Determination

Have you ever been in a situation where someone was relentless in trying to bless you?

A month ago I wrote about my husband surprising me on Valentine’s Day with a dress that I had wanted for at least two years. It is an expensive, exquisite, never-in-a-million-years-in-our-budget dress that went drastically on sale online. I saw it on clearance, saw the painfully low sale price, but still could not muster up any justification to purchase it. My husband, however, took the opportunity to buy it and save it for Valentine’s Day, when he hung it on the outside wall of his cubicle at work before I arrived to take him out to lunch. I was totally shocked and totally thrilled, and I marveled at how sweet and thoughtful and devious the man I married is.

The thing about the dress, however, is that Doug picked it out with my normal clothing size in mind. Weeks before we had discovered I was pregnant, and to our dismay, the dress already did not fit. And we knew that nothing about that was going to change for the better anytime soon. So it now hangs in my closet as “the goal dress” for those lovely post-partum months.

Last Thursday, Doug was sitting on our living room floor practicing the music for the wedding of good friends of ours from church. It looked like he was going to be working for a while and it was getting late, so I told him that I was going to bed. When I walked into our bedroom, the little lamp was turned on and there lying on my side of the bed was the most beautiful dress I had ever seen with a small envelope sitting next to it. What was especially funny about this was that earlier Doug had sat down at my desk, opened my drawer of stationary, and written a note to someone. I asked him who he was writing to and he told me that he had missed a lunch date with a friend and he was writing to apologize for that. He had also walked in the door after work carrying this large JCrew shipping box, and I asked him about that too: “It’s the box your dress came in,” he said, telling the truth. I of course assumed he meant the pink dress (as he knew I would) so I didn’t give it any more thought.

When I opened the envelope, I found a very sweet note that said after all of the past weeks’ events, he wanted me to have this as something special to enjoy. When I looked at the dress, I saw that he had purchased the next size up with my pregnant body in mind, and I was so thrilled at the prospect of having something beautiful to wear to our friends’ wedding this weekend.

I was struck by my sweet husband’s determination to bless me. He so easily could have called it quits with the first dress, but instead he was relentless in wanting to honor and please me. And walking into that wedding last night, I felt like a queen!

I was struck too by how Doug’s show of love for me is an example of how God is toward each of us as well. Doug did not stop until I had a beautiful dress in hand that I could put on and wear for a special event, and he went to great effort to see that happen. In much greater scope, God too is relentless in pursuing us and seeking to “make us lie down in green pastures” and “lead us beside still waters.” God is truly the “Hound of Heaven” who, however deliberately (or unknowingly) we may try to flee, follows after us “with unhurrying chase and unperturbed pace, deliberate speed, majestic instancy.”

4 thoughts on “Determination”

  1. This is the sweetest post, and we are so fortunate that you two are willing to share the details of your lives with us. The circle of blessing reaches far and wide when you write.

    My mother and I have an inside saying that “God hangs dresses on racks” because it reminds us of a particularly marked instance of grace in our lives a long time ago when a dress was the vehicle for His blessing. We marveled that day at the detail of His care for us … That He should care even about the minutia of things like party dresses told us just how extremely near and loving He is. We have never forgotten it, and it will be the same for you.

    What is the source of that wonderful parting quote you used?

  2. Thank you, Jennifer. I love the “God hangs dresses on racks” saying. I will remember that in the future to recall my own recent gifts!

    The quotation is from “Hound of Heaven” by Francis Thompson. It is a powerful poem that is perhaps one of the greatest descriptions of God’s work through the Holy Spirit.

  3. How wonderful!

    The chase. The courtship. The bride. The wedding. The dress.

    Reminds me of a bit in “That Hideous Strength” by CS Lewis where the women have found this room full of robes (or dresses if you will)and when they find just the right one, something magical happens..

    “There,” said Mother Dimple as she draped it skillfully round Ivy. Then she said, “Oh!” in genuine amazement. All three stood back from Ivy staring at her with delight. The commonplace had not exactly gone from her form and face, the robe had taken it up, as a great composer takes up a folk tune and tosses it like a ball through his symphony and makes of it a marvel, yet leaves it still itself. A “pert fairy” or “dapper elf,” a small though perfect sprightliness, stood before them: but still recongnizable Ivy Maggs.”

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