Last summer I attended a wedding in Rhode Island complete with sailboats, sunshine and crisp blue skies. Delightful as it was, there were a few events tied to it, necessitating a few outfits to coordinate and pack. For a clothes horse like me, it made for a fat suitcase. What struck me the most as I began to unpack my bag after the trip was the amount of shoes I carried along with me.

I had various styles and colors, each coordinating with my particular outfit, as well as my mood. I wore flips flops on the drive up, and as we walked along the seaside in a free spirited way.  At church I had on black pointed flats which felt more dignified, yet comfortable enough to walk the blocks needed. For the wedding, I donned a nude pump for a sophisticated and understated look, while brunch the next day called for my playful black and white stripes. Of course, while we walked the cliffs or went to the gym, I had on sneakers for support and comfort with no thought as to how they may have looked.

Each shoe not only transformed my look, but aligned with my mood and mindset. I began to think of the metaphorical shoes we wear. We may change them several times a day, depending on the roles we fill or responsibilities we need to take care of.  What types of shoes are you walking in right now?  Do they feel good, supportive and comfortable? Are they too snug and pinching in a few areas, yet worn for purposes of show? Are they an adequate representation of where you are in life, or better yet where you want to be? Could it be that are they appear worn out, and in need of change?

Have you taken the time to remove your shoes so that your feet can feel the solid ground? Think about walking through the dewy, soft grass and the cool way it hits your skin. In contrast, maybe the warm, grainy sand rubbing against the soles of your feet is what you desire most. Even if the steps we still need to take are long and arduous, removing our metaphorical shoes is symbolic of freedom. 

Scripture speaks of the shoes of peace as part of the spiritual garments that we can clothe ourselves in daily. Imagine sitting on the edge of your bed each morning, choosing to put on shoes of peace. Shoring up your body with a supportive, peaceful mindset to take on the challenging steps required of you. Your spiritual feet may be tired, heavy or painful. Sometimes we need to change our shoes, outfit, outlook and mindset in order to create a new feeling of refreshment within ourselves.

You don’t have to be into fashion to relate to, or adopt the principal of the shoe. It’s simple: Just because it fits doesn’t mean you have to wear it. You can choose to change it and represent yourself and your life with something more comfortable, supportive, freeing and undeniably you! We may have many steps ahead of us. Some may be rocky, some smooth, some delightful and some frightening. Don’t be afraid to reach for what you want to see yourself in, and let it be the statement of who you are in the midst of where you are headed.

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