The moment I walked in the store I saw it–there seems to be a theme here. It was squished between hundreds of other dresses and easily overlooked. The once straight lines had turned into a mess of wrinkles. It looked like someone might have taken this dress, crushed it into a ball and kicked it into the corner of the dressing room. I picked up the tag and the story it told was one of rejection–markdown after markdown. Red slashes. Blue slashes. It looked like at one time it was purchased and then returned.
I then lifted the store tag and saw the original designer tag. It was gorgeous and had a suggested retail price that was very honoring of the dress.
I started to imagine what the dress might be thinking. Her dialogue could have been along these lines:
“I am such trash. No one wants me. Even for pennies on the dollar, people pass by me day after day and choose everything but me. I am worthless–destined to be sent to the rag factory or just burned because as I am now, I would take up too much space at the dump.”
Some of you might be catching on that this is an allegory; others are just wondering how much I ended up paying. Back to the story…
Here is the truth of the situation. This dress, despite her current situation, was crafted by a master. She is a designer dud and her twins are gracing some of the most beautiful closets around the world. There is nothing that differentiates the two except the journey they have been on.
I would like to think that this dress–during every markdown and return–said to herself:
“My creator said He will not forget me.” (Isaiah 49:15)
“I will repeat the words my creator said over me:
‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.’ (Jer 31:3)”
She would look at the markdown pen and say,
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Gen 50:20)“
Despite her current situation, she would know that she has purpose and value…simply because she was designed by The Creator.
Setting all literary elements aside, over and over again, I have felt like the markdown pen has been taken to my life. Sometimes it is small, like when you see a group of your friends at an event and think, “they didn’t invite me.” Sometimes it almost tears you in two–like when you are fired or your spouse tells you they are choosing someone over you. It would be so easy to forget the above promises and love notes and focus on your diminishing perceived value.
At times like these, you have to stand up in the mirror and repeat God’s words of Truth over and over again. Out loud. You can say:
” ‘For I know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that I was redeemed from the empty way of life handed down from my ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect‘ who died just for me. (1 Peter 18-19)
“Because I am in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone and the new is here!” 2 Cor 5:17
You can close your eyes in peace that evening because
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. Lamentations 3:22-23
The moment I purchased that dress, I ripped off the tag. That tag had NO correlation to the true value of that dress. Here is the fun part. You see, there was a purpose in that dress’ journey. I was on a strict budget, and I was being honoring to my family, yet here was a big event coming up and I really wanted to look good and feel amazing. A new dress was not part of that equation. However, right in my path the Lord put a $400 dress that I got for just the amount on my gift card. (Which, for inquiring minds was $20). He completely delighted my soul. That dress took her journey just for me.
If you are on a journey right now filled with markdowns, please know that this is not the end of your story. There is One who is above who sees your true value and promises that He has a good plan for you. (Jer 29:11)
Truly, He makes all thing good.
What is your story? How have you been redeemed from the red of the markdown pen? I would love for you to share…
Deanna is a wife, mother and life group leader who daily lives in the Grace of God’s Goodness. She also loves alliteration and a good, long run.