Got a story to tell you. It happened this past Saturday, the day before Mother’s Day.
I was busy putting the finishing touches to a story. Earlier I had facilitated a session on managing stress to colleagues across the country. Still at my computer, I paused when hubby walked into the room and said, “Just to remind you, we need to be leaving in about one and a half hours."
Ah! I perked up. The black and white gala we were to attend held promises of great food, good company, and a fun time for us.
As I always do, I work until the very last minute. Then, I jump to my feet, hop in the shower, and get ready all in fast motion.
But this time, after I washed my hair, I paused and the thought that this was a formal event struck me.
My closet is jammed with lots of formal dresses in every color of the rainbow…but, I don’t have a long black one. Gulp. I just finished giving all kinds of suggestions, guidelines, and hints on how to control stress. Time to put all that into practice, right?
So, I took a deep breath, and said, “Lord, I can’t wait to see how you’ll resolve this one. But I just know You will.”
“Honey,” I said to hubby, “In the 32-years of marriage, I’ve never done this. But…I just realized the dress I have ready for tonight is short and I need a long formal.”
I wish I could see his expression that accompanied the long pause of silence. “I was going to take a quick nap and get ready. But, no problem,” he said with tenderness in his voice. “Let’s go to the mall; we’ll find you a dress.”
Now, ladies, would you agree that was the ultimate understanding on his part? I sure did. Though I’ve never seen him lose his temper with me, this would have been a justified moment.
“Thanks.” I said sheepishly. I grabbed my make-up (I can put it on in the car to save time). Then wet hair and all we rushed to the car. We had a little over an hour to head to the mall, park, shop, try a dress on, pay for it, rush back, and get ready for our formal event. Crazy, isn’t it?
But my hubby’s disposition remained calm, sweet, and light-hearted. I turned to him, “Honey, thanks for being so understanding.”
He squeezed my hand, “That’s part of your Mother’s Day present.”
Once in the parking lot, we drove and drove around to find a parking place. The whole world must have decided to shop for a Mother’s Day present at this particular mall. Finally, he pulls in a spot, we dart out of the car, dash across, and holding on to his hand, we zig zag between cars. Once inside, a loud hum of conversation (shoppers conversing) filled the store. “Let’s go to the petite section,” I blurted.
Dodging people, hubby spots a salesclerk. Once we tell her what we’re looking for, she leads us to the section with long dresses. “Here’s a black one.” She places it in my hand. The size was one bigger than the one I wear. But at that point who cared.
“Do me a favor,” I said leaning toward her voice. “I’m blind. So, would you mind showing me to the fitting room?”
“Sure, come with me.” She loops my hand around her arm and we rush to the fitting room. But we had to stand and wait and wait some more...all the fitting rooms were taken. “I’ll stay with you,” she said.
At this point I was just exploding with gratitude for this one-of-a-kind employee. I asked her name.
“Carmen,” she said.
“Can I tell you that you’re just an angel God sent to me today?” I whispered.
While we waited for the fitting room, I had already made up my mind that no matter how it fit, I was going home with that long black dress.
Carmen helped me put it on, and though it felt loose, I shrugged my shoulders. “It fits just fine, I’ll take it.”
“No,” she argued. “Your husband has to approve it."
Holding my hand, she led me to where he stood. “Looks fine,” he said.
She helped me back inside. And here’s where I knew God’s hand was taking care of the most minor details. Carmen says, I’ll take the dress, follow me. She led us directly to the cash register, bypassing the long lines at all seven or eight registers. We paid (it was on sale--half price) in minutes and we were heading home.
Hubby took a brief nap; we got ready and arrived at our event on time.
Once in the fancy hotel, we entered the elegant dining room. The cold air-conditioning struck my arms with the same force as a thought: I had so often read, and read again the words David gushed: “O Lord, You have examined my heart and know everything about me...You know what I am going to say before I even say it. You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit them together in my mother's womb. You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life” (Psalm 139:1-4 and 13-16).
He did! He really did from the very beginning form every detail of my very being. And He never stopped, even now, He knows the intricacies of my thoughts, my apprehension, my silly mistakes, and the moments I fail…but He also knows the solutions for all areas of our life—minor and major ones . And yes, even how to lead us to the right dress to wear and the precise person with a kind heart to help us out.
If you’re facing a moment of sadness, disappointment, though minor for most, but huge for you…He does care, He does see, and He does bring answers.
Give it all to Him. He can not only save lives, move mountains, and calm seas, but also cares about bringing solutions for those minor details that trickle into our day.
Janet Perez Eckles (www.janetperezeckles.com)
“Life is not about what you cannot do because of circumstances out of your control. Success comes when you recognize what you can do with what God has given you.
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