Glow Sticks, Victory Rolls & Victory Over Self-Consciousness
How we dress seems to really matter to the Lord. Those are some of my favorite passages in the Bible... when the Lord speaks of dressing His Bride. I normally wear pajamas. But getting ready for SheSpeaks, I had these incredible moments with the Lord. In fact, each outfit I brought was picked by God and each has its own rock-star Holy Spirit story.
But like I said, normally, I wear pajamas. I don’t often wear make-up and do my hair (unless it’s date night, baby!). I dress pretty unimpressively. I’m fine with being unnoticed. In fact, I prefer it that way most days.
And yet, that still quiet Voice asked me wear the red lipstick and to do the victory rolls.
Years ago, while at a LeadHer event, the Lord spoke to this little wallflower about not being afraid to let her light shine. And in His beautiful ways, He gave me tangible reminders of that message to my heart… That was the night they gave us glow sticks. It was also the first time I ever heard the song called “Gold”:
“You’re worth more than gold. So hold your head up high. It’s your time to shine. From the inside out, it shows. You’re worth more than gold.”
I remember writing a message to myself on that glowstick with a Sharpie, “Don’t be afraid to shine.” I kept the glowstick in my little bowl of treasures, moments with the Lord where He spoke to me. And that night the message was simple, but loud and clear.
Stop hiding. Stop trying so hard to not be noticed. Let your light shine before others. Just be yourself.
It’s hard to shine when you feel like that makes you a target. When you believe that harm will come to you if you do shine. I’ve had to work through those fears. He’s slowly been working on me.
Here's the biggest part of the whole lesson... the light in me isn't mine. So it's also not mine to try to hide. The light in me is the Light of the Lord. And if He wants to be brilliant through my broken frail body, then so He will.
We also need to get this... the light within us is not something we have to muster up. Even on our worst and ugly days, and I mean the true kind of ugly when its our behavior to tell for it, even then... the light of the Lord is still within us. We don't have to strive to shine. We simply shine. He is in us and we are in Him. It's a free gift from the Lord. He put His light in us. By faith through grace.
You cannot make yourself shine and you cannot make yourself not shine. His light is in you. Think on that, love. Rest in that truth, love. Let it soak in deep deep deep. That my friends is true "beauty rest." Resting in the knowledge that you were created in the image of the glorious and beautiful Lord God.
You are a light, a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.
Understanding that its not about our own light is what prevents us from self-consciousness or vanity or any other wrong forms of thinking. Then how we dress simply becomes like any other form of obedience.
I like how Shari Braendel of Fashion Meets Faith put it:
How you look represents not only you, but Jesus. As a woman in ministry, you have to remember its not all about you. You can't just wear what you want to wear anymore if God's calling you to the spotlight."
I wanted so badly to wear my overalls the first day. The Holy Spirit's nudge was so strong... wear the bird skirt. I wanted to wear my baseball hat. The Spirit's nudge was Victory Rolls. And he spoke to me through these seemingly insignificant baby steps of faith. I'll have to tell you about that another day.
It’s so interesting that serval times now, when I step into a greater level of Freedom in Christ (like after I went to Kairos at Gateway Church in Texas) the first thing I did was to go buy make-up. Odd.
I know some women try to hide behind their make-up. But for me, I tried to hide by not wearing any. For me, the make-up only goes on when I’m feeling really good. It’s like an outward expression of where I’m at. I notice I wear make-up more often lately. I feel good. And we praise God for the healing after years and years of desperation and illness.
All that said, when the Lord nudged me to sport the victory rolls for the weekend, that wasn’t easy for me. (This hair-do is called Victory Rolls and became popular during the 1940s when women needed ways to keep their hair back in factories, and go from work to play.)
It was fun. It was also a chance to decide if I’m going to be self-conscious or not. Thankfully, I went with it and had a good time. Pretended I was out on a swing dancing date night with my husband. Actually, the whole weekend felt like dancing with the Lord. Following His lead. Dancing in step with Him. He promises to lead us to the right and to the left. He also tells us when to shuffle, ball, change. : )
That's the abundant life ...walking and dancing in the Spirit.
"Trust and obey, for there's no greater way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."
Sometimes we call it obedience. But doesn't that still remind you of the corner and time-out? We need to change to our connotations of obedience. From the corner and time-out to more like following the lead of strong Dancer, the One who has your back, knows what's behind you and in front of you. We get to just dance, smile, giggle and trust. Sooo so good.
Writing is a lot like that too. Following His lead.
Just before my trip, we had company in town. I was writing the book proposal and enjoying every minute I could with our lovely guests. Before they arrived, my daughter had this idea to go to the dollar store to use her money to buy something the cousins would enjoy. Sweet baby. She picked out glowsticks. The last night of their trip, we all went to the dark basement and broke the capsules to make them glow. We danced around in the dark—silly, crazy dancing. Joy. Laughter.
Glowsticks on our wrists mapping out the path of light, spinning wrists, disco fingers, dancing upon the dark. All these teens and tweens silly dancing with their parents. And then the next song on the radio was “Gold.” Let me tell you. I had a flashback moment right there. I knew the Lord was prompting me, reminding me.
“So hold your head up high. It’s your time to shine. From the inside out, it shows. You’re worth more than gold.”
You too are being called to hold your head up high and shine. How is this manifesting in your life right now? Sometimes He asks us to shine by making us dress brighter and other times by asking us to speak quieter.
He knows no bounds.
So, I’m really curious…
How do you relate with your make-up? Do you feel somehow nudged out of your wallflower zone, called to shine? In what ways? And how are you processing that change? How are you resisting or embracing this call?
And what about those of you who are used to shining and are being asked to step down and be quieter and smaller? This can be just as uncomfortable simply because it’s not what you are used to. I’d love to hear your journey in that as well!