DOZ Issue 35 September 2018 - Page 29

been for nothing. The seamstress and I were both distraught, and all I knew to do was pray, which we did. I tried to encourage her and myself, after having contacted several professional cleaners and finding one where the manager assured me they could probably remove the stain or at least well enough that it would be wearable. When I took the dress in for them to see, the manager began to back track with fewer assurances than she had made by phone. I was convinced by the end of our conversation, I would pay $40 - $50 for them to clean and press the dress only for them to tell me they were unable to remove the stain which would still be visible. So, I decided it was pointless to pay them an exorbitant price for a cleaning that was certain to leave me with even more disappointed than I already was. After all, it was my son’s wedding and I knew myself well enough to know I would be fixated on the spot left on the front of my dress after it was cleaned—no matter how faint. By now, I only had 2 days--Wednesday and Thursday to find another dress or accessories for the promising one that my husband liked. I had held on to it as a back-up, but had not expected to wear it, I was expecting instead to return it for a refund. As I headed out of town for the wedding rehearsal, I tried to console myself with the fact that when I put on the promising dress at the department store, I actually had this feeling that selecting it had been no accident, like God had allowed me to find it because it was such a good fit. So, it must be okay with God for me to wear it even though my back was exposed, which made me very uncomfortable. Fortunately, the exercises I had been doing to tone my arms, along with eliminating simple carbs had reduced my middle and helped flatten my protruding stomach. The new Spanx I had purchased tucked in excessive bulges, and it felt like my efforts had paid off. The dress fit like a glove and I received numerous compliments from family and friends. Yet, I remained self-conscious throughout the wedding and reception--and unfortunately, it showed. On reflection, the entire experience had caused me to lose sight of what was important and ultimately led me to ask myself, “How in the world did I get here?” The Holy Spirit lets us know when we get off track and are out of alignment with God’s will for our lives. For those last few weeks prior to the wedding, I could no longer feel the close presence of Christ that I have come to enjoy and depend on for His peace. I had been feeling this void in my life that I hadn’t felt in a very long time, and I desperately needed for Christ to fill this gaping hole in my heart. It was as if He had stepped back away from me and observed as I struggled, so I could see how much distance I had allowed to come between us as I became more and more obsessed with having the perfect dress for my son’s wedding—the one custom made, which I actually thought God would be more pleased with because it showed less skin. Yet, my prayers were seemingly falling on death ears because I couldn’t hear an answer—that is until the day after the wedding. My husband and I attended the early morning worship service at our Church and the sermon brought everything into a clear focus. The sermon title was, “Let God Be God” and the supporting scriptures included Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Through the scriptures and the sermon, God revealed that my focus had centered on my external appearance for the wedding—so, He had deliberately made possible for me to purchase and wear a dress that I was uncomfortable in to demonstrate that His thoughts were not my thoughts. I had gone to the trouble of having a dress custom made to cover my body—my exterior, but His gaze was not on the outer material being He had formed from the dust, rather it was on my heart (my spirit), which had become clouded and filled with thoughts of temporal things. In short, the custom dress had become a form of idolatry because I had allowed it to become the most important thing to me at that particular point in time. That is why He also allowed the designer dress DOZ Magazine September 2018 29 «