Favor Ain’t Fair.

I tell ya. What growing up in church will do to you! It’s like a never-ending grab bag of vernacular that finds itself meshing with everyday life scenarios. 

Take for instance this coat.  I bought the coat pictured about a month or so ago. As soon as I saw it, I thought of one story: Joseph and The Coat of Many Colors.

Now, we all know the story of Joseph (unless somebody skipped vacation bible school. Not judging. Lol). He was the favorite of Jacob’s sons and because of this he was bestowed a coat/robe of many colors. Even though it was stripped of Him, God’s favor never left Joseph and allowed him to venture into high places to share his wisdom.

At the time I bought the coat it was just a cute coincidence, but as time passed it begin to develop more meaning on its own. It took me several times to work up the courage to actually wear it.

Its not that I lack confidence, but I’ve stayed out of the ‘style space’ so long because, as a Christians, its the first to get labeled as vanity. You can go through many other creative forms,— singing, music, painting etc.—but somehow this visual and expressive form of art skyrockets to the top of the ‘no-go’ for Jesus lovers list.

It’s valid to have reasons for concern so no harm, no foul if you feel a certain way about it. I’m just saying for me, as a creative who I lacks the talents in some of those art forms, style was a key outlet. 

So needless to say, this back and forth led to several failed attempts leading up to this moment.

Attempt 1

Took it on a work trip a few weeks back and chickened out.

Attempt 2

I called my mom when I got back in town just to check in and he starts talking about the favor on Joseph’s life having no idea I bought this coat for that same reason. Decided I was definitely going to wear it the next day to an art showing.

The next day comes, I get dressed and wear it all the way to the venue, get out my car... and chicken out and throw it on my front seat.

Get into the event and get fussed at by my friend Ebony. (She always be getting me together.) Since she saw it a few weeks ago during one of our usual check-ins, she knew I was being completely irrational. Decided, “I’m wearing it tomorrow. No turning back!”

At the end of the night, we snap a photo in front of a mural and later that night I look at the shot to send to her and notice the words in the background: “No turning back now.” That seals it. I’m wearing this coat the next day.  

Attempt 3 (Success!)

Saturday comes, I get up, put on my outfit— jacket included— and head to the art fair seminars.

There are smaller affirmations through the day— it became a conversation starter with people I’d been wanting to connect with that my super strong introversion kept me closed off to—but one encounter in particular struck me.

I’m in a seminar with photograhpy duo, Rog and Bee Walker of Paper Monday. Listening to them talk about their passions is inspiring and I have to ask myself,

“Where is my doubt coming from?!

“Why do I keep second guessing myself so much?!”

[Side note: People make it look so effortless, but I’m learning it takes work to be true and authentic and not back down from who you’re called to be.]  

Afterwards, I’m like, ‘I want to talk to them,’ but then I chicken out... again! (I know!) I think, “That’s it. Opportunity lost.” Then while I’m joking with a group about all the behind the scenes interventions that took place to get me in my colorful coat, Bee walks up to me to compliment me on it.

At this point I‘m at a loss for words because I’ve just finished explaining to the folks I’m chatting with about my nervousness about wearing it, how I had to give myself several pep talks and how it was such a milestone for me to express myself and my peculiarities.

Bee now wants her husband, Rog to take a photo.

A little backstory: Rog and Bee have AMAZING work, but at this point I have no idea the breadth of their portfolio. But do y’all remember that infamous wedding shot of Solange’s* wedding that I feel like everybody tried to recreate with their friends, aunties and cousins?!

Yeah. That was Rog.

I wasn’t by any means ‘starstruck,’ but I was overwhelmed by God’s FAVOR. How He knew I was trying to push through and take the leap of being comfortably quirky so He decided to take every step imaginable (and unimaginable) to me to remind me that I’m His. 

But that’s not the end of this story...

I get to Sunday school the next day feeling so loved and blessed and humbled by the experience and the lesson is about Leah anddddd Rachel, Joseph’s mother.

Shook. Outdone. Can’t.

So I want to leave y’all with this:

| Be. YOURSELF.

| Walk in your purpose.

| Never lose sight of Christ’s will for you.

| Favor ain’t fair!! 

— 

Me, Bee Walker ( @beewalker_ ) of Paper Monday and Ebony Archie ( @savvysunflower_ ) at the Young Collectors Comtemporary Art Fair in Memphis, TN.   | photo x Rog Walker ( @papermonday ) 

Me, Bee Walker (@beewalker_) of Paper Monday and Ebony Archie (@savvysunflower_) at the Young Collectors Comtemporary Art Fair in Memphis, TN. 

| photo x Rog Walker (@papermonday

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| photo x Ziggy Mack (@fomoloop

| art x Kaleob Elkins (@whykale

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| photo x Yasmine Omari (@afrobot901)

| mural x Bongang (@bongangart

 

the details

| shoes x Pour la Victoire

| slip dress x Calvin Klein

| hangbag x Cafe de Flore

| necklace combo x madewell (choker) + David Yurman (charm necklace)

| coat x Mara Hoffman

| *I’m just letting y’all know context so y’all can get the full impact of what took place. Working with celebrities doesn't define your credibility, but Solange is also a talented visual artist and I respect her craft a great deal and thought it awesome to meet another craftsmen dedicated to their artistry. 

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