I built my idol in 2015. I had just completed my first big step into what I considered “holy life”, preaching my initial sermon. (a little late to the punch.) Yep, all my life God has played a major role, but not a role big enough for me to willingly submit my life and its cravings to his will years before all of this. The fall of 2014, I had become obsessed with studying the bible and my life seemed to just subtly fall into the fall of way of living for God. I was having plenty of visions, dreams and could hear God so clearly, it was staggering, and I loved every minute of it. I had abandoned sex, smoking and porn, in addition to giving away short dresses and low-cut shirts simply because, that’s the totality of holy living, right? Yeah…okay babe.😑
After my initial sermon, I really didn’t give much thought to other areas of my life and how to align them to what holiness looked like. (things like music, dancing, dress, etc… as in the previous post, this was before I was aware of the internal conflict with secular dancing and music.) I lived 2.5-3 hours away from my former church and would go home when I could. My mom, who’s also a minister, called and told me I needed to wear white along with the other ministers for Easter that same year, I was automatically done…already! In my mind, I’ve always had this fight with what I thought was old fashioned and spent energy resisting it at all costs. Knowing I didn’t have all white anything and I was NOT going to wear a 3-piece suit! Pause…mind you, I was 24 at the time, the youngest minster there and I knew that one day, my occasional desire to wear dress pants and my mother’s wishes would clash, as they always have. I know…this is majorly petty…but this is the transparency of it all.
So, I go to the mall, in search of an all-white, modern yet, classy something to wear and that’s when I discovered New York & company… I love that store! After looking around I mentally decided that day that this was my new “saved clothing store.” Ya’ll think I’m playing…I actually said this to myself!! My immature mind maintained that saved living especially, since I was a “preacher” now, translated to boring, plain and stiff; especially when it came to areas I hadn’t reconciled, including my mentality of what saved looked like. So, after giving away my thot clothes along with club & kickback attire, I rebuilt my wardrobe from NY&Co. which is good and well, but I focused so much on my appropriate clothing, that I missed the idol I was building.
My button ups, cardigans and poufy, circle skirts promoted a trendy, millennial, Christian woman that separated me from the white stockings and silk handkerchiefs with lace boarders barely touching the floor. This was what I wanted, to be distinguished from everybody else, not just by age, but by relevance. In my mind, I wanted to change the narrative of what being saved looked like, by redefining my fashion, accepting my own voice in the ministry of preaching and being okay with the separation of all that came with my previous secular life for a sanctified one.
While the removal of old life and friends who fell to the wayside, my view of how God was expressed in me behind the pulpit became front and center for me. I have to say, it was a weird dynamic. Outside of the pulpit I wasn’t focused on how I was perceived, I was just me, chilling with Jesus and not trying to make a statement; and that’s what I wanted to be seen as behind the sacred desk…relatable. But while there, I was a leader of a mental protest against tradition and old mindsets, when in reality I hadn’t surrendered my imagination of my representation to God for Him to ultimately decide. After battling for almost a year,(sadly it took that long) I realized that in the same strength church folk refused to be delivered from old sin while dressed in new clothes, was the exact same strength I walked in, I had only transferred my sin. From fornication to worshiping my image, and trying to imitate holiness & relevance to my peers. The crazy thing is, nothing had indicated to me I needed to subscribe to this false sense of phenotypic holiness but the fact I felt I had to clearly indicated faulty thinking.
Allowing God in our lives and exchanging our will for His, it’s important that we not only be aware of the “louder sins” that are so easily identified. Let’s ensure that our heart is fully in His, to avoid transferring carnal mindsets. Many times, we become so focused on defending our freedom that we fail to realize we’re protecting our damaged mentalities as well. While I could say MUCH more, I’ll leave it at this, let God in EVERY AREA of our lives and He will direct our path. Let Him be God over your journey and your image.