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Clothing Fast Update – Identity Crisis

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Hey friends!

Welp, a few have asked how my 5-month clothing fast is going.

So far, so good. In fact, I’m really enjoying it. I have to say that I have had two trials so far:

1) Target Back to School Sale.

I buy many, maybe half, of my clothes at Target. I know just by looking at it on the shelf if it will work for me. Target brands are so predictable for me that I can order clothes online. (Gasp!) So, I went in to get a case for my new phone, and h.a.l.t.e.d. The back to school sales were going on. Everything was buy one, get one 50% off! My newly-discovered favorite tank tops were $7!!!

I walked very slowly past the clothes. Very slowly because I just wanted to dart in and pick some out. Y’all. This sounds ridiculous, but it was hard! I kept thinking, Jesus, you’re better than this sale. Better.

Thankfully, God provided me a way out of the temptation. One of our elders and his wife were there, and I ran into them on the walkway. That conversation pushed the fog of consumerism totally out of my head. Onward we pushed to the phone cases. Yay!

2) Identity.

I wasn’t going to post about this here because the point you’ll see below was to not explain myself. But, it’s been awhile now, and I feel like God has given me rest in this issue, so now I feel comfortable talking about it.

When I posted my original article, people would casually ask me about it, like, “Woah. Really?” And someone else might ask what we were talking about. Most of the time, the response that I got was, “Oh, I don’t have trouble with that.” Or, “Oh, I hate shopping so I don’t need to do that.”

(Thankfully, I also had people say – Wow, that really challenged me. :))

Those initial responses confused me because I don’t have a problem with shopping either. I have a clothing budget and buy clothes on a budget, etc. I do enjoy dressing nicely and comfortably, but I wouldn’t consider myself addicted to shopping or anything like that.

So in the moment, everything in me wanted to explain: No, it’s not like that! I don’t have a problem, I just want to trade something that takes my focus in for focus on Christ instead!

But I didn’t. I felt the Lord leading me to be silent. The whole point of this fast is resting and relying in Him. And I felt these moments were an extension of that. I know my personal integrity, and I don’t need to explain myself all of the time. It’s OK to not have some holy image.

… and I really do think that I did rest in the identity He sees in me through Christ instead of just making sure all of my words and actions were fleshed out. So I’m glad that I had that moment.

So, if you’ve had similar thoughts, like I don’t have a problem shopping so this fast isn’t for me or I don’t have any clothes that fit so I can’t do that (another one I heard), then can I challenge you that this fast may still be for you? Please consider just the change in the mentality that we can get something we need instead of relying on the Lord in those moments of need. Case in point: I’m still wearing my worn out and disheveled nursing bras because that’s all I have and January isn’t that far away people.

And if the Lord isn’t calling you to this, is He calling you to fast in another way?

What do you think?

Thanks for checking in on me with this!! And praying for me – I still need it! It’s easy this week, but that means nothing for next week!

2 comments to Clothing Fast Update – Identity Crisis

  • I have joined you on this clothing fast, not because I am a shopaholic, but because the timing was right on and I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to do so. I had just finished reading Jen Hatmaker’s 7 when I saw your original post. Like you, much of my wardrobe comes from Target and the rest is mostly from the clearance racks or TJ Maxx. I enjoy looking “nice” but I have three small kids and I’m also the wife of a pastor so I don’t get too much time to shop. I did make an exception and bought a bridesmaid dress and shoes (my bff would not be happy if I did not!). I will have to buy an undergarment for that as well. Those were my exceptions and I’m praying I’ll stand strong until the new year. It’s awfully tough seeing end of season clearance deals (bargain hunting runs through my veins!). I even had a pair of great (and cheap) Merrill shoes in my cart at Ross the other week when I was shopping for my kids. They went back on the rack and I felt myself drawing nearer to the Lord at the same time. Thank you for this Clothing Fast idea. I would not have thought of it on my own, but it really is changing the way I view many things in my life–the excesses I never realized I had and how I spend my resources for starters. I have to share one more thing (sorry this comment is so long!). The week after I committed to this clothing fast, I won a dress from another blogger who I follow. Crazy, I know! But, God’s provision came along once again. I will be wearing the dress to the rehearsal dinner for the wedding I mentioned earlier. Thanks, God, for continuing to show me your faithfulness. I am excited to continue on this Clothing Fast journey. It’s not easy, but it’s worthwhile. Thanks again!

    • Stephanie

      That’s awesome Carrie! Thank you for sharing your triumphs and struggles. P.S. we have very similar shopping methods I think!