It dawned beautifully to an icy chill yesterday. I remember flinging open my curtains and almost squealing in absolute delight at the precipitation hanging on the washing line, the still grey skies and the oh so glorious smell of the rain that still lingered in the morning air. I was so excited that I skipped breakfast, and instead rummaged through my suitcase for a wooly winter knit. Even though everything I pulled out from hibernation smelt musty, from being cooped up so long.
When did I become this person? Me who lives for the sun. Perhaps it’s because this summer I was not altogether lovely. I was podgy around my midriff and sporting chubby cheeks. Perhaps that was the reason I was ecstatic that the chills had finally arrived, and I could finally cover up and be as snug as a bug in a rug.
I noticed how I gravitate towards new fragrances, when winter starts to come around. She taps her icy finger on my window pane, and I respond with a wink and a whiff of vanilla… occasionally a dab of old spice too, which brings with it a remembrance of the days gone by. When I would pop the cap of my dad’s aftershave and sniff lightly, overcome by its musky essence…pardon my digression, nostalgia becomes me. I basically trade in my sweet summer scents for a little warmth and comfort, like that of a fire burning in the fireplace. One to recommend?
It’s with these, often subconscious whims, that we begin to ease our way into winter. It appears to happen upon us suddenly. But when we look back in hindsight, we were getting ourselves ready all along, slowly. We find we’re more often reaching for the butters and our old faithful vaseline in the back. Reaching past the lightweight lotions that look pretty, but are pretty useless in the face of adversity.
Cashmere. I chanced this particular piece as I walked home from the bus stop. Thrifted, of course. I love bargains. I remember how I tried to keep the sparkle from my eye as the lady kept yelling the delicious “two kwacha fifty!” steal of a price…caressing my heart as I held it up to my cheek and felt how soft it was. So soft, so warm. Too warm for that summery day, but now it was perfect for the chill and I was so excited to wear it. Pretty it was, but handy too.
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
It’s simply not enough to be pretty.
Not so long ago, someone “complimented” me by saying they could marry me because I was pretty enough to wake up to every morning. Rather than tug at my heartstrings, This really put me in a tangle. What am i doing? Where is my substance? Still making mistakes on the daily, moving at snails’ pace. I’m at the point where I’m grappling with my thoughts and wrestling with my actions. I am so grateful for grace, but I ask why I am still struggling with seemingly trivial issues. Why aren’t people able to see past my demure? Is there nothing beneath my flawless skin? Is there no purpose beyond my beautiful smile?
I don’t mean to rant. But I want to get past the point that it’s not enough. I am seeking God’s face. I want to be burnt down, I want all meaninglessness to be stripped away till only He remains. I want the first thing people to see when they encounter me to be a broken mess made new by His brokenness. I want all that I am to be nothing but ashes, that He may give me His beauty for it.
I cut my hair last weekend. Snipped off my locks at the barber, because I’m oddly spontaneous and I have an insatiable urge for change on the regular. Or so I thought was my reasoning. I think it was more along the lines of how I had realised that it’s all fleeting. All outer adornment is worthless. All the dressing up and looking sharp and being on point is so pointless if you don’t know why you’re alive. Why you exist. Who you are.
I’m beginning on a new chapter of availing myself. Saying here I am Lord, send me, even when I know I’m not enough. Discovering again not just who I am, but who I am in Christ. For what purpose I am here. It’s all so so meaningless when you’re trying to figure it out on your own.
I’d like to think of myself as an old cashmere sweater someone tossed out. Discarded. But then someone saw my value and thrifted me from beneath the pile, dusted me off and scrubbed me good. Then said wait, be ready, avail yourself, cos a time is coming when I’ll use you for my glory.
My story is still being written. I’m unfinished, yet confident of this, that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6).
Have a lovely weekend.