A couple weeks ago, I bought a casual designer dress.
A full-price casual designer dress.
For no special reason besides I wanted it.
Then I spent several days riding the neurotic teeter-totter between regret (we could’ve bought groceries with that dress!) and recklessness (I deserve to look good, darnit!).
Where did I settle?
Someplace in between.
I’d had a stressful day, right? After a hectic morning of activities on the now infamous dress-purchase Thursday, I returned home to a voice mail from my women’s clinic. Just call us back, they said, and I sighed deep because I knew. Doc McStuff-‘em found something suspicious on my mammogram. They “needed more pictures.”
Like the first screening wasn’t enough super fun. Let’s go back for an encore.
I didn’t freak out because the call wasn’t exactly a shock. Let’s just say the ladies and I share a bit of a health history, which is why I get mammograms at my age (pre-40) in the first place. More pictures meant more of the same.
Unless they meant something different this time.
Which I wouldn’t know until I got the re-takes.
So of course I got on the horn to our babysitter and sped back to the clinic that afternoon, because I just wanted to get it over with and return to normal, ignorant life. And thankfully, that’s exactly what happened. Nothing to alarm us, Becky; be on your merry way and follow up in six months.
I headed back home, picked up my daughter from school, then drove straight to the boutique downtown and snagged an impulse purchase.
Because life is short, and I am worth more than money.
See, during the couple hours of uncertainty, between receiving the call and the all-clear, my head strayed to strange places. What if this is something more than nothing? What if everything changes today, in a moment’s notice? How many women right now, this very hour, are hearing the news no family wants to hear?
It happens everywhere, to anyone.
What if today is my turn?
It wasn’t. But in those clock-ticking, God-trusting minutes of the unknown, I became openly aware that life on Earth is fragile and finite. This existence that I hoard and burden with to-do lists, technology, distractions and goals—if I knew I’d lose it all tomorrow, how would I spend today?
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience,” (Colossians 3:12).
As moms, our inherent value is not in what we do, how we look or what we can afford. It’s not measured by how our kids behave, which school they attend or what advanced grade level they’re reading. Our value is not even determined by the number of hugs and kisses and Pinterest-perfect cupcakes we shower on our family in a given day or a year.
Our value is set by God—long before we become wives and mothers. Long before sleepless nights and diaper runs and softball tournament Saturdays strip our energy and our glamour and cause us to question our worth.
He made us.
And he gets to decide who we are—holy and dearly loved.
So I didn’t buy the dress because I needed it. I didn’t buy it because I care about labels or reinforced stitching. I didn’t even buy it because my daughters glowed and told me Momma, you look stunning in that dress! (Although that certainly helped.)
I bought it because life is precious, and it’s time to start living as one who is cherished. If I am to display compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience to others, then I darn well better show it to myself, too. Most of the stuff I worry about day to day—including the cost of that dress—will shrivel and fade when I get where I’m going. Which for any one of us might be sooner than we think. Therefore pardon my questionable logic, but sometimes, in order to remember my incredible worth as a daughter of the Most High King, it helps me to dress the part.
I am not worth an overpriced article of designer clothing, that’s true.
But I am worth the boost of confidence it brings.
Confidence in a God who created me, loves me, and wants me to love me, too.
So my only regret now? It’s not buying the dress. But I do wish I’d read the care label first. Hand-wash only. Seriously? Who has time for that?
Apparently I do. That’s my penance.
And I will gladly pay it.