best. My uncle made t-shirts with my niece’s sweet face on them. They encourage everyone who wears them and remind them to continue praying for her. In each of these moments, clothing brought me so much comfort. 

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting over the past few weeks (hence this post). Reflecting on my own clothes. On how my feelings about clothing have shifted so vastly in such a short time. On how I would feel if the contents of my wardrobe were littered all over town. And reflecting on how, by far, the most important clothes I’ve ever worn in my life (and I’ve worn a lot) are the clothes of Christ.

“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”

Colossians 3:12-14 MSG

I was raised in church. When I was a kid, we were a “be there every time the doors were open” kind of family. I was brought up on Bible stories and was taught by my parents the never ending love of God. But there was a specific time in my life when there was a shift. When my faith was no longer solely shaped by my parents but by my personal life experiences. I chose to continue pursuing Christ because I knew that a life without Him was a life without hope. I chose to clothe myself with Christ each and every day in an attempt to further His kingdom and live a life that is pleasing to Him. Subsequently, by putting these "clothes" on every day, they’ve rooted me in faith and, in a way, prepared me for this moment. They’ve allowed me to stand firm in this most trying time and, though I still don’t understand why all of this happened, confidently proclaim God’s name. From the second I realized that the situation was truly serious that Tuesday morning, I’ve cried out to God for comfort, help, peace, and healing. I wish none of this ever happened, but I do not blame God. Like I shared in a recent Facebook post, I don’t understand why God, who makes the elements, allowed a tornado to plow my family's street the hardest while on it’s path of destruction. I don’t understand why my home and my life were spared. I question if there will ever be a day that I can make sense of it all. But my faith is not shaken. TO MY CORE, I believe that God is in control and that He works all things together for good. This is my family’s Job moment. And I pray fervently that we never have another one. But, even if every day after this brings some new tragedy, I will do my best to live out Job’s words: 

“I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” - Job 1:21 NLT

Today and every day I have left on this earth, I will choose to wear my favorite outfit: the shining armor of God. 


If you would like to help monetarily during this difficult time, please consider donating to my sister and her family below.