DRESSED BY GOD BLOG
February 2023 Turning Pain into Joy
"What you bought out of pain, I am turning into joy."
I certainly didn't feel like I was in pain looking at a heap of clothing on the bed. In fact, I felt light and quite a bit more free just glancing at how lovely my closet had become. There was light hitting the garments in ways I hadn't seen in years.
And even in writing those words, I feel more of the significance that God intended me to see.
Light, where there was once darkness. Even if I had been overlooking it. But now that I've seen it, and I have it.
I don't want to give it up.
I was overwhelmed by a sense of urgency to get rid of this massive pile of clothing. Move on with my life.
I knew that it needed to go somewhere else till I could figure it out. Otherwise, we wouldn't be able to sleep in bed😅.
Within a few days I had moved everything to an offsite studio. But it was hardly "out of sight, out of mind." It was just about the only thing I could think about.
God had told me what to do, but I was daunted by the task. Would I sell it online? I had really only had poor experiences with that in the past, but certainly that was the way to get the most of my money back. I mean many of these items were in excellent condition and still worth quite a bit of money.
Surely, God needs me to sell it and get the most out of it. Surely He needs me to feel the pain of what I had accumulated and what I had done. Surely I need to be punished. Surely I needed to be punished for my actions of waste and selfishness.
My mind slipped quickly into the condemning thoughts of guilt and shame.
"You are my daughter,you have already endured enough pain. I will make this easy on you."
I had been telling a dear friend of mine all about how God was leading me on this wild adventure and all of the seemingly drastic changes that were afoot when we met for lunch to catch up.
Move to a capsule wardrobe where I only keep or purchase pieces that the Holy Spirit leads me to. Sell everything else. Who does that?
It's a big shift no matter how you slice it up.
The next day she stopped by my house, and became aware of my toil with how to sell everything off. The house was a wreck. Piles everywhere as I was still going through things.
Do I do a closet sale? How do I categorize everything? Do I hire someone to help me? If I have a closet sale, where do I do it? Blot? That was really cute, but most of the people who have expressed interest are too far away. What on earth do I do?!
The questions kept coming, filling my mind with worry even though God ensured me it would be easy, and I just needed to trust Him.
She could see it in my face.
"Why don't you use my office?"
I was in shock.
I mean, God said He would make it easy...but this was entirely too easy of a solution.
It was so simple.
Almost too good to be true even.
I was so stressed overthinking everything that I almost missed God's path.
So we got a date on the calendar and then God and I started planning.
God told me to purchase 3 garment racks from Costco.
So I figured each of these racks would be different price points. I mean it only made perfect worldly sense.
There were 3 levels of value, and I was still of the mindset of scraping every last dime out of these pieces.
Even in writing this my stress level is off the charts.
I started to get the word out with friends and then on social media.
Word spread quickly.
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
"You are still putting value in the items. These items have no value, the women that will be wearing them hold the value."
For a woman that has been called to help God mend the broken-hearted by lifting them up, encouraging, and prophesying to them.
To constantly be reminding them of who the Father says that they are.
It hurt a little.
So in my heart, I decided to mark everything at $25. Regardless of the purchase price.
I'll admit, it took my mind a little bit of catching up.
The next day, a good friend of mine mentioned that his wife would love to come to the sale, but she wasn't sure she'd be able to get anything due to cost. I had told him my idea about making everything a level playing field and the $25 dollar price. I could see that he was both shocked and grateful, and that was when I started telling everyone about the flat dollar amount.
I now truly saw that there was no value in those 400+ pieces of clothing. None.
I also saw how much we tend to see our value through the perspective of the things we own, instead of the perspective of our Creator.
Was this the pain that God was referring to? Had I fallen into the same trap that I've helped others dig out of?
I couldn't deny what God was unrolling right before my eyes.
There was a drove of women that were all so excited to have a chance at getting a designer bag, or something that they had loved seeing me wear on TV at such an incredible discount.
I saw hope.
I saw value.
I saw worth.
God also led me to having our Confidently Company bracelets available for anyone who came to the sale. And to take bra donations for Free The Girls, an organization that helps women who have survived human trafficking. Their program teaches and trains survivors on how to clean and resale gently used bras to create a stable income for their families, keeping them out of the trafficking cycle.
Both were perfect compliments to support the women that would be coming.
To learn more about Free The Girls Click Here.
To learn why I am so passionate about organizations that support survivors of trafficking listen to my interview on the Becoming Me Podcast Here.
What was once stressful to think about, now sounded more like party planning.
I was no longer focused on the task, I was focused on the guests.
God scooped me up in His loving arms and placed me right back into my gifting zone.
It was a literal frenzy of joy, smiles, laughter and fellowship. I got to see friends I hadn't seen in years, and some of my biggest supporters on this journey of faith.
As women scored deals, gave hugs, and realized they were actually "hat" people after all, I saw it.
Many of these women weren't here for the clothes, as much as they showed up to see God move.
They showed up to see me being faithful.
A new dream was birthed that day, and an old dream that died during the pandemic was resurrected.
There was no amount of items sold, or money back in my pocket that could take the place of seeing God fulfill promises.
Even if it was in a different package than I expected.
Over half of the items sold, and we collected a huge bag of bras for Free The Girls!
After the sale, it took a few weeks to catch up.
We had our first Home Show of the season for our boutique dumpster company, Funky Junk Dumpsters. We found a rescue dog that needed a new home. And I still had unsold clothing that I was trying to figure out what to do about it.
There was so much pressure to have an online sale. To keep striving.
I had become really good at striving.
But then God told me that these items were no longer my problem and to freely give.
So I did.
Then God revealed the pain that I had been feeling in 2 separate places of my life, at different times.
The first was being brought back to a distinct moment in time when my mom, brother and I were in a horrible car accident when I was in the 5th grade. I will spare you the details, but say that for a brief moment, I believed that I had lost my brother. God healed that pain in an instant while I was running on the treadmill. Something I didn't know I was carrying. I then called my brother to see how he was doing.
The second was recognizing that I was nearly to the point of tears walking in and out of a church that I had attended for 8 years and loved. It was excruciating. But what was it? I had started feeling this way in late December. Who knows how long I was actually experiencing this. Then God reveled that this pain was that of loneliness.
How can one attend a church of 1000's and have relationships there for 8 years and feel lonely? It didn't make sense.
Through that loneliness and leading me to read Reason to Return, By Ericka Andersen, He showed me that He would be asking me to move churches.
I thought/hoped it would be a year or at the very least, months.
But during praise and worship on a Saturday, at a small women's conference called Testify, in a church that I had never been to He whispered that it was time.
The next day we began church at a new, much smaller location that already feels a lot like family.
But I didn't realize the unbearable grief that would soon hit.
I awoke in the middle of the night nearly in a panic attack of sobbing.
I loved that church! We loved that church. It was the only church that Daisy's really been to and she has aa ton of friends there. I had expectations of Daisy growing up and taking part in all of the kids programming.
Then it hit me. I was grieving what I thought we had, that wasn't actually going to happen.
To distract my mind and numb my pain, I reached for my phone and started to scroll.
"We don't shop anymore, Brandie. When you feel pain, you come to Me."
It wasn't stern. It was loving. An invite into knowing His heart for me.
God had already broken the chains.
My vice was gone.
The enemy had lost.
Now it was just me and Him.
Dressed By God
Is my month by month account of God's goodness, promise, and provision.
God has been revealing so much and changing my perspective each day through this process, and I want to invite you in to this journey.
My hope is that by following along that you are inspired to lean into the sacred area of healing that God has planned for you. Even if it comes in a package that you hadn't anticipated.
Will you join me?