It felt fitting to have a dress for this wedding, this friendship, this celebration - it felt like it was time. And when I actually found a dress to wear, I knew without a shadow of a doubt it was time.
I brought my back-up outfit just in case something happened and I didn't think I could go through with it. My dressy, but non-dress-outfit was waiting in the closet in case I felt like I needed to put it on instead. I didn't want to be stuck without a wedding appropriate outfit in case something awful happened and shut me down. I felt like I needed to be prepared, and I was.
There is something about wearing a dress that is just different from any other kind of outfit. It's even different than a skirt. It's a more feminine declaration of who a woman is. It's been a declaration that I've been wary of making because of how I have felt about myself in the past.
Over the years, there is been much damage done to my femininity - and a lot of that has been self-inflicted. I've looked at where I joined evil in being out to destroy my beauty. And refusing to wear a dress has been one of the places I have done that. It's where I have remained hidden. It's where I have agreed with evil that I wasn't worth that level of femininity or beauty. It's where I let my insecurities define me and no one could talk me into even trying one on, much less wearing one.
Evil whispered to me much of the weekend. "You are going to look ridiculous in that dress. You don't even belong here. Wear the other outfit. You know that dress will look horrible on you - it was a fluke that you liked in in the dressing room. People will think you look awful. Someone will make fun of you behind your back. Don't wear that dress." Yes, evil's whispers were persistent.
Yet I recognized the voice. It wasn't mine. And it wasn't the voice of my Father. So I decided to ignore it. I decided to disagree with what it had to say. It feels so very empowering to remember that I have a choice and that I get to decide how I am going to live my life.
The back-up outfit remained in the closet the entire weekend.
I wore that dress. And I rocked it out! Isn't it fun?! It felt very "me." And it was perfect for the occasion. I am only now wondering where I can wear this to so I can wear it again!
Todd arrived at the church after me as I got ready with the bride and the bridesmaids that evening. As I walked down the hallway to meet him, I began to cry. His face for me was everything that I had hoped it would be. He looked at me with his adoring eyes and held me tightly in his arms and told me of my beauty and his love for me. He has missed seeing me in a dress and I loved that I was able to let myself be enjoyed by him that night.
Later in the evening, I invited my husband out on to the dance floor with me. He got out there and spun me around - I even taught him how to do a fun line dance. And later we shared a slow dance together. My dress got plenty of twirling action. I love that Shelley's reception pictures will include those of us dancing. That makes me smile.
I'm not sure what Todd's expression is about in this picture, haha, but we had such a fun time together.
God makes all things new - in His time. And it was finally time for me to put on a party dress, and dance the night away.
THIS SONG feels fitting for where I am right now..He makes beautiful things.
Thank you sweet Jesus for pictures of redemption that remind me of your goodness, unfailing love and relentless pursuit of my heart. I love You.