Lessons from a Watermelon Dress

SAM_4361When I was a little girl about four,I had a beautiful dress that mimicked a watermelon. It was not the most frilly or pretty dress in the world, but it was special to me.  The dress spoke of cuteness, spunk, and fun. I loved that dress. I wore it to church picnics, barbeques, vacations and everyday life.
A few years went by, and the watermelon dress was put away. Something happened that most children don’t think about…I grew. And eight year olds do not fit in clothes for a four year old. One day my mom brought up my treasured watermelon dress. I was thrilled. But then my little heart was crushed when my mom told me she was giving it to my sister.
Uh…really? My mom had to be joking! But it was true…my mom was serious.
And so, I did what any sensible eight-year old would do. I hid the dress. It wasn’t even a clever hiding spot. I hid the dress under a blanket on my bed….I know talk about creativity. I was determined to stop my mother’s schemes. The dress was mine and I was not about to share. And no I was not about to listen to common sense. Alas,I had grown. I wasn’t four years old anymore. Time could never be replaced and could never be unwound. How many times in my own life do I cling to a time that God has already asked me to give up? Eventually I think my mom kindly explained that it was time to give the dress to my sister….though I don’t remember that conversation. 😊 (sorry mom)
Sometimes God entrusts a person, a dream, a job for a time. And we learn to love and treasure it. And then God takes it away and asks you to open your hands and surrender.
Or I think about how God might have taught you something or given you something amazing. It’s easy to want to harbor what we have. I don’t have time to tell you about people that God has gently had to pry out of my hands so that I would focus more on Him. I don’t have time to tell you about dreams or desires that weren’t God’s will that I had to learn to surrender. It would be so easy for me to cling to my dreams or to cling to my past, just like I clung to that old dress.
Maybe God wants you to encourage a younger woman about how to look to JESUS while walking through a breakup or how to trust God with an uncertain future, or how to have faith when your health is derailing before your eyes. We cannot keep what God has taught us to ourselves. It is our duty as God’s children to share what God has taught us to equip others.
I cannot change my past. Period. Sitting here bemoaning all my wrong foolish choices will not get me anywhere. I must ask God and those I have hurt to forgive my sins. I must then learn from my mistakes, teach it to someone else and move on. It is true. I have never forgotten my past both good and bad. Sometimes I wish I could crawl back into a certain sweet time in my life just like an eight-year girl wanting to be four again. But we must realize that the same God that was there in the past is with us now. He is all sufficient. Go ahead. Trust Him.
So, don’t harbor your past. Take a deep breath and give it to God. God will give you new passions and new dreams. And work hard and do your best for His glory. Yes. But hold your new dreams with open hands. One day this struggle or this joy, this season that you are walking through will be a distant shadow. It will be the dress that no longer fits. We cannot change our past. We can only wake up each morning and say okay LORD the day is Yours use me for Your glory. That dream, old, new, maybe it’s the secret dream that you are too afraid to talk about for fear it may not come true dear sister, give it God. On, this side of eternity we must have faith to see what we cannot see. How can God work through my singleness? My broken marriage? My divorce? My health struggles? My bankruptcy? My uncertainties? Have faith and trust Him. JESUS is always enough. One day when we see His face everything will fade into foggy memory and I will wonder why I didn’t surrender more of me sooner.
“forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” Phip. 3:13b.


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