Wednesdays with Jillene: the dress (check in)

Did you think I’d forgotten? Did you forget? A little more than 4 months ago I wrote this post called: the dress.  Near the very end of that there post I said:

Easter is still about 4 months out. Let’s check back then, on her dress situation… sure, but more so on us… Let’s check back in on the situations we were facing and how God worked in them even when we couldn’t see the way through.

And here we are, 4 months later and Easter has passed. You might have thought you got out of this little check in since I blogged the other day about Easter without a single itty bitty mention of that whole dress thing…

But you didn’t and neither did I. No, in fact, God has been keeping the whole thing front and center in my mind this week…

A little recap from the December post:

 To set the stage: I was driving my van, loaded with children. The moment filled with the usual noise: baby fussing, toddler babbling, kids chatting, someone whistling, arguments brewing… When Avari’s voice rose above the fray.

Avari: “Mama.”

Me:

(not paying attention, possibly waiting it out to see if she really needed to talk to me)

Avari: “Mama, I’m gonna wear this pretty dress for Easter.”

Me: “Avari, honey, I don’t think so. That dress isn’t going to fit then.”

Avari: “Yes it will Mama. I’m going to wear this dress for Easter. I like this dress. It is so pretty. I want to wear it.”

Me: “I understand that. But it won’t fit. Easter is a long way from now and that dress is already getting too short.”

Avari: “No it isn’t. It fits fine. I want to wear it for Easter.”

(tears start)

Avari: (a little more indignant now) “I’m going to wear this dress for Easter.”

Me: “Avari, there are many holidays between now and Easter: Christmas, Valentines’ Day… even your birthday. I’m sure you will have a new pretty dress before Easter that you will be happy to wear.”

Avari: (getting a little loud and even more pouty) “But I want to wear this dress. It is my favorite dress and I want to wear it for Easter. I don’t care if it is too small. I want to wear this dress!

Me: “I get that. But Easter is a long way away. Let’s just wait and see what happens.”

Avari: (so many tears, more arguments, getting angry)

God cut through the moment and spoke right to my heart. It was so powerful that I’m pretty sure I had to put my hand to my forehead to contain the intensity of the lightbulb moment. I forgot to tell you a crucial detail when I set the scene: as I was driving, I was deep in thoughts filled with uncertainty and mourning the “what wouldn’t be’s” of changes I was facing. And God… God reached right in that moment straight to my internal struggle.

Avari wanted to hold onto that dress. Actually, she was mad that the dress wouldn’t fit come Easter. She couldn’t see that her closet was proof of all the wonderful dresses she had in the past/has right now as evidence that she’d likely have very nice dress when this one no longer fit. She couldn’t trust that there would be something better in her future.

fullsizerender-7What’s more, when Avari first wore this dress she didn’t like it not.at.all.not.even.a.little.bit. The fabric was scratchy. The neck felt funny. I had to make her give it a second, even third try. And now? Now when it was time to move to a new size dress… Now she’d forgotten all of that remembering only that it was her favorite.

So first, let’s check in on Avari’s Easter dress situation. The fun thing… she’d completely forgotten about her concern. In some ways not surprising, she is after all only 6. And in other ways completely shocking because when it comes to dresses she doesn’t mess around.

Over the months since December, Avari had many opportunities to wear dresses. Some  she liked a lot, others she wore just once, and still others weren’t quiet her size yet. (Good thing she had MANY older sister hand-me-downs to choose from and MANY generous friends/family who’ve given her dresses.) But, just a few days before Easter I brought a bag to her with a dress inside just perfect for Easter. After being a little perplexed, a BIG smile spread over her face as she exclaimed, “Oh, thank you momma! I just knew you’d find the perfect dress.”

And that was that.

She looked pretty cute in the dress, don’t you think?

While the dress was the start of the post it wasn’t the main point.

I’m just like Avari: mourning transitions because of things from the past that won’t be in the future when I have no idea the blessings God is bringing in the future through the change. We see it in scripture too, the tendency to take matters into our own hands, feel like the bad past is better that the unknown future, choosing to run away when things get tough, even being tempted to give up hope.

fullsizerender-8
Avari has a closet full of dresses (from when she was little through dresses her sisters currently wear) that show evidence of beautiful dresses. What is our “closet of proof” of God’s faithfulness?

  1. Scripture- God has given us the Bible filled with evidence of his faithfulness and His promises for us. What scriptures remind you of God’s truths when the going gets tough?
  2. Great Cloud of Witnesses- in scripture but also in our daily living, God provides us with the testimony of others to the work of God in their lives. Who is your “great cloud of witnesses?” When facing the unknown, who can remember for you?
  3. Your Story- your own life is a testimony to God at work. What examples from your own life do you have to draw upon to see the hand of God at work in you?

Avari doesn’t (yet) have her Easter dress. Even so, today was the day to say goodbye to that favorite pink dress. As she put it on this morning, well, the dress was just too short to wear. So, I chose a pair of leggings for her to wear that dress one more time. And you know what she said?

fullsizerender“I will be okay. It is a very pretty dress. But I’m sure I will have a new, very pretty dress for Easter too.”

Easter is still about 4 months out. Let’s check back then, on her dress situation… sure, but more so on us… Let’s check back in on the situations we were facing and how God worked in them even when we couldn’t see the way through.

And here we are… 4 months later, checking in.

How has God been at work in your situation?

Did God work things out better than you could have imagined? As your heart sings, “Great is your faithfulness,” can you be brave enough to share your testimony of God at work so that He may be glorified and the body be edified?

Are you still in the waiting, struggling to find hope? Unlike Avari, the months may have passed, Easter has come and gone and yet you may still be waiting… like David is Psalm 13 crying out to God, “How long, Lord?”

What have you (or can you) learn from the journey?

(And yes, I’m really asking. I’d like to hear your answers. Leave a comment, send me a message or an email. Let’s chat!)

~Jillene

 

2 thoughts on “Wednesdays with Jillene: the dress (check in)

  1. What stands out to me the most is the struggle with “what wouldn’t be.” Wow. I like to hang onto proverbial clothing way too long and it is never attractive. But this is such a sweet reminder…

    Liked by 1 person

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