Why Your Short Skirt and Cleavage Won’t Offend Me

God has been writing the power of our stories on my heart.

I’ve already shared with you, sweet readers, how my true testimony isn’t how I came to Christ, but why I’ve stayed. The real journey has been in the over-the-years learning that faith is not made up of measuring sticks and missing marks, but of the willingness to daily lay myself bare before God and ask Him to replace my striving with His grace, my sin with His righteousness.

For so many years, I handed the power behind my story over to others who I believed were more equipped to author it. But our stories are not written by our efforts to please, our need to seek approval, or the labels and contingencies we limit ourselves too. God is the One who pens the stories on our lives with intimate perfection and unending grace.

On the quest to make peace with my own story, God has opened my eyes to yours. And when I look at you—at your story—I want it to be with eyes of grace.

Grace

I’ll be honest, that’s not always easy for me. Grace isn’t natural for us—it is a God-given gift that we can only embrace when we realize how desperately we need it, and how utterly undeserving of it we are.

I will CHOOSE grace.

I’m the girl who tried to fit the mold and play the part. If I looked like they said I should and did what they said I needed too, then they would like me and in some hidden place in my heart, so would God. I jumped on the bandwagon and joined in the popular vote—because it was safe, it was easier than fighting for truth.

But that’s past tense, because God rewrote that story when I saw you.

You were hurt and searching for grace—you were starving for it. In the midst of broken marriages, families, bodies, and spirits, you were longing for truth. The pretty package and the popular vote were failing you so brutally, that rather than pursue grace, you ran from it.

You were asking for someone to tell you that the outside didn’t matter. You wanted me to see your heart. To understand that you had no idea what this walk of faith was supposed to look like. You just longed for someone to take you by the hand, say that you were loved, and travel the path beside you.

I see you. And I want to know your story.

I’ll be honest—when you walk into church with that short skirt and showing too much cleavage, my mind cries, “Oh my!” But my heart longs to simply ask, “Why?”

What’s your story? Did someone tell you that attention equals love? Who taught you that the outside is more important that what God wants to do inside of you? Do you realize how beautiful you are, just the way He made you?

And you with the tattoos. I’m not crazy about the idea personally, but tell me what took you there. Are they for someone you love, or something you did, or someplace you wish you could escape?

You with the beautiful face stained with tears.
You with the husband and kids driving you to drink.
You who sits in the back, all alone, feeling like you’ll never fit in.
You who can’t look me in the eyes and plasters on a phony smile when you do.
You who have done so much wrong, right feels a million miles away.

I want to know your story.

I don’t care if you eat un-organic fast food. It doesn’t matter if you feed your kids Lucky Charms every day. You can listen to rap music and watch the Real Housewives. The label on your clothes and the stains on your living room carpet don’t matter to me.

I want to know your story—it’s safe with me. You are safe with me.
I will CHOOSE grace.

You might come wrapped in a different package. You don’t look the way I do, but I see you and I don’t judge you. I don’t think your sins are worse than mine. In fact, apart from Christ, we are equally rotten and flawed.

So, I’ll sit next to you and hold your hand in prayer. If you want truth, I’ll tell you. With love and grace, I’ll walk you toward Jesus. And if you’re not ready yet, that’s okay too. I promise I won’t leave. I promise He won’t either.

I want to know your story because you are His and so am I. He loves you and I do too.

I will CHOOSE grace. And I hope you will too, because I’m bound to fail at my best of intentions. But if I choose grace and you choose it right back, what kind of chain reaction could we start?


Linking up with the beautiful blogging communities and the friends of my heart, Holley GerthKristin Hill Taylor, and Jennifer Dukes Lee.

Featured Photo Credit (Image designed by Tiffany Parry)

30 thoughts on “Why Your Short Skirt and Cleavage Won’t Offend Me

  1. Oh, this makes me cry. We’re usually so harsh and judgmental; this is a deep breath of cleansing air to choose to be a safe friend for someone. If more of us were this way, there would be more followers of Jesus in the world. Thank you, Tiffany. I’m choosing grace with you.

    1. So true, Lisa…if we wrapped people in our arms of grace as we brought them to Jesus many more would come…more so, many more would stay. I’m so glad we can choose grace together-that we can be those safe places. 💛

  2. “I see you. And I want to know your story.” This is so good. I’ve been thinking lately about this very thing. Everyone of us has a story that needs to be heard. :) I want to be one who will be there to listen with open arms.

    1. Amen, Tasha. It’s amazing how the cry of so many hearts is just to be heard. They realize they are far from God and they just want someone to draw near and close that distance a bit. I pray God gives us the opportunity to listen! So glad you stopped by today.

  3. So thankful to read this first thing this morning … Asking God to help me to choose grace today – and start a chain reaction too! Thank you for inviting us to be grace-receivers and grace-releasers today. Your writing and your site are so lovely!

    1. So glad you visited today, Renee. “Grace releasers” – I love that! Praying along with you that we can be that vessel that pours out the grace we receive. Here’s to keeping that chain going! Blessings to you. 💛

  4. Tiffany, you’ve written with a gentleness and sincerity. It’s beautiful. Mind if I step alongside you and say, “I choose grace,” as well? Your words are always an encouragement.

    1. By all means Kristi…I’d love to partner with you in choosing grace! :) So happy that the words held there intentions and so blessed you stopped by to visit. Here’s to grace for His glory, friend! 💛

  5. I am working on this same thing. And I have heard some amazing stories. Stories of His amazing grace that I would have missed if I had jumped to conclusions in judgment. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. His grace is SO amazing, isn’t it. I’m amazed by it in my own life and hearing it in others, yes it just chokes out the judgement. Thanks for stopping by, Rachel. Always great to hear from you.

  6. Tiffany, this is so beautiful! I’m with you and I want to choose grace. I might not always say or do the right thing, but I will try. I want to listen to the stories of others. I want to be an encouragement to them, to let them know I want to understand. This sums it up: “So, I’ll sit next to you and hold your hand in prayer. If you want truth, I’ll tell you. With love and grace, I’ll walk you toward Jesus. And if you’re not ready yet, that’s okay too. I promise I won’t leave. I promise He won’t either.” I’m glad I stopped by to read your encouraging, loving post!

    1. I’m with you, Gayl…I try and often fail and it truly is only by the grace of God in our own lives that we can even pour it into others, right?! Yes…reaching out and reaching into other lives and being willing to choose grace…those are powerful steps in the right direction. Let’s start the chain reaction, friend. So glad you stopped by here today. Hugs!

    1. Those little sins can be a doozy, can’t they?! We get in our comfort zones and what looks different just gets judged as bad or wrong. So glad Jesus doesn’t see us that way! It compels me to be intentional in how I see others. Glad you visited, Anita…you always bless me!

  7. Tiffany,
    So glad to be linking up next to you on Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory. If only more in the church were like you…handing out hugs instead of judgment, we’d be reaching so many more people. You extend graciousness…may we all do likewise.
    Blessings,
    Bev

    1. So glad you stopped by, Bev. It does make my heart sad that of all places, the doors of church aren’t being flung wide with grace. I think that’s why God has pressed the power of our stories on my heart…to live grace and love others so they don’t leave the place that ought to be their refuge. Many blessings to you, friend.

  8. So great to meet you. This is a wonderful message of grace that is so needed. So many come to church for healing and we chase them away with judgement. This isn’t the church Jesus preached about.

    1. Oops…premature send!! You are so right, it’s not the church Jesus preached and it’s not the heart He wants us to receive His kids with either. Here’s to using our stories to lead by example. Blessed you stopped by today!

  9. The BEST kind of chain reaction! That’s what kind! Love this, Tiffany! And this: “I want to know your story because you are His and so am I. He loves you and I do too.” Amen!

  10. The way you’re intentional to choose grace and give grace and know grace is so encouraging to me. This is such an inviting post.

    1. Thank you, Kristin. It is an intentional pursuit to not slip into judging a book by its cover, but it’s so like Jesus and only by His grace can we see others through His eyes. So blessed you stopped by in the midst of your busyness. Praying for your little guy! xo

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