A Second Chance For My Wedding Dress

dress

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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How God Redeemed My Wedding Song

 

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When my husband and I first fell in love, we had this CD that we were just obsessed with. It was this David Brymer worship CD, and we played it until the songs themselves were tired. I am not kidding! We loved all of his songs. But, our favorite song on that album was, “Eyes of Redemption.”

When my husband proposed, he installed a little device inside of a scrapbook that played our song. When I opened the scrapbook, it played “Eyes of Redemption” and on the last page, were the words, “Will You Marry Me?” That song was also the song I walked down the aisle to on our wedding day.

Right after I separated from my husband, my brother made the mistake of playing David Brymer’s songs while we were making the 2,000 mile trip to the West Coast. I freaked out and immediately told my brother to turn it off. I couldn’t stand reliving the emotions that the album represented. It was too painful. I knew every song on that album.

Anyone going through a divorce will know that listening to your wedding song is incredibly painful. You don’t want to relive the memory of feeling so nervous that you thought you would trip on your dress while walking down the aisle. You don’t want to relive the memory of looking into your husband’s eyes and seeing him grin from ear to ear at the sight of your big but beautiful dress. You don’t want to relive the memory of how your bridesmaids and mother in law scrambled at the last minute to get the wrinkles out of your veil. You don’t want to relive the memory of how you kept checking your teeth to make sure there was no lipstick on them. You don’t want to relive the memory of how you hurried to make sure your vows were in place–and the anxious feeling you had as the wedding planner told you the doors were about to open.

You don’t want to relive your wedding song because it represents pain. The reminder that you invested everything you had to give: your heart. 

Recently, I went to a women’s conference where the speaker, Kim Johnson, began to sing one of David Brymer’s songs, “Worthy of it All.” Normally, I would have had a panic attack just by hearing anything from his album. But, because God had been healing my heart so much, I was unable to recognize the song. I know it sounds bizarre, but I literally kept thinking to myself–what a beautiful song, I wonder who the artist is. It felt familiar, but I couldn’t put a finger on where I had heard it before. I began to sing along with her and the song really touched me. God had somehow made that tune sound new again. I went to bed that night completely unaware that I had sung a David Brymer song from the very album I had been opposed to listening to–the album that had represented pain for so long.

The next morning, that song began to play in my head. Immediately, I felt like I needed to find out the name of the performing artist. I Googled the words “worthy of it all” and to my surprise, David Brymer’s name popped up. I was shocked and said, “I can’t believe that Kim Johnson got me to sing a David Brymer song!” No wonder it sounded familiar!

Immediately, I knew what God wanted me to do next: He wanted me to sing my wedding song, “The Eyes of Redemption.” Tears began to stream down my face, as I sang my wedding song–but this time I wasn’t singing it to my husband, I was singing it to God. Emotions of pain associated with the song began to gently wash away as I sang the lyrics over and over again. I heard God say, “This song belonged to me and you first. I loved you before your husband ever loved you.”

Something began to break in the atmosphere; I felt so free and at peace.

 If you have ever heard my wedding song, “The Eyes of Redemption,” it starts out with these lyrics: “I’m falling in love with you all over again, there is no one who redeems like you….I’m falling in love with you all over again, you’re the shepherd who will see me through. You see my pain through the eyes of redemption. And the sorrow that was mine you took away. ”

God was definitely making a point by redeeming a song about redemption. The Enemy had taken that song and tried to corrupt its meaning in my heart. That’s what the Enemy does, he tries to turn God’s redemption into pain.

I believe that God wants to redeem the wedding song in your heart. He wants to give you HIS love in exchange for the disappointment, the pain, and the brokenness of your marriage. If you think you have nothing left in your heart…let me tell you this, God loved you first before anyone else ever loved you.

So, fall in love again. It’s worth it.

-Jen