I asked friends and old classmates to describe me in one word and the majority of answers were one of these three: loyal, spontaneous, and friendly.
A few years down the road, some might say that my spontaneity would get… a little out of control. I’ll admit, I attempted to “find myself” through various experiences without analyzing potential outcomes. I lived in the moment and would jump at really any opportunity that passed without considering consequences. As I’ve gotten older, I can see that much of this has to do with maturity and personal growth, but there’s one thing that changed the game completely.
VeiledFree is the name of my fashion blog for two very different reasons:
1). I’m single.
I’m a single mother who decided not to get married.
…..Therefore, I’m “veiled free”.
2). I’m Christian.
I’ve had many battles with this idea though. I wish I was the kind of Christian who never asked questions or tested any boundaries…but that’s not the case. Quite the contrary actually.
For a long time, I believed I was invincible and sometimes God was just…. irrelevant. I thought He just wanted to set unrealistic standards for me and I would never be able to measure up. So why bother?
This was around the time I turned eighteen. Off to college I go. What a perfect opportunity to be anybody and accomplish anything. The world was my oyster and I only set one rule (as embarrassing as this is to admit to you), my one rule was “try anything.” So I did. I lived to the utmost extreme. I was like Jim Carrey in “Yes Man.” Nothing was off limits and my entire life philosophy was to experience. I never got too close to hurt anyone or be hurt. I just floated around from clique to clique, college to college, and major to major.
After years of breaking societal and religious boundaries, I was filled with discontentment. It wasn’t the kind of feeling that came and left either. I wish I could tell you one specific incident, one moment that it all clicked for me. But the truth is…it took a lot to break me down for good. Was it losing myself to substance abuse or the plus sign on the pregnancy test that made me wake up?
Neither actually…I believe it was an accumulation of several experiences over the course of years that forced me to let go of pride. I was totally desperate for God and I didn’t want to admit it. I remember being so fed up with my internal conflict. I believed that God existed but I fought against it regularly. And for what? Temporary pleasure from a self-seeking existence on Earth?
Anyway, I was done fighting against what I, nor science could fully explain. I quit studying other Christians as examples for this religion (they ARE human after all). I just began to talk to God, like a long-lost friend, in the quiet of the night. I can’t explain what happened in my heart, but it’s more fulfilling than anything I’ve ever chased after.
Now I understand what people mean when they say things like, “God is merciful and gracious.” Those aren’t just “church words” to me anymore. They hit directly in the chest and the soul of my being. I was so far gone that I couldn’t recognize myself, but even then I could feel God whispering my name.
I’m no longer under the power and control of my own thoughts or insecurities. I’m free from all disguises and personas this world offers. I’m just me.
I believe God created the world and He sent His son (Jesus) to die for my sins. I asked Him into my heart and He will never leave. There is no standard to live up to. He loves unconditionally and none of those vices I was holding onto could do that for me. I strive to be like Christ because I’ve tasted darkness, and it’s always unsettling and binding.
Being a Christian is not a life focused on following a set of rules (contrary to my previous belief). It’s about falling so passionately in love with Jesus Christ every single day, that my heart change directly effects my desires and actions.
I’m motivated to wake up in the morning and live a higher purpose than I was before. I read my Bible now because I want to, not because I feel like I should. (By the way…If you don’t have a study Bible, I suggest getting one. My MacArthur Study Bible made a world of difference for me)! I’m stronger and more joyful than I’ve ever been. It’s more than a high. It’s the inspiration behind everything I do. I’m finally peaceful.
I no longer live battling guilt and shame from things I should or should not be doing as a Christian. I stopped questioning “the meaning of life.” I no longer think “there’s got to be more than this.”
Here’s an excerpt from a book I’m reading that relates: “Whenever we feel the absence of peace – whenever our unmet longing for joy expresses itself as anxiety, or depression, or fear, or anger, or enslavement to any number of defeating sin patterns or addictions – the emptiness we’re feeling and trying to fill is for what our relationship with God, by His loving choice, was always meant to be. Our angst comes from the underlying implications of Ecclesiastes 3:11, where the Scripture says, “God has put eternity into man’s heart.”
That’s the double meaning behind the blog. As soon as I took my “veil” off – or the things that covered my eyes from seeing the truth – I was able to live in complete freedom as a Christian.
God doesn’t promise health, happiness, wealth, security, etc. But He does promise unconditional love here on Earth and in Heaven. Even when I suffer and endure hardships, I worship Him. Even when I face trials of many kinds, I count it all joy. (James 1:2).
This graphic tank top comes from Covenant Gear™ Apparel. The Bible verse connected to this message is on their website here.
Just like my story, there are many people that relate to guilt, struggle, curiosity, defiance, heartbreak, etc. This company is no different. Their brand was birthed out of brokenness and a season of rebuilding and restoration. If you haven’t heard of them, it’s because they just launched last month!
Their overall style is unique and capitalizes on a fashion phenomena expanding across the world. Like God’s covenants, their pieces are considered vintage virtues. Each vintage tee, tank, and raglan is hand-lettered. Every piece is an original design inspired by true, personal stories of abuse, brokenness, healing, rebirth, survival and spiritual renewal.
I haven’t found a Christ-life inspired clothing line that offers an experience as meaningful as this. They truly aim to inspire the world to remember and reclaim the awesome promises of God.
Knowing that I would share some of my experiences as a Christian on this blog, I wanted to represent a brand that was sincere and could really stand behind the idea that Jesus changed my life, and that His promises are stronger than anything I face.
If you have any questions or comments about my testimony, or what being a Christian really means, shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org