Dressing for the Seasons

For everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."- Ecclesiastes 3

Happy Spring Equinox to all of my beautiful people!

As we enter into this new and refreshing season, we should only be filled with great joy while still waiting with much anticipation on the many great things that are headed our way! If you were one to plant the seeds you were given (also known as your gift) and water them (in other words stayed focused and worked on your gift) during this snowy season, I can confidently say to you, get ready, it's HARVEST time!!

As many of you may know from my previous article, I mentioned my career as a Fashion Stylist in which a major part of the job consist of attending Fashion Week shows and events which in turn helps to stay up-to-date on the newest and hottest trends of the season for men and women.

As you may imagine, majority of my snowy season was spent sloshing around town, while still trying to look like the new spring trend fresh off the runway; despite the season we were currently in.

Talk about challenging; but I must admit it was definitely well worth it!

While taking a break after one of the shows, I found myself reflecting on not just the amazing garments that I just saw sashaying down the runway, but also thinking about how we as people have been pressured to look like the next ecological season before its time. This is just so that we can be considered "on trend."

The question I ask is what if you prematurely entered your own spiritual season before its time and was forced to look/be someone you were not yet ready to become?

I sort of relate it to trying to fit into clothing that you have outgrown or squeezing your foot into a shoe a half size to small. Then justify the purchase by saying “they were worth it because they were on sale.”

Just like these different scenarios that we all may have encountered, it feels uncomfortable and in some cases it has hurt, and we have even made excuses; but it is all a part of the process to bring us to who we are truly meant to be. Like the good old saying goes beauty is pain right? 

Let’s dive deeper into the seasons; winter, spring, summer and fall, some seasons lasting longer than others; but in good reason to bring about a certain change that is needed beyond our understanding. As I look at the different seasons I instantly relate them to us by first starting with winter.

If you're from Chicago like me, winter is a season that we truly know! It's practically cold 9 months out of the year (at least that's what it seems). It's definitely an experience like no other that will toughen you, strengthen you, and most importantly prepare you to take on any season that you will ever enter. For this, I have named winter the season of preparation.

During this time, we are tucked away in full hibernation staying inside and protecting ourselves from the natural ailments of the outside. We refuse to venture out unless it is absolutely necessary, because preparing to go outside is a job within its own. The process of putting on layer upon layer to ensure that no skin is exposed because the smallest form of skin exposed will equal an uphill battle with a cold that is for sure hard to get rid of. So in other words it’s for our own protection.

PREPARATION is for your own PROTECTION.

The layers that you put on in this season are not just the newest and hottest trend, but it’s a full wardrobe that God specially picked out for you. It’s a wardrobe that you can carry with you for a lifetime that in my opinion will never go out of style.

This wardrobe according to Colossians 3:13-14 is compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, and discipline.

I don't know about you, but I NEED and WANT that type of wardrobe because it’s for our protection, in our preparation to be who we were truly called to be!

As spring has sprung, and all things once dead have been brought to life it’s definitely a time to celebrate and for this I call it the season of growth. I remember when I was younger, I especially looked forward to this season because it meant NEW wardrobe for the school year. For many of us, being in high school, clothing equaled your social status. It told everyone if you were rich or poor, popular and not so popular.

I remember always begging my parents to buy me a pair of the $100 jeans with the holes in them from Abercrombie and Fitch because that's what all the "cool" kids wore.

My parents would always say “what is the point in spending so much money on some jeans that you will eventually outgrow.” Then followed up by saying "Erika you know you're still growing right?

I remember trying to justify it by saying "well all the cool kids are wearing them, with my parents following up by saying don't worry about them, be yourself." Even though my parents never gave in and purchased those $100 jeans; at the time I thought they were merely punishing me and that I was doomed to be a part of the not so popular crowd for life.

Since growing up, I now can see that they were teaching me a much larger lesson. It was the lesson of not just working hard for the things that you want in life (I eventually purchased those $100 jeans when I started working at 16) but also not letting society put a label on you based upon what you are wearing; to truly just like they said "BE YOURSELF." It’s not at all about what you are wearing on the outside, but how you treat people. That is the test and what shows your growth and maturity.

We know this to be true because in the scripture Proverbs 31:25 it states  "Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future."

So bring out your strength and dignity and wear it proudly with no fear of what tomorrow will bring; because with each day brings growth and that will bring you to the future.

To tell you the truth, I no longer have those $100 jeans that I felt I needed so bad and they never made it to where I am now; that’s to show what really matters.

After you've experienced preparation and growth, now it’s time to show your beauty, welcome to the season of summer!  

This is the time, where everything that you’ve learned through the previous seasons really comes to light. This is the time where physical clothing is very minimal, but you're spiritually clothed from head to toe. I know we all remember watching the hit movie "Beauty and the Beast" during our adolescent years that gave us the perfect example of true beauty.

True beauty comes from the inside and shines right through you illuminating your outer core.

Everything that you’ve ever been taught, every Disney movie that you’ve seen when you were younger; not just in age, but in spiritual season has prepped you and brought you to the very place that you are now in life. You have slowly been being prepped for this journey before you could even talk or walk which in turn is such a beautiful thing.

As we continue onto this journey we find ourselves in the final season; Fall, which I appropriately named the season of maturity.

This really just sums up everything that I’ve already spoken about and really ask you to apply to your daily life.

Maturity is purely defined as the period of time from childhood to adulthood.

So to reach this final stage it just takes TIME. Timing is EVERYTHING!

Do not look at the season the world is in; do not look at the season your friends are in, none of that matters because that's not you! Like my parents said worry about you.

Your TIME is coming, you must declare it and believe it, and go through these different seasons to prepare you for everything that God has promised you!

Just remember "He has set the right time for everything. He has given us a desire to know the future, but never gives us the satisfaction of fully understanding what he does."-Ecclesiastes 3:11

Live it, Love it, breathe it, Become it.

- Erika Degraffinreaidt

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