As far as God's children are concerned, I consider myself to fall into his high maintenance category.
... So I'm sitting in church last Sunday listening to our Youth Minister who was filling in for our vacationing Pastor. She went on to tell us about the near death experience of a little boy named Colton, chronicled in a book called "Heaven Is For Real"
Throughout the book Colton goes on to describe people he met in Heaven who had died before he was born including his Great Grandfather. However, after his experience he didn't recognize photos of his elderly great grandfather until his Grandmother showed Colton a picture of him as a much younger man in his late twenties. "Because", as the Youth Minister continued, in heaven we are our ďBest Self."
Now that got me to thinking. What age was or is my "Best Self". In my twenties, it was the 80's, and although the body wasnít bad, the big hair was out of control. Now in my 40's, Iím happy with the hair, but the body has 20 extra pounds. Then I remembered a prayer I had hastily babbled up to God in vain, and I do mean in Vain.
It was the night before my wedding day and I decided I needed to consult with a higher authority regarding my hair and make up. I never considered myself a Barbie doll by any stretch of the imagination, in fact, I always felt rather nerdy and out of place. Growing up as a Tomboy, I was never comfortable dressing up and wearing heels let alone have the confidence to pull it off. All eyes were going to be on me walking down the aisle, and I found that daunting to say the least.
So I actually prayed, are you ready for this, asking God for this one day to look my best... AND I ended my narcissistic plea with the phrase, ďI won't care about the rest of my life if I can just look my best tomorrow."
Remember, I'm still sitting in church while all this is coming back to me. Suddenly, I had a vision of myself floating about in Heaven in my wedding gown. Old folks are filing in through the pearly gates doing a double-take when they see me. "Oh my, the poor dear, died on her wedding day" "No, No" Jesus says wearily. "She actually prayed for that, it's the only day of her life she wanted to look her best.Ē Perplexed at the idea that God would respond to such a self-indulgent prayer, they listened to Jesus as he explained the rationale behind that decision. ďThe Father and I aren't in the habit of granting wishes, but we felt it a good lesson for her to learn. We forgot, however, which child we were dealing with. When her looks began to fade, instead of asking us for forgiveness and recanting her prayer...well, here she is.Ē
Every time Jesus explains the prayer that should have be left unanswered, the old folks begin shaking their heads with bewilderment as they transform into their "Best Self", but in regular clothing.
Seventeen years later I'm sitting in church realizing how completely selfish that prayer had been and why my gown is still stored in my attic. The truth is, until that Sunday I believed God had provided me the perfect Maxfactor wedding day. Because for years my sweet Uncle Gerald would never let a visit go by without saying, what a beautiful bride I had made. Uncle Gerald passed away last October and among the photos at his funeral service was one of the two of us dancing at my wedding. The smile on my face said it all.
God didnít grant me a wish. He gave a self-conscious, young girl the chance to see herself as He did. Today, I still struggle with self-esteem issues from time to time, though I understand now. I am nobody special, but Iím as special as everyone is, in Godís eyes.
But just in case you run into me in the hereafter, it's a bright white wedding gown with nine tiers of lace making up the skirt. I went a little too princess on the puffy sleeves, but it has a pretty scalloped V neckline, and oh yeah, I look amazing in it!
***My stories are for free to use, but I do request that you use my byline, and if possible send a donation payable to: Christ Church-VA
and mail it to:
Maggie Moments Ministry
c/o Pastor John Speight
8285 Glen Eagles Ln.
Fairfax Station, VA 22039