Needless to say I wasn't part of the excitement - the girls were thrilled, my husband just smiled and my oldest son was insistent that I wear it.
Anyway I decided to humor them and try it on. That's when the situation went from bad to worse. I looked at the tag and it was 3 sizes bigger than I normally wear. Instantly my mind took over, "That's the size he thinks I wear? Our baby's almost two I need to lose some weight." And the final thought that came was, "I am not wearing this dress."
So the next day came and I returned the dress. Knowing my kids were more than excited for me to wear a dress, I did exchange it, but the one I found in my size was different than the one my husband picked out. I really didn't think it was a big deal, but by the following night I knew something was wrong.
I asked my husband what was up and he said, "I don't know why this is bothering me, but it's the dress. And the fact you took it back. I didn't even know you didn't like it." I responded, "Job, I don't wear that size. It's 3 sizes too big!!" In return he says, "I know, but I know you don't like things tight and they looked so small. It looked nice on you."
I listened, but I'm not sure I really heard him. (If you know what I mean?) I simply said, "I'll take it back. Maybe we should just forget the whole thing; it's kind of a waste of money for something I'll never wear again."
Two days later, I took the dress back and thought: I'll be a good wife, buy the original dress, wear it and make everyone happy. Well, everyone but me!
So Easter morning arrives and I still had no desire to wear the dress, but I had 5 little people who were very excited about it!
We headed out the door with everyone smiling and me silently praying, "Lord, help me focus on YOU, forget about this dress and not worry about what everyone will say." And friend, I have to admit He answered my prayer.
Many people shared words about the dress...though no one said it was too BIG or that I looked funny! (Though I sure felt like I did!!) As we left the church yard a good friend said something about the dress and my husband replied, "You mean the one we bought twice?!?"
With that statement God had my attention as He quickly spoke to my heart amongst the chaos of a vehicle filled with 5 energized little people!
He whispered to me, "Jill, you were focusing on the label. That label means nothing...think about the love Job was showing. How about the love others shared as well with their kind words? What about your kids, they have no idea what size you are and they love you."
And then on Resurrection Sunday He continued, "Jill, the size label on your dress doesn't matter to me either. Neither do labels from your past or other people. You are who I say you are - Loved, Forgiven, My Daughter, a Gifted Girl and my Chosen Child. Those are the labels that matter! Today, you celebrate the day I bought you with the blood of My Son...Jill, that's something I only have to do once. My love and forgiveness is not something you can return or exchange, so please accept it. And daughter, do the same with the love your family is showering upon you as well!"
Friend, I don't know if I'll ever wear the dress again, but I don't think I'll ever forget the lesson it taught me. I pray you will join me in letting go of what the labels say and focus on who God says we are!
|I know you can't see it, but believe me, it's a dress! |