Today you get to hear from my favorite person about what he learned from this project. Justin Gerhardt, my husband of 11 years, had a front row seat for this thing, and, as someone who is not me, might provide us all with some valuable perspective.
May I introduce you? :)
So for the last year, my wife—my beautiful, clothes-horse of a wife, has worn the same 4 outfits.
Again and again.
No mixing and matching.
For 365 days in a row.
If you’re a regular on this blog, you know about this project. If not, scroll back through her posts—I’ll meet you back here in a few minutes.
Anyway, she asked me to chime in and contribute to her list of things she’s learned during the past 12 months with a lesson of my own—a truth I’ve discovered thanks to having a front row seat to this crazy experiment. (By the way: calling it “crazy” sounds a little funny to me now, because at this point, since she’s done it, it seems perfectly doable. But I remember sharing the concept with a good friend early on who told me, “A lot of the girls I know wouldn’t wear 4 outfits for a year if God himself told them to do it.” So perhaps “crazy” isn’t that far off.)
So what have I learned? Quite a few things, actually. For one, I learned some things about my wife’s resolve, discipline, and faith that have deeply impressed me. She wouldn’t want me to write about that here, though, so I’ll spare you those details.
What I will share is this: I’ve learned (genuinely learned—not just “been reminded”) that “God and clothes” is not such a strange pairing.
A year ago, I was essentially under the impression that the only real point of intersection between the stuff we wear and the God who created us was modesty—and even my understanding of that particular point of intersection was a bit primitive.
Jennifer, though, convinced that God could (and should) be sought in the realm of clothes, found Him all over the place. Thanks to her, I’ve had the benefit of piggybacking on her discoveries—peeking over her shoulder as she charts some exciting new landscapes.
It turns out, for instance, that Scripture has a LOT to say about clothing, both implicitly and explicitly. Who knew?
That being the case, it turns out that God probably cares a lot more than I thought he did about what I put in my closet and on my body. I’m learning that this part of my life (which, given the time I spend each day wearing clothes, is a HUGE part, right?) is essentially what folks in the business world call a “Blue Ocean”—a space in the market that’s wide open because it’s currently untapped.
Clothing, for me, was a place I didn’t really look for God—a category of life into which I didn’t consciously invite him. But now, I’m realizing his truth can (and should) inform what I wear, when I wear it, where I shop, how I feel when I look in the mirror, even the notion of cultivating a personal style.
It’s cool to find God where you didn’t expect to find him—like discovering that your best friend works in the cubicle two down from yours: “Wow—this is totally going to change the work experience for me!”
So if I’ve learned one thing through this I-want-to-follow-Jesus-better-so-I’m-going-to-wear-4-outfits-for-a-year madness it’s this: God is fully present in this world. Even in the mundane. Even in the clothes I’m wearing.
I love it.