When I began my relationship with Jesus, it took me a while to become comfortable with the thought of giving up my Sunday mornings. I was a senior in high school at the time and I was really content with just going to youth service on Fridays, and staying home on Sundays.
After some time, and some encouragement from my best friend, I decided to give Sunday mornings a try. I only had one question:
“What should I wear?”
Ever since I was in elementary school, I loved expressing myself with what I wear. I’m a strong believer in the phrase “look good, feel good.” My outfits are usually correlated to how I’m feeling or would like to feel. If I’m happy, or happy about where I am headed, I’d dress accordingly. The same goes for if I were upset. Aside from these two inspirations for what I wear, there is a third – it’s called “I don’t care.”
I think everyone can relate to this “I don’t care” feeling. You know, that feeling of waking up in the morning and you don’t want to go wherever you’re headed, or you have too much going on in life to care about what you put on.
This is when your sweatpants and flip-flops have their opportunity to shine. Though I dislike this emotion, the feeling is both very real and common, especially when it pertains to a place I don’t want to go.
Everyone Can Come to Him
My best friend answered my question with, “Come as you are.” (Isaiah 55:1)
At the time I wasn’t fully aware of what that phrase meant, so I wore what I felt like I should rather than what I would normally wear; you know, some shiny shoes, slacks, and a button-down shirt.
At first, it was tolerable. I believed it was the right thing to do even though I wasn’t being myself. The real problem came about when I realized – I don’t have enough church clothes!
I couldn’t help feeling that everyone would notice I wore these same slacks a week or two weeks ago. Maybe I was thinking like a teenager, but it made me feel really uncomfortable for a while.
One Saturday night, that “I don’t care” feeling came up. This time, instead of throwing on sweats, I decided to wear what I loved to wear – jeans and sneakers. Sure, I had those thoughts of “what would people think?”, or “what would people say?”
At the same time, I knew where I was going, and why I was going.
I was going to church to be in the presence of Jesus, and God knows me and my heart, so what I wear – jeans or slacks, a button-down shirt or a hoodie – doesn’t matter. What matters is me knowing I can be genuine and 100% myself in the presence of God and be loved, accepted, and transformed.
Being 100% genuine means bringing all that I am – the good, the bad, and the ugly – before Jesus, and letting Him crucify my flesh. “Here is all that I am, Jesus!”
When I began to wear what I felt genuine in, yeah, I had some folks saying “I’d prefer if you’d wear this” or “I’d prefer if you’d wear that,” but for me I was happy. I trusted Jesus to make me whole versus people or tradition telling me to where this or that in order to be “good”. I learned that I was accepted by God for who I was as a whole, even the parts that I thought were insignificant or needed work.
Fast forward to today where I have a better knowledge of what it means to “come as you are”, I am now in the position to give God glory by inviting others to come as they are.
I believe that for many, fashion is more than the fabric we use to cover our bodies. It’s an extension of one’s background, personality, and emotions. All of which helps make up a major piece of who we are as individuals.
This is why I created What We Wear 2 Church. It’s a way to show others that they can “come as they are” just as my best friend told me. It is a message I believe EVERYONE needs to hear. Whether you’ve never been to church, just started coming to church, or even been going to church your entire life. “Come as you are,” because you are accepted as you are, and free to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior… as you are.