The Fountain Day 177: The dress and a loving Father

We never truly know when we will walk into a moment of healing and release.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last three years, it’s that only God knows the depth of healing I require…and He will not leave me undone.  He always makes a way for me to process.  He knows my every wound, He knows your every wound, and in His great love He offers invitations of healing to us.  I received one such opportunity this week…

Years ago, when Chris and I moved for a brief time to Florida, I found a clothing store that I fell in love with.  The clothes were notably expensive, but it was quality you could see.  The décor of the shop was also so fun and couches were placed around for weary husbands to sit as their wives shopped.  Up until that time, I had never encountered a place so fine.  The first time we went in, my creative side was stirred…I was determined to buy one article of clothing there…finding the least expensive item on the sale rack, I purchased a tank top and was so pleased.  Fast forward to years later, Chris and I were owners of a business and had found much success…and naturally, my favorite place to shop was this one beautiful store.  It was more than a store to me, it still is…it represents something deeper…a longing fulfilled, a turning of the tide…our step from what we once were, to successful adults. 

Then we faced the loss of our business, and during that time, I stopped going to this store.  I knew I couldn’t afford to buy things so I just avoided looking. 

This week at the prompting of a sister, I went…she had no idea that I had been through this struggle with the store.  When we arrived and I began to walk in the door, I felt something quite unexpected…I mean, it’s just a store…right?

I felt a wave of grief so powerful that I wanted to turn and walk away. 

How unexpected.  How strong that pain was.  My stomach literally hurt and my breath escaped me for a moment.  This same store that had become a marker of our success, now seemed a marker of the reminder of defeat. 

Nobody knew I was struggling as I walked through the store.  My son was with me and we chatted the whole time.  I had told him that he would enjoy the creativity of design as we went there, even though it was a girl store.  He did.  He looked past the clothes and noticed every cabinet and light fixture, etc.  He saw the art of it all…just like I knew he would. 

The lack in our finances pressed against my heart the whole time we walked around, yet I pushed through and determined to just appreciate the beauty around me.  Then my sister said, “You should try on that dress.  I was hoping you would.”  My breath caught in my throat and I shrugged off the words, and kept walking. 

After having explored every inch of the store, I felt an invitation…God was inviting me to simply try on a dress.  I said to my sister, “I’m going to try on that dress.”  “Oh good!”, she replied.

Then something wonderful happened…

As I turned to walk to the rack with the dress…feeling nervous and experiencing grief inside, I heard Him speak…”Restoration.  I am restoring you.”

Immediately, I knew this moment was about far more than a dress, it was about believing again.  It was about knowing this season of struggling would truly end.  It was about believing that He holds a good future for us, and I can fully trust in it.  It was about feeling known, valued, and loved.

I tried on the dress…perfect fit.  I felt beautiful.  Snapped a picture and sent it to Chris, who also said how wonderful I looked in it.

Then I hung the dress up, walked out of the store felling content, and knew…

We are being RESTORED.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through Him Who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:12-13

After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.  Job 42:10