Some Things You Keep

Is your house full of sentimental treasures?
Some things you have to keep, right? 

As I put the sewing box back in closet I spotted
three big white cardboard boxes tucked so far back,
I had to crawl in to drag them out.

Each of the dust covered, shrink wrapped boxes
had a large plastic window that displayed
a wedding dress bodice hermitically sealed inside.

The smallest of the boxes contained the wedding dress
I wore to marry, Jay or Hot & Hunky as I called him.


It was a high collared, lacy gown with long poofy lace sleeves.
Not the least bit sexy.  Zero sexy. I can only guess that
I was trying to get his mother to approve of me since Jay
married me just months after I quit my job as a Playboy Bunny.

My heart broke and my world imploded when Jay
died suddenly of a heart attack at 39 years old in 1996.

The next box held an ivory satin sheath that flattered the flawless figure
I’d earned from grieving Hot & Hunky.

(When I’m sad, I don’t eat.)

Even at 41, I looked more like a model than a mom
when I walked down the aisle to marry Craig, my Adventure Boy husband. 

A pilot error, a thunderstorm, and a mountain range created
a trifecta of tragedy that took Adventure Boy’s life at the age of 41 in 2000.

The last box held the 500 pound white beaded gown I wore
to marry Mr. 4-Ever, (Dave), who is (I am happy to report)
holding up remarkably well. 

The decades have ticked off while those dresses sat in their plastic prison.
Even if I somewhere to wear them, I’d never get them
zipped over my thicker well-padded frame.

I treasured the memories, but realized I didn’t need those dresses
to remind me of a special day. I no longer wanted them to fasten me
emotionally to a previous time, man or broken dream.

It was time to make room for something new.
They could be better served elsewhere.

So, I gave away my wedding dresses.

One is on its way to Costa Rica to make another bride’s day special.
Another will be cut up to make a burial gown for a baby’s funeral.
One will be a decoration or prop for a wedding venue at a friend’s barn.

Some things you keep because they serve you.
Age does not render all things useless.

Some things you keep because they take you back to a sentimental time or season.
A quilt made by your grandma.
A photo of your wedding day.

Some things you have to get rid of to make room for something new or
they become clutter, affixing you to a past that
keeps you from being able to move into your future.

Out of reverence or fear, you remain attached to what was
good or purposeful once, but no longer serves in your life.

Just as Abram trusted God by packing up and moving on,
we have to let go of the very good and familiar
to find the land where God will bless us.

Just as Job, who endured great tribulation,
moved past the trials to recreate a new life and family,
we have to forgive and move on.

When Peter betrayed Jesus, his future could have been forfeit,
but he allowed Jesus to restore him and let go of his failures,
we have to believe Jesus forgives us, too.

What are you holding onto that is taking up the space
something new should inhabit?

Is God calling you into something new like Abram?
Have you passed through a trial you hold onto like an old friend?
Is there a mistake in your past that you continue to suffer though Jesus has offered restoration?

Could today be the day you evaluate what’s taking up the
space in your mind and heart that God wants to fill with new thoughts and dreams?

Will you trust him to go, or let go, or go on?
What needs to leave so you have room for the new thing God has for you?

Prayer: Lord, we cling to what we know because it’s familiar even if it isn’t useful. Give me discernment to sort and sift out the old clutter in my closets and in my mind to make room for what have for me. I want to trust you. In Jesus Name, Amen

PS If you know my story, you know there should be four dresses. The dress I wore to marry Ron, the Wild Man, was ruined at the party.

PSS There are 2 ways to hear the rest of the story.
Invite me to speak to your women’s group or read The Widow Wore Pink.

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