When you’ve won ground in a battle, it’s yours. You slap your flag in the ground and you take it. You won. And, even when future opposition or pressure comes to bear, you remember the way in which you conquered before and you use those strategies to contend for what is still yours. This is how we overcome….how we win personal battles against the enemies that war against our soul.
I’ve talked a bit about my personal issues with shopping addictions, and frivolous spending. Last year, I spent 365 days blogging about it…a journey where I just didn’t buy any clothing, unless I had a gift card. Seemingly silly and insignificant, it was one of the most profound acts of spiritual obedience of which I actually cooperated. It transformed my perspective about life, things, and people. The fast helped me redefine priorities, friendships, situations and stumbling blocks that kept me from being true to myself and my beliefs. It even impacted my family both emotionally and financially. Fasting shopping for a year, taught me more about identity than any wardrobe consult could. And today, I find it ironically hysterical that designers, stylists and fashion industry experts everywhere hang their hats upon helping you find a newer, fresher, more fabulous self by adding more stuff. So interesting.
My growth came in the shedding of layers and layers of stuff.
I still shop, but with much more restraint. I just showed you a couple of my favorite little $5 deals, in fact. I still love pretty things, but i don’t have to have the next best “whatever”. For every sale I take advantage of, I passed on 100 of which I would have formerly engaged. I read Vogue, but I don’t covet. I don’t long for designer anything. I’ve retired the ever-so-famous “I die” over some over-priced python leather bag with a “Made in China” label on it. I used to want to live in New York City. Now, I want to live where I’m called.
The glamour of life is really found in the depth of your personal peace. I’m finding these days that many of the best dressed would shed a handbag or 10 to have an ounce of clarity, a little peace of mind… direction in life and a purpose. You don’t read about this in magazines because it’s masked by a self-indulgent charade of fancy. It’s denial of the truth covered in a costume of couture.
And I wonder, what would it take for a mass awakening? What would it take for light to penetrate the darkness….to shake off the game of dress up played by so many women I know? They are so busy entertaining fantasies of grandeur, while neglecting the reality of life at home. What would it take to shake yourself out of keeping up with the Jones’?What would it take to surrender lavish lifestyles sought to cloak pain? What is the use of a closet full of clothes with tags but a home in shambles? What about shattered families wrecked by addictions? What about the unhappiness, anxiety, fear, pressure? All of these things masked so often by a great party and a lot of shopping! But no one wants to talk about that. I guess it’s just too real. They just keep buying, traveling, partying, pretending…..and sinking.
And I look back 2 years ago and again at where I am today, feeling grateful. Grateful that a God awakening shook me out of a make-believe world, indulging fantasies at the expense of my family. I am humbled everyday by the fact that I’m only one obsession away from a backsliding. Every day, I pray that God will help me. Amazing…the truth that was revealed through something as simple and silly as shopping.