I stuffed my wedding dress under my bed, so I wouldn’t have to look at it in my closet. It was too painful to keep in sight, but too precious to give away. What an irony, right? Yes, that is how I felt about my dress after my marriage fell apart. I never thought I would sell my wedding dress. I always thought it would be passed down as an heirloom to my future kids. But, life takes turns you don’t see coming.
I listed my wedding dress on Craigslist and was contacted by a woman interested in buying it. My heart skipped a beat when I read her message. Part of me felt relief; however, part of me felt sad that something so special would now belong to a stranger.
The Craigslist buyer told me that she was saving herself for marriage and was a Christian. I thought, what are the odds that a woman, who is saving herself for marriage (like I did), would be the next person to wear my wedding dress? Also, what are the odds that we would both share the same faith? From the things she was saying, I saw myself in her. I was surprised.
A few weeks before this, I decided to take out my wedding dress and look at it. It was absolutely breathtaking. I began to reminisce on the day I bought it. I was at David’s Bridal and had only been trying on dresses for 20 minutes and decided right away that was it. Most people spend a long time finding the perfect dress–but I knew that dress belonged to me at first sight. From the delicate placement of sequins, to the soft layers of fabric, to the curve of the seams—every detail was full of character. I felt like a magazine bride in that dress.
Now, that gorgeous dress was tainted with the pain of divorce. As long as the wedding dress was in my possession, it would represent heartache. It held memories of walking down the aisle to a man that would later break all of his vows, mistreat me, and choose other women instead of me.
The Craigslist buyer met with me to try on the dress. As emotional as I thought I would be, I calmly removed the wedding dress from the garment bag and offered to help her try it on. As I was lacing the back of the dress, I noticed that it fit her perfectly. The crazy part is the dress fit her even though I made a lot of custom alterations to fit my body shape–including shortening the dress, taking in the waist, and altering the bust.
It gets better: I ended up giving her my wedding shoes and corset because they were her exact size too! God cared about the details so much that he arranged for us to meet: two people with the same dress sizes, same shoe sizes, same faith. He knew that this would be a healing experience for me. It almost seemed too obvious: God was saying that I get to recreate my fairy tale again.
As she stood there looking at herself in the mirror, gasping with disbelief that she was going to own everything she was wearing—it became clear. She would write a new story for my wedding dress. A dress that had been stuffed under a bed would now be part of a beautiful and loving marriage. It was now her treasure.
IN ONE SINGLE MOMENT, my wedding dress went from being a symbol of heartache to a symbol of pure joy. She said God answered her prayers through me! Can you believe that God used me to bless someone’s marriage in the midst of my divorce? He sure has a sense of humor. God works EVERYTHING for good…everything. Nothing goes to waste if we let Him redeem it.
Now, when I think about my wedding dress…I smile. In about a month, that bride will walk down the aisle, and my old dress will shine just like it did on my wedding day. Except now, there is a tale to be told. A tale of redemption, second chances, and answered prayers. And, one day, she will pass that dress down as an heirloom–just as I have always hoped.
-Jen, Writer for the Healed Heart
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