I remember shopping for my wedding gown. Me, a young bride-to-be, longing to be beautiful and yet still trying to be practical. My momma raised me on consignment stores and additional 50% off sales – so when I found an elegant off-white gown on the clearance rack of a local bridal boutique, I snatched it up. Never mind the fact it had a spot on the train. It was a small stain. Who would ever notice? I had found a deal!
I walked down the aisle in my bargain of a dress and then tucked it away in the back of a closet. Out of sight, out of mind.
Memories of it did not resurface until years and years later. Standing with other women singing “Prone to Wander” towards the end of a conference, my heart felt burdened with shame over my own propensity to wander from the God I love. As I begged Him to forgive me with tears coursing down my cheeks, we sang a line about being Jesus’ bride. I cannot remember the exact words or if they were even part of the same song. I just remember feeling like I did not deserve to wear a gown of white – me and my adulterous heart.
Deep within, I felt the Lord whisper, “Why do you do that? Why do you keep taking off the dress I gave you?”
I immediately pictured myself shrugging off a pure white wedding gown, feelings of unworthiness and shame telling me I would be more appropriately attired as a harlot. But the Lord was telling me to put it back on. That the dress was mine. Bought and paid for. By Him.
“I delight greatly in the LORD;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
And that is when I remembered my wedding dress – my wedding dress with a stain on it. And I realized I had brought that stained mentality into my walk with the Lord. When I walked down the aisle on my wedding day, I carried the shame of a lot of sin. Even though I had surrendered my heart to Jesus during premarital counseling, I still felt the weight of not being able to present myself as a pure gift to my husband. I had yet to fully accept the Lord’s forgiveness, to believe He had indeed made me clean.
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV
My heart breaks for that young bride. And for the me that walked too many years covered in shame. I needed to slip back on my wedding gown. Not the one hanging at the back of my closet, but mentally adorning myself in what Jesus said is mine – a robe of righteousness, bought for me not off of a clearance rack, but paid for with the high price of His life.
I am His bride, and I get to wear white.