Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3-4
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12
This series is for women to share what they are learning to spiritually clothe themselves with, how they choose to adorn their heart, and what they choose to put on because of their desire to be precious in God’s sight.
For those of you who went away to college (i.e. not me), this probably isn’t that big of a deal to you. Except for my two summers spent three-and-a-half hours away from home and my one summer spent ten thousand miles away from home, I’ve lived twenty-one of my twenty-three years in Augusta. And while I have prayed THOUSANDS of prayers about the steps to take after graduation and while I know that the Lord has led me to this new place, this new city, I AM SCARED TO DEATH.
(I hope I don’t freak you out with all the caps, dear readers of Chelsea’s blog that don’t know that I’m an EMOTIONAL mess. Bless the socks off of Chelsea for claiming me as one of her best for the past eight-nine-maybe ten years. This could cause more emotional statements and only the use of caps lock, but I digress.)
I’m excited. Really, I am. I cannot wait for the new people and community and church and to be able to have a job that I’ve been preparing for over the last five years of college (VICTORY LAP, HOLLA). This is such a total answer to prayer, and God has been so gracious in this journey. But, changes freak me out. And not being in control scares me. (Hello, Type A.) What if no one in this new town likes me? What if I don’t make friends or it takes a while to fit in? What if I’m NOT a good teacher?
All of this boils down to the fact that I’m not clothing myself with the peace of the Lord. Instead of trusting in Him and remembering all the times that He’s gone before me (Deuteronomy 31:8), I tend to overanalyze and WORRY like my life depended upon it. Like worrying does anything other than give me high blood pressure. You know what I believe the opposite of worry is? Peace.
One of the synonyms for peace is love. I like that a lot. When I trust in the Lord, when I give all of my worries and fears and anxieties to Him, I’m at peace with Him and where He’s going to take me. This peace that can come from the Holy Spirit alone is what I’m clothed with, and it reminds me so much that this is one of the many ways the Lord loves me. We all have our love languages and ways that we best receive love from our friends, family, etc.
I like to think that when the Lord reminds me to rest in His peace and to let it rule in my heart (like it says a few verses down in Colossians 3), that He is showing me love the way I best receive it. He’s got this, like HE ALWAYS HAS, and I can clothe myself with His peace.
What does that look like? (I’m the girl who anxiously waits for my pastor to give the practical applications in his sermon, so I’m gonna try and do the same for you.) It means praying INSTEAD of worrying. The days that I actually pray (out loud, sometimes) about the different areas of my life I’m anxious about are the days that feel like I’m doing something “right,” the days where I honestly feel like I have on a “jacket of peace” as I give it all to the Lord.
I also spend time dwelling on the times where I’ve had to trust the Lord with a big decision or change in my life and He’s come through (LIKE HE ALWAYS DOES).
Instead of worrying about what may or may not happen, I praise Him and thank Him for the times He’s been so incredibly faithful. That causes me to have a heart of gratitude and praise, which is so much better than having a constantly anxious spirit.
So, I encourage you (and myself, because let’s be real here, this is something I struggle with almost EVERY SINGLE MINUTE of each and every single day), to clothe yourself with peace. Remember the times that the Lord has been there with you before, and don’t doubt for a second that He won’t show up again at just the right time. He’s got you in His hands. He’s never letting you go. Tell Him your anxious thoughts and then, as Elsa would say, LET IT GO!