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
See the vision for this series and other testimonies here.
I used to hate “seasons;” I vehemently hated the idea that the way I walked with Jesus would feel different, look different. But I have learned every time I walk out of one and into another that there is so much fruit in the change, in the novel.
The season I am in right now is hard. Hard in a way the word doesn’t warrant. A hard that would laugh maniacally at the opening a peanut-butter jar or having to leave the last of the queso for someone else. This after a season I would describe as painful, after one I would describe as confusing, after one I’d describe as-you get the picture.
I am a walking, tweeting, Israel.
I always thought hard seasons were where you show strength, where you get to put rubber to road on all the trust and faith you’ve stored up in the harvest seasons. That is not the case for me.
I need more strength in this season than I ever thought I would need to ask for. Before this season, I was under the impression God had already taken all my sassy black girl crap and transformed it into supernatural strength, an extra helping of it. But now that I am running out of stamina and out of patience and out of will, I am choosing and will be choosing daily to clothe myself with strength straight from the source alone.
I am clothing myself with the strength to stay when everything makes me want to leave – my own inadequacies, my lack of community, my own sin and sadness. I am clothing myself with the strength of Christ that says I will not be moved.
I am clothing myself with the strength to stay for people. I have run out of kindness and seeing it from their eyes and WWJD. I am desperately pleading with Jesus for the strength he had, the strength that stayed with those he knew would betray and deny him.
I am clothing myself with the strength to choose people, to time after time choose people the way Jesus sought me out and chose me even after his death was more than enough.
I am clothing myself with the strength to fight for people and with people, the way God did time and time again for the Israelites on every possible scale.
It’s humbling and more an acknowledgement of need and weakness than anything else. It’s a lot less clean-cut than it appears or than I’d like to admit.