My fiancé, David Hoffman, has not read this post and knows no details of the dress. Please refrain from letting any of the details get out in the comments! I know he won’t read it because he likes surprises and is trustworthy. Follow @lifereallyisbeautyfull on Instagram or Facebook. Photos of the real dress coming June 2020 Lord willing!
Her wedding day is something a little girl dreams of her whole life. And while details such as the cake flavors, flowers, decorations, and colors often float through her mind, it really is all about the dress. What she will wear on her wedding day and how beautiful she will look is at the heart of all her dreaming.
Planning a wedding in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging to say the least, and requires great faith. My fiancé and I believe God gave us a date at the end of May, and with the continuous shifting of policy, it is faith that will get us down the aisle. Though eager to be married (eager is an understatement), I want God’s timing for my life. I don’t just want His permissive will, I want His perfect will. Because of this, I wholeheartedly surrendered the date to Him saying, “Jesus, if it is not Your will for us to be married that day, please make it clear. And give us a special grace and added patience for Your timing. But if it is Your will we be married, please bring everything together in grace and ease and joy. And confirm it to not just us, but everyone around us that this is Your will and timing.”
Within less than an hour of praying that prayer I got an email from a second hand dress shop confirming my appointment for the very next day, May 1st. I was unsure if the shop was even open because I had made the appointment online earlier in the week and telephoned without any response. I took it as confirmation from God. We would see if they had any dresses in my size that I liked, but we were one step in the right direction. (A big thank you to Free Ever After! A portion of their proceeds go to Sold No More, a ministry helping end sex trafficking. Also, thank you Katie for your patience!)
The next day, I arrived 5 minutes early and saw all the lights were out and a sign on their door saying because of the recent restrictions from the governor, they were closed. The day before, the governor had just said things were going to remain closed until May 15th. So I thought this sign was new and my appointment cancelled without notice. After calling and emailing, I decided to give it 15 minutes just in case. My friend Sommer would be joining me and if we didn’t end up dress shopping, I figured we would do something fun together. The shop attendant, Katie, came 10 minutes later and it turns out the sign was from before! I had the whole dress shop to myself. A blessing from God.
In selecting dresses, I always thought I would wear something with sleeves or straps. Just not strapless. I felt like I looked naked on top and too exposed. So I avoided strapless dresses at first. Katie told me I could always add straps or sleeves and no one would be able to tell. So I began to pull those too. I was looking for flowers and lace. I had no other requirements.
As we were trying on dresses Katie began to ask me about Our Story. As I shared some details of my fiancé and I’s divine romance, I realized truly just how blessed I am and how much God really did orchestrate our relationship. Faith welled up inside of me that if we were to be married this month, Jesus had a dress just for me.
Continuing to chit chat as the dresses came on and off, I noticed the music was secular. I personally don’t listen to secular music and I wanted this experience to be a holy time. Seeing that we were the only ones there, I asked if we could change the music to Christian. Anything would do. She asked if I had a preference and I listed a couple bands, Rend Collective being one of them.
I tried on a dress and I seemed to like it. There were many features about it that I wanted. Flowers, a lovely bodice, lace around the entire hem, pearls and intricate beading all over the train, buttons down the back. Almost everything I wanted. She asked me, “What about it would you change? What would make it the perfect dress?” There was silver embroidering around the flowers and I prefer gold or creams. Also, it was bright white. I never envisioned myself marrying in white. I always thought ivory, cream, or off-white.
I took it off and tried others with lace.
I went back to it again in comparison. It was a light material. I’ll be getting married outside at the end on May in Arizona. Enough said.
Katie found 2-inch wide straps with intricate beading on them that matched perfectly. The naked on top issue solved. Praying audibly all throughout the time and in my heart, “Jesus give me clarity. I need to know, is this the dress? Please help me Lord.”
I took it off and tried another.
I went back to it again. Something in me was drawn to it. I decided to sit down in the dress and pray. I needed clarity. I needed to hear from God. Living on a missionary’s budget, I don’t have an extra couple hundred dollars lying around to blow. I had to know which dress was the right one. And then my song came on. “Every Giant Will Fall” by Rend Collective. Last summer God gave me this song in regards to my past. It has felt like a war to conquer and overcome the effects of it. But like Mary Magdalene, the woman at the well, and the sinful woman from Luke 7, she who has been forgiven much, loves much.
The lyrics go:
“I can see the Promised Land
Though there’s pain within the plan
There is victory in the end
Your love is my battle cry
When my fears, like Jericho
Build their walls around my soul
When my heart is overthrown
Your love is my battle cry
The anthem for all my life
Every giant will fall, the mountains will move
Every chain of the past, You’ve broken in two
Over fear, over lies, we’re singing the truth
That nothing is impossible with You
There is hope within the fight
In the wars that rage inside
Though the shadows steal the light
Your love is my battle cry
The anthem for all my life
No greater name, no higher name
No stronger name than Jesus
You overcame, broke every chain
Forever reign, King Jesus!”
He truly has broken every chain from the past and moved every mountain in the present. My King Jesus.
So when this song came on as I was sitting there, it touched something deep inside of me. I stood up and walked over to the mirror. I never thought I would wear white. Not because I don’t like it, but deeper at my core I thought I couldn’t. I thought white was too pure for me. My friend, Sommer, who was an excellent cheerleader and supportive friend, thought every dress looked lovely on me. But when I said I didn’t see myself in white, she said, “You may not have seen yourself getting married in white, but Jesus does.” And then proceeded to quote For King & Country’s song “Priceless.”
“I see you dressed in white
Every wrong made right
I see a rose in bloom
At the sight of you
Oh so priceless.”
Standing in front of the mirror, tears welled up and I began to cry. I said, “I think this is it. I didn’t know I would cry. But I think this is my wedding dress.”
Jesus had spoken. As soon as I asked for clarity, He gave it to me. I didn’t know exactly the dress I wanted, but Jesus knew what He had prepared for me all along. A dress full of flowers, lace, pearls, intricate beading…and whiter than snow.
“Or do you not know that the wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” –1 Corinthians 6:9-11
And the bride wore white. I’ve been washed. I’ve been sanctified. I am the true Bride of Christ and He sees me spotless and pure, dressed in white.