From Purple Reign to Black Dresses
There was a time in my life I refer to as as the the Purple Reign when I was 21 and I was an under-dresser. Sure, my clothes were skimpy too. I had Prince, Madonna and Boy George as role models so I wavered between wearing lots of purple, tight dresses with leg warmers or cut offs and lumber jack shirts. Spiritually my outfit could fit in the back pocket of my acid-washed jeans. If people found out I ever attended church they’d be shocked because I spent so much time in the clubs it wouldn’t seem possible I had time for God. I gave Him the leftovers.
As long as the weather was good or I didn’t have something better to do, I’d show up to church. Occasionally, I’d go a little beyond and get involved in something over the edge like a Bible study but the time constraints would often get in my way. Dressing appropriately became my focus, since I was trying to figure out my life after college. I began to ask my parents of all people about my appearance the night before interviews. One day they surprised me with several new suits and days later, I got a job teaching! My days of under-dressing were over!
Yet, on the weekend, I really let go of myself. I became a sloppy dresser and lazed around in sweats and workout clothes until Monday. My spiritual dress was similar. I didn’t take my Christian walk seriously and no one viewed me as any type of role model for Christianity. I didn’t pay a lot of attention to how I behaved outside of church. I was a free-flowing Christian and my walk rarely had an impact on anyone. Church attendance was optional because I was dating and hanging out with my friends and that often conflicted with my plans. When it was time to go to work, I still asked my parents what I should wear.
Finally, the day came when all that dating seemed to pay off I’d thought I met Mr. Right we got married and had a kid right away. I felt like more of an adult at 26 now that I had a child to rear. I decided to dress more on the casual side on the weekends so I’d seem more grown up. I also thought I needed to bring my little girl to church. I became a casual dresser outwardly and spiritually. People at work had an idea that I was a Christian but I’m sure they thought of me as the light version. I began to get more involved in church ministry and make friends in the church but the relationships never seemed to go beyond the surface. On Monday mornings, I now asked my husband advice on – what I should wear.
My fairytale didn’t last very long. With the ink barely dry from the marriage certificate next thing, I knew I was looking at new ink on divorce papers. Yet, I was doing great at work and I began to throw myself into church ministry. Before long, I was shining in and outside of church as an overdressed woman. I began to over exert myself in extra work projects and stretch myself to the limit. I was working long hours but I had a great paycheck and seemed very spiritual to my friends and coworkers. My outward life screamed, “Super-Saint” but within I was suffering. I was preoccupied with my image and had the sinking feeling that nothing I did was enough to fill the void in my life. Weekday mornings even without parents and a husband around, I asked my two-year-old advice of what I should wear.
By the time, I reached 35 I’d been married and divorced again with another child to raise. I now was the most overdressed person at work as I was the principal. I was a little more disillusioned about church so I kept more of a distance. Outwardly, I seemed very spiritual and still led several church ministries. People began to seek me out for advice and look to me as a church leader. My outward spirit was over dressed for the ministries I served. I seemed sanctified in church. Yet, I needed authenticity in relationships to help me face what I was going through. I found that church folks were gossipy, judgmental, and downright mean sometimes. Then when Mondays came along, I had two girls to ask – what should I wear?
Finally, I got to a desperate point. I was frustrated, surrounded by people but feeling deserted. With my face pressed against the bathroom mirror, I asked myself that most important question. “Katherine what should you wear?” Right then, I realized my problem. When it came to directing the most important question, I looked to myself and everyone else but God for the answer. I sat on the sink’s edge cold and prayed for God to help me put on what was lacking. Anyone else would’ve thought I was crazy crying over what to wear. It didn’t matter, God knew I needed much more than physical clothes, but armor custom designed, an original little black dress made exclusively for me.