It's been six months since pants became an option again in my wardrobe, meaning the fundraising dress challenge ended. Now that things have normalized, I wanted to share a few things I've observed in the "after." (Normalized is said tongue-in-cheek because there's really been nothing normal about 2020, the year of the global pandemic. But I digress.)
June 30, 2019: I wore this dress as a halfway goal.
In March I got rid of most of my jeans. Besides being uncomfortably tight, which they'd always been (I was wearing way too small pants, worshipping the size-tag god), they were mostly ratty and full of holes. I'm down to one pair that are about a size too big, but they're comfy and cute. I wear them about once a week. The hope is that I'll get new pants, but I haven't been to a clothing store in about six months and trying on jeans is depressing. (I don't want to be depressed anymore than I have to because of all this stupid virus stuff.)
I wear workout pants about twice a week. It motivates me to get out on a walk or even a run. Athletic pants and my high school sweatshirt are among my favorite outfits.
The other days of the week I wear dresses. I like feeling fancy. I like layering a light sweater with a sleeveless dress. I like feeling good about myself instead of self-conscious about my waistline, which before was squeezed into too-small jeans.
I still wear my sleeping pajamas frequently; the blue and white striped maxi skirt is my favorite. It's comfy and cute.
March 2020: I am sad because the library is closed.
God showed me my disregard for my body during Clothed in Dignity. He showed me the need for nourishment and that life is more than the number on my scale or the number on the tag of my jeans. He showed me how I've worshiped things that aren't him.
But. Every day still isn't easy. Like an echo in a canyon, the lies that were shouted still ricochet as a whisper. Usually I can hear these lies when I am wearing something I don't like very much or that I'm self conscious about. The lies quiet down when I wear things I like, care for myself enough, ask for help or a break. The lies have less strength when I make time for that walk in which I can listen to music and zone out. The lies have less strength when I share my worries and ask for prayer. The lies have less strength when I laugh so hard I cry.
But then there's the other thing I must update. The service-to-Peoria Home thing. I still have a heart for Peoria Home, and I want to support their work. But I've taken a bit of a break, asking instead, "where would you have me, Lord?" He was faithful to give me Clothed in Dignity, I know he will show me where I fit next. It takes work to stay educated and involved, and honestly my mind has been elsewhere these past 6 months. Both because I needed to take a break and because, coronavirus ate my brain (not literally, we're all physically healthy over here).
June 2020: Walking at the zoo, it was a dress day!
I think it just all shows that we can do great things, but usually normal stuff still happens. Women are rescued from trafficking and prostitution and go through programs like Peoria Home but the lies probably still echo. They have to work at their recovery daily. They have to work at educating themselves and staying involved in the things that matter. The work isn't done here, but we can all trust that God will give us each our next step, not anyone else's.