The dress I wore to graduation is hands-down my favourite thing I have EVER worn (well…tied with my Nylander jersey). More than how much I adore its colour, style, and fit – I love its story.
Last fall I was shopping at Anthropologie. I spotted this dress and fell in love immediately. People say they don’t believe in love at first sight, but my experience with this dress confirmed for me that it exists, and it can happen. Upon staring at it for a solid minute without blinking, I proceeded to look at the price.
Looking at prices at Anthropologie is a skill. You have to be mentally prepared before even entering the store to see 500 billion things that transfer you to a world of fairytale bliss, while simultaneously remembering that you can only afford a mug or two (particularly as a student). I practically dart to the sale nook every time I’m there. That being said, the dress was $198.00. Not horrible, but not exactly in the budget for the student who made that much bi-weekly.
I quickly acknowledged that this dress would not be mine… like ever. I continued to look around, probably bought a mug to make myself feel better, and left.
About four months later it was my birthday. Mom and I had started a tradition of going to Anthro on my birthday and maybe just maybe, treating ourselves. Well, God is good ladies and gents.
I walk in and there’s a major sale going on. Within 10 minutes this pretty, sparkly, champagne coloured dress catches my eye. It couldn’t be, I think to myself. That dress was way too pretty to not have sold out. Lo and behold, there’s the dress.
Can I get an amen and hallelujah!? I tried it on and didn’t want to take it off. The dress that I thought I would never own became mine. How crazy is that?!
I can’t help but think that this story is God’s way of reminding me of a much larger and important truth. How often do we get a taste of our desires; whether it’s a dream we’ve realized or a passion we want to pursue, but the timing is just horribly off? We have that period of time where we’re standing in front of the dress, looking at it, dreaming about wearing it, admiring how pretty it looks, but we can’t help feel let down that it’s just not feasible, nor right, at the moment.
I know that when this happens to me, I usually have a bit of behavioural problem that I need to pray through. Thankfully God has helped me mature enough that I no longer throw visible temper tantrums when I don’t get my way, but my heart is usually in the exact same place as the four year old who wears their heart on their sleeve.
I was let down about the dress, but if I would’ve bought it then I wouldn’t have been making a wise financial decision. I wouldn’t have been stewarding what I had well. And perhaps most importantly, I wouldn’t have seen God’s faithfulness and love for me in the little things as well as the big things.
Maybe you’re thinking this is a little far-stretched, that it was just a lucky coincidence that this happened. To that I respond that we cannot forgot all the little details at play here that worked against my favour in this situation. It was months after I first saw the dress, not just days. This sale just happened to be going on during my birthday week. There was only ONE left and it was MY size.
I just can’t attribute that to luck or chance. I attribute that to an intentional and thoughtful God who loves to bless us in unique ways. Ways that are often so specific that we, as individuals, are the only ones who truly grasp the significance of the blessing itself. Many people aren’t going to understand how much this dress story means to me, but I love telling it because for me it represents so much more than just a dress.
It reminds me that God has something designed and orchestrated for me. Maybe I’ve seen a glimpse of it or maybe I haven’t, but I know that if I got a good, solid look at it (just like I did the dress), I’d fall in love. Maybe not because it’s glamourous or fancy, but because it resonates with my desires on a level only God can coordinate. Although I may not get that thing right away, I know that the wait is well worth it because it’ll make the moment that I do get it that much sweeter and that much more meaningful.
Just like how the dress makes me feel confident, bold, and good – I know that God’s plan has been designed to make me feel the exact same way. And just like how I treat that dress with the utmost caution (I WORE the napkin at dinner), we should all treat God’s plan with the same measures of care.
No, we can’t somehow mess up God’s plan (we are not that powerful, at all), but we can miss out on many blessings and growth opportunities if we aren’t paying attention or being aware of the holy ground upon which we stand.
So, just as this dress has made special days even more wonderful and memories even more precious, let’s remember that God’s perfect plan enhances our every moment in the same way. With Him our lives are so much richer, so much more colourful, and so much more than we could ever ask or imagine.
May we all shop and admire; but exercise the self-control to entrust it all to God.
May we all have the faith to believe that He’ll provide the right size, right fit, and right price at the exactly right time.
And may we all experience the joy that comes from wearing the gifts He’s given us so that others may see His unending goodness.
Happy shopping, ya’ll.