Red dress

Is nine years a long time?

Nine years is how long this little red dress hung on its plush, velvet hanger at the far side of the guest-bedroom closet. The dress was a precious gift from my sister during the one blissful, blessed pregnancy God gave me.

Then the infertility that postponed that lone pregnancy settled again. A year passed, then three, then five, seven, nine. Hope that I’d dress a child of mine in ruffles grew dim.

God did not open my womb again. No daughter ever came. And I never quite knew what to do with the little striped leggings and silky red dress.

As years passed, the dress became both a spark to hope and a taunt. As daughters were born to my sister and friends, I’d peek in the closet and wonder if it was time to set it free.

But again and again this prisoner of hope would caress the soft, little dress. Then shut the door and let it be.

“I’ll just buy a gift,” I’d tell myself and walk away.

I kept knocking, kept pounding, kept buzzing on heaven’s door. I was the bee in the fifth of C.S. Lewis’s “Five Sonnets.”

The one,

That booms against the window-pane for hours

Thinking that the way to reach the laden flowers.

I clamored for more children, for more womb’s fruit. I prayed for another son or, exquisite pleasure, for a ruffly red dress-wearing daughter. For these sweet treats, I hoped, I boomed, I buzzed, I pressed.

Then came that day in June—the day my niece Ruth was born.

That was the day God freed me up. The hour was ripe. That season was over. It was a time to cast away, to release, to let the dress go.

How do I know?

I can’t explain. But contentment came that day, when on the others I pressed and buzzed at the windowpane.

That day God caught me up and shook me out and gently let me go.

The day I gave the dress away.

* * * * *

Is nine years a long time?

Maybe it’s a mere second compared to the hours that you’ve buzzed against your windowpane. Or maybe you cannot believe I waited that long to cast the dress away.

I’ll be honest, in the seven years since, sometimes I come back buzzing.

But I know.

I know that at the window is not where sweet flowers grow.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:…

a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away…”

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6 (ESV)

 🐝 Could today be your day to release a dream and “give the dress away”? 🐝 

Peace and joy await.

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  1. Nine years is a drop in eternity’s bucket… yet also a measuring stick marking your trust’s growth.

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