The Beautiful Dress I Borrowed
With Natalie only nine years old, I was very discreet in dating and careful about bringing anyone into our home, or in allowing men to meet my daughter. We had lived in our apartment for almost two years before I met my future husband, and it had been four years since the deaths of my husband and my mother.
By this time I wanted to meet someone and felt I was ready. I was feeling whole again, and more together than ever before, because God now managed my life and I had survived. I was sure that I could add joy to someone else’s life now, with my newfound faith and gratitude. I could feel the change in me; I was no longer needy or looking for someone to save me. Instead, I felt stronger relying on God. I was ready to move in the right direction, and open to new possibilities.
One day my neighbor Jane called me at work to ask, “Would you like to go to a party with my brother Bill tonight?” His date had to cancel at the last minute, and the seating arrangements were already made. I said yes and couldn’t contain my excitement. And the entire hair salon and everyone in it–the hairstylists, receptionist, and even the clients–were just as excited as I was! They all knew about my longing to meet someone new.
The party was formal and I didn’t have the proper dress for the occasion. I called my sister-in-law Angie, who lived around the corner, and explained about the sudden blind date. She invited me over to her house to pick out one of her formal dresses to wear on this special date. I chose a beautiful long cream-colored soft crepe gown with a deep plunge neckline that softly overlapped from one shoulder to the other, making it very feminine but not too revealing. It reminded me of the gowns worn by women of Roman royalty.
Angie was just as excited as I was, and it made me feel like Cinderella going to the ball. I felt honored by her love and joy as she watched me get ready, and the butterflies in my stomach grew with her excitement. She was like an angel sent from God that day, and one for whom I am forever grateful. Although she is close to my age, her wisdom and grace were more like what a mother would have shown a daughter, and it was exactly what I needed at the time.
Bill, my date that night, turned out to be an airplane pilot and a flight instructor; the party was his friend’s fiftieth birthday celebration, and that friend was one of the students he had taught to fly. I was so impressed with him and his ability to fly airplanes. Not only that, but he was very handsome and professional looking, and he wore a suit. When I looked at him, I remembered my mother telling me when I was first widowed that I would meet someone again, and she said she pictured me with a man wearing a suit! Even then, I was still trusting in her wisdom and guidance to lead me.
Bill and I talked and danced all night, and everything aligned perfectly. The beautiful reception room, the dinner, the wine, the music, the suit, and the beautiful borrowed dress all worked their magic. We fell in love that night and dated for just over a year before we decided to set a wedding date.
My future husband laughed when he told me his first impression of me: he thought he had met a rich widow. He said, “You were living as though you were rich by the way you took care of your family.” And he said, “I'll never forget how lovely you looked in that beautiful dress that night!” (He didn’t know it was borrowed.) We still laugh about this sometimes. I did feel rich, with the scriptural words of prosperity etched in my heart from my daily prayers, along with the gratitude I felt towards those who had lifted me up along the way. I was not as rich materially as others would consider rich, but I was rich in thought, which is the greatest wealth of all. I was happy and wanted to share the love, joy, and the wealth that were inside me, and to help others rise up in the same way. It is apparent to me now that my trust and faith in God, along with my gratitude, had brought me to my new love and my abundant life. We all can live a true-life fairy tale when we hold onto our faith.
Excerpt from: Imprinted Wisdom
Causes Catherine Nagle Supports
Westwind Foster Family Agency, Christian Children's Fund, Compassion International, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Invisible Children, Save the Children