First, there was the girl escaping her roots. States away in college & uncomfortable in my own skin, I changed a lot of majors and put on a great mask. Despite the show, I connected with some really great people who saw the real me. I found my soul mate and we vowed to be world changers. Grad school and big dreams filled up the future of our lives. I walked down the aisle in a beautiful white dress believing that this new life was a clean white slate before me for my making.
Then there was the victim. An accident that I felt shattered everything. Dreams, plans, goals…all gone. I, literally, no longer looked the same. And while plans changed and God provided, the victim remained in my heart and my identity. Just like that stubborn flower stain on the bottom left of my dress that won’t come out. Forever tainting the canvas of my life.
Next was a female warrior. I was driven to do more and be the best. Climb the ladder to the top of the class. Be the great employee, use my woo to make a difference. I knew everyone and thought I was needed by everyone. I worked for a world-changing ministry so I was a world changer, right? I knew I was called and equipped and right smack in the middle of God’s plan and it was good, real good, but then my identity became all wrapped up in what I could accomplish. My sleeveless dress those years showing off my muscled arms that could hold the weight of my world...and possibly yours too.
Now I’m a home mom and recognize how very little I truly control. My porch holds a sign stating ‘A plain and simple life is a good life’. Give me some tea and a fishing pole and the laughter of my children. My days are spent making meals, cleaning meals, making more meals. Laundry, changing and cleaning children. Doesn’t seem very world changing anymore. I’ve learned to be ok with a few friends and a mostly-warm coffee. I’d rather pull weeds in my garden than drive into town. I smile as I slip on the unadorned, simple satin dress this year. All those years and it’s still a perfect reflection of my story. The dress hasn’t changed, but it has fit in a different way during each season of life.
Thirty years ago, I walked down the aisle to God and became His bride. He is the same, never-changing constant presence although I surely don’t look the same. I’ve come to appreciate the different aspects of life with Him over the years. The clean slate, the lessons from the stains I’ve made, the strength I’ve developed and the sheer simplicity of loving Him. I'm thankful for the seasons of growth and change, so I’ll continue to smile when I slip on that dress. After all, it did change my name.
*Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
*To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, And a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off. Isaiah 56:5
*Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-15