It was the beautiful cable-knit that first begged my notice. Haphazhardly hung amidst cast-off 80’s dresses with stripes plus daisies and 90’s evening gowns of a weird holographic purple at a diverse thrift store, this dress was different. I rescued the dress from its place of scorn and examined it. Brand new; seemed to be the right length and size; quite simple but somehow lovely; but was grey my color? I tossed it over my arm to try on.
A few minutes later, I pulled the grey dress over my head in the fitting room, and I knew I loved it. But as I rotated in front of the full-length mirror, a question niggled in my mind. Was it too small for me? I stepped out of the fitting room, and a friend gushed, “Oh, grey is definitely your color!”
Mama agreed, and, in fact, everyone loved the dress, except for the very question that I had had—it was definitely too tight. Although the tag clearly stated my size, the fit of the dress on me was simply too form-fitting to be modest. With some sadness, I hung it on the rack of “discards,” and tried to forget about the dress that had almost been perfect. I knew I wouldn’t want to wear it as it was, but I still had one of those moments in which I mentally ran through the far-fetched options of a fabric-stretching machine or a wonder-slip to try to make it work.
But the day sped its way on. A happy blur of trying on, laughter with friends, finding finds, and chatting. Soon enough another store, another town. Another rack of clothes, but the same grey cable-knit fabric beckoning to my astonished self. I was convinced my eyes were lying to me, but I pulled it out and held it at arm’s length, and had to admit that it was the very same dress I had seen at a different thrift store! With trepidation, I pulled at the neck and peered at the size, only to be floored by the realization that it was several sizes bigger than the other dress I had tried on.
The fitting room mirror confirmed that this dress was a perfect fit, and as I stood in front of the mirror, smoothing the fabric down with my hands, I had to be overwhelmed with this gift from my Lord. Because, really, what are the chances of finding the same dress in the perfect, larger size at a different, random thrift store? Statistically—I’m sure the chances are small. But the chances are not small when you are loved by the God who created the world. In that moment in that 3 by 3 fitting room I was humbled to realize that my Father is one who delights in giving His daughter a gift like that to bring a smile to my face and refreshed faith to my heart. It was as if He were reaching down from Heaven with a hug and saying, “Because I love you!” He was living out Isaiah 43:4:
“Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life.”
And He was fulfilling James 1:17:
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
And naturally, I wanted to share with you all that wonderful present from God that I opened last week! What gifts has He given you lately?
P.S. Melanie is the photographer responsible for the photos. Didn't she do a great job? She sweetly agreed, and we had such fun doing this photo shoot in our beautiful backyard!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.