The Dress

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When I was young and planning my wedding, I did as most young girls do and I began thinking about what my dress would look like. I scoured bridal magazines for what I thought was the perfect dress; off white, classic, with some old fashioned detailing. The day finally came when I went to try on a dress. Because I was searching for off-white, I was able to skip over many of the hanging dresses and it didn’t take long for me to spy the dress that was the perfect color. When I began looking at the dress, I thought the size was right, the detailing was right and when I put it on, I knew it was exactly what I wanted. That’s right, I said “yes” to the first dress.

My dress was perfect. It was raw silk fabric that was perfectly not white. It had tiny buttons lined up the back with a perfectly placed bow. The sweet heart top was complemented with puffy sleeves that turned to fitted, beaded, netting just above the elbow.  It had pearl and iridescent sequin beading on the bodice and around the bottom of the skirt. The train was just right…not too long but enough to feel like a bride.

Our pictures were beautiful and our wedding was everything I wanted it to be; our marriage was not. The difficult circumstances we faced drove a wedge between us that could not be overcome. When our 13 year marriage ended, I began to think about what I could do with my beautiful dress. I felt as if it was tainted. How could I offer the dress to a family member when the marriage didn’t last? I attempted to consign it, but I was told it was too dated.

That’s when I found out about Angel Gowns. I knew immediately that this was what I wanted to do with my beautiful dress. Volunteers take donated wedding dresses and make small gowns for deceased babies. I began searching for someone locally who could do this for me; she was found. My beautiful dress was donated.

Something so precious to me at one time will be re-purposed into something to wrap another person’s precious treasure for burial. So very sad, but so very beautiful.

This dress now represents broken dreams. So many things I hoped for while wearing it turned out so differently. Please don’t misunderstand; I love my life now. It is just very different from the way I thought it would be while I was wearing this dress.

Isn’t that just life? Our hopes, dreams, and expectations are often very different than what actually happens? Life is about change. The way we deal with the loss of certain hopes, dreams, and expectations says so much about our character. Just like this dress can be re-purposed, so can we. The initial purpose may be adjusted for something better, more important, or necessary. Has your life been re-purposed? Is your current path miles away from the path on which you started?

Know that this doesn’t mean you failed. It just means you changed; and that, my friends, is OK.

Can God re-purpose us? He will keep us on track, He has plans for our future, His purpose will prevail, and He will work everything for his good! He is right there with us and will not abandon us, even when our lives take a direction we didn’t hope, dream, or expect.

Proverbs 3:5-12 The Message (MSG)

5-6 Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
    he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.

Jeremiah 29:11 The Message (MSG)

11 I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

Proverbs 19:21 The Message (MSG)

21 We humans keep brainstorming options and plans,
    but God’s purpose prevails.

Romans 8:28 The Message (MSG)

26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves…That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

Yes, God can re-purpose us. If He can make the old things new, the dirty things clean, the impure heart pure, the water turn into wine, then He surely can take this messy life of mine and give it a new purpose. Clothe yourself in that for a moment and dance around as it if were the perfect dress!

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