Sunday, July 3, 2022

The Dress

In 1982, I was engaged to be married. 

I remember as a young lady I relied on the use of bridal services to help the big day come to pass.

One thing I knew for sure. I wanted to design my own wedding dress. I sketched it out and patiently took clippings from bridal magazines.  I remember flipping through the pages.  Month after month I would purchase magazines with the latest trends. After all I wanted to know what the world was wearing.

I designed the sleeves, the length of the dress, sketched out the neck all and of course the material that would bring this garment together.

After almost 40 years of marriage the story of the dress is still fresh in my mind.

The seamstress took my sketches and clippings.  She designed the dress according to the style I gave her. 

I'm only 19 years old. A young girl unaware that soon I would encounter One who loved me even more than my husband to be.

The dress was almost complete.

A few more tweaks, after all this dress would be stamped in every photo and memory forever.

What a ride!  What a thrill!

A few weeks before my wedding day, the bridal store shut its doors without warning.  

In 1989 my life would change. I traveled with my young son and husband to the state of Florida.  This trip would take a twist that would affect my life forever. I visited a small church with my cousin who was a born-again believer.

I found myself at the church altar with the pastor asking me if I wanted to give my life to the Lord Jesus Christ? Quite frankly I wasn't sure what that meant. I had been to church before and grew up doing my due diligence, but give my life to Jesus?

It's a marriage. The Bridegroom preparing his bride.

There was an issue of wardrobe.

He offered me a new dress.

For a quick moment I remembered I was already clothed.  I don't need a new dress!

In those few moments there was an internal conversation that was happening, a dialogue of love that was being spoken over me.

Is as if he said, “your dress has wrinkles, the stains that the world has placed on you I'd like to take them away.” 

What stains?

You can be in the world Liz but don't let the world be in you.

Watch your eye gate.  All that you see is not all that there is. 

There is a lure, a draw, a bait design just for you. The intention is to keep you from Me.

Open your eyes my daughter. This dress is for you.

After the bridal store closed down I was able to get my unfinished dress back. 

What do I do with a dress that's halfway finished?  I can’t sew. My search began again.

This time I would choose a dress that was already designed. It was right off the rack, as if it was made just for me.

That evening in the small church I traded my dirty rags for beautiful white garment.

“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)

My design was flawed.
 Yes I looked just like the world wanted me to look.
But the God who loves me wanted me to look different. He would do the change!

The intimate quiet conversation echoed in my inner being.

As a Christian I know the Lord has called me out of the world even though I still live here. Jesus himself prayed to the Father not to take his children out of the world but to keep them from evil. (John 17:14-16)

He still speaks to me today, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

Can you hear him?

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

The dress off the rack looked beautiful. The photos still testify of it today.

I was still attached to my worldly dress. I cut it to the knees. On my wedding day I wore two dresses. The one that was perfectly designed for me and the one I designed.

What a foreshadow in the two dresses. The dress of the world that I couldn't let go and the perfect dress that was on the rack all along.

The Dressmaker took my filthy rags and exchanged them for a beautiful robe of Righteousness. 

Like the young girl that wanted to design her own dress, sometimes I go back into the world's closet.

But I hear the Dressmaker singing over me reminding me. His love speaks to me.  

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” (Galatians 5:16-17)

Liz, a young girl with an awe for a dress designed by the world was intercepted by the Dressmaker. 
He has clothed me in his Righteousness and continues to love me to this day. 

Actually, this is a forever APPOINTMENT.  I have been SUITED UP!

What are you wearing? 

God bless you!~Liz

The Dress

In 1982, I was engaged to be married.  I remember as a young lady I relied on the use of bridal services to help the big day come to pass....