Monday, October 27, 2014

When you find it hard to laugh at the days ahead

I'm reaching way back into the archives for the post today. After a very busy few days, I'm needing to share something I've already written. I love this story, because what God did during this time has continued to fill my heart with praise. I thought in these days of scary news stories, when you're looking for fresh strength, it helps to remember what God has done. "And when they had come and had gathered the church together, they recounted all that God had done with them . . ." (Acts 14:27).

Years ago, I had a dream in which a young woman, whom I’m sure represented some aspect of me, was trying on a lovely sky blue formal gown. The gown had a tag inside marked with the initials R.H. Completely convinced the gown would not fit this woman, I made negative remarks about her ability to zip the back of the dress.

But to my surprise, the zipper closed, and I danced and shouted with joy, “It does fit, it does fit.”

The initials R.H. are those of a young woman I knew who brimmed with vitality and joy. I loved being around her. The color blue is the hue of majesty and healing in the Bible. I doubted in the dream that the garment of youth, joy, and healing would fit me. But the fact is the garment did fit.

I thought of it this lovely dream often, and weeks later, I had a chance encounter with R.H. As we caught up for a few minutes, I felt I should tell her about my dream. As I began to speak, her eyes widened. When I finished she sat…stunned. She said, “I had a dream, too.”

In her dream, she struggled over accepting a clothing item, which belonged to me. She knew it represented the family she longed to have, but for many reasons was not sure she deserved. But God showed her in the dream to take the garment. Both of us wrestled with receiving the grace gifts God had for us. Battling posttraumatic stress at the time, doubts about the future threatened to keep me from believing God would heal and restore me. But God confirmed the truth to each of us through not only our own dreams but also each other’s.

R.H. is an artist. One day after church, she left a hand painted card on my car window of a woman in a blue dress with the caption, “It does fit, it does fit.”

Beside the picture was the scripture from Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”

For me, the months ahead continued to contain many difficulties including breast cancer.

All these years later, I still have R.H.’s thoughtful card in my office. She now has a precious family with several children. And sure enough, God healed me of the PTS and even enabled me to laugh at the dark visitor of cancer.

How do we face an uncertain future?

Where does strength and dignity come from?

The same Hebrew word for strength is used in Isaiah 12:2, “…the Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.”

The Hebrew word for dignity in Proverbs 31:25 is used in Psalm 8:5 as it refers to God’s creation of man. It’s translated as the word honor in the NIV, “You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.”

The garments of strength and dignity with which we clothe ourselves come from God. And it’s only as we receive and wear this mercy woven clothing, that we may laugh at the days ahead.

 I’ve really enjoyed wearing my blue dress all these years. I have every reason to believe it will never wear out.


Anonymous said...

A beautiful word and image Beverly. What a blessing! Thanks for sharing.

pvmanns said...

Love the analogy, Bev! Another encouraging word.

Beverly Varnado said...

The dream and card were grace gifts, Beth. So grateful.Thanks for reading.

Beverly Varnado said...

Thanks, beautiful Patricia. Appreciate you.

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