Over the last twenty-two years, I have sorted and discarded many clothes for being too small, too big, too trendy, too outdated, too new (as in still sporting tags), too old (as in reduced to near-rags), or too…something. But, there are a few “chosen” garments that remain “holy and dearly loved” to me.
Boxed and preserved, my wedding dress and matching ballet-style slippers still hold the same place in my closet. The padded shoulders of my burgundy, paisley, going-away dress boasts a layer of dust. The hunter-green sweater for my wedding rehearsal’s camel-colored vest and skirt is at the bottom of my “green” pile. Tasseled jewel-toned loafers are poised on my shoe rack.
But, this is not simply my wedding attire. These garments are the last ones my mother made for me.
Trying on off-the-rack wedding dresses had been a laughing matter. I looked like I was playing dress-up. So, Mom tailor-made each piece to fit my six-foot-two-inch frame.
Mom chose the best pattern for me. She formed rosettes for the shoulders, bodice, skirt-gathers, short-train bustle, slippers, and hair clip. The satin material was white without superfluous sequins. My specified “simple, but elegant” was achieved.
What amazed me was she made it without my presence. Like most of my wedding planning, the dress was designed from a distance. But, Mom knew my measurements to the exact inch. When I tried on the dress days before my wedding, it fit. No alterations were needed.
Although I don’t wear these clothes anymore, I would not mistake them as discards. I admit I have outgrown them a bit. Thankfully, I don’t require another occasion to wear them. Still, they remain as sacred to me as the vows spoken to my husband.
Sometimes, I do make the mistake of feeling like a discarded garment in God’s closet as if I have accomplished my purpose long ago. Yet, these verses remind me that is not true.
I am among God’s chosen. Though I may feel I am shoved to the back of the closet, I am not a left-over, unusable piece of fabric. I am part of the believing remnant.
I am holy. My salvation by God’s grace makes me as pure as white satin. With a pattern modeled after Jesus and the saving material of His sacrifice, I am being daily prepared for God’s service.
I am dearly loved. God loves me for who I am. We have, are going, and will go through some tough times together. But, He promises I am never alone. When I feel discarded by others, He reminds me I am precious, cherished, and preserved.
I won’t be surprised if God’s final design for my life is tailor-made to fit me. Alterations in my character are definitely needed. Only then will my life fit His image. Only then will I be dressed for every occasion and not just the special ones.
Yet, like my going-away outfits, He has mixed-and-matched me for a combination of tasks. In many ways, I believe He is forming my life to be like those painstakingly handcrafted rosettes. He knows I’m not into playing dress-up anymore, that superfluous sequins aren’t my style. He just knows me that well.