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Friday, March 29, 2013

The Dedication Dress

It is a warm October day near the beach.  The little antique shops are hot and stuffy.  We are weaving in and out of the doors in search of treasure and a little ocean breeze.  Scanning the old down town I am beginning to doubt that we will find an ice cream shop around here.  Makiah is three.  I give her hand a gentle squeeze as we stroll.  She smiles at me and chatters on about the mermaid toy she has seen in the last gift shop.  One more store and we will head out. 

We step through the creaking door and peer around at the antiques.  I am about to slip back out when the bright white catches my eye.  It is a soft, white baby gown that is extra long and trimmed with delicate lace.  It would be perfect for a baby dedication... if only I were pregnant or had a baby to dedicate!  I glance at the price tag.  Only $10!  This would be really expensive new.  Makiah thinks it is "sooo pretty!"  I can't resist.  I tell myself maybe there will be someone I can give it to, but in truth I am secretly hoping to dedicate my next baby in this dress.  If only...

Three and a half years and a lifetime later.

Maddie Grace giggles at me all wrapped up in delicate white cotton and lace.  I can scarcely believe I am getting to use the dress.  It wouldn't work for the twins because there were two of them and only one dress.  But then God sent Madelyn Grace.  The little girl He knew would one day wear the dress Makiah had helped me pick out for her future sister.  The little girl He knew Makiah would never see wear it... at least not with her earthly eyes.

And we had asked my Daddy to lead us in dedicating Maddie Grace to the Lord.  With a chuckle he tells a story of how Makiah would catch him sitting with his elbows on the table, and then she would look at her big Pawpaw and say with no hesitation "Excuse me!" in her prissy way while pointing to the offending elbows.   He says he can almost see Makiah in the throne room saying, "Excuse me, God, my mama is supposed to have three girls down there."  And maybe God moved his elbows and got to work!  Even though I was medically unable to have children without intervention, He sent us a complete surprise, Maddie Grace!  And she is the most affectionate baby I have ever met.  She grabs my face and literally slobbers kisses on my cheeks every chance she gets.  Kisses from heaven.  And my heart feels His love again. 

And my Daddy says Satan thought his plan was working when he convinced Pontious Pilate to order the crucifixion of Jesus on Golgotha.  He thought he had won another victory when he convinced teens to use drugs and drive into the side of our car and wreck our family and our lives.  Out of crucifixion came resurrection.  Death conquered.  Out of this tragic story there will be resurrection.  And my Daddy tells us all that he believes Maddie Grace is a foreshadow of the resurrection.  She came as a gift, unexpected, and without the intervention of man's creative medicine.

And so does eternal life.  It is a gift.  Given without man's effort or earning.  Out of Jesus death, comes our life.  

So we dedicate her all in white. In a very special lace dress.  This little one sent from above to bring healing to our wounded hearts.  A tiny, giggly little life whose coming is but a shadow of the pure life and joy we will receive.  The most expensive, free gift ever purchased.  Our resurrection! 

Madelyn Grace

Shopping the day we bought the dress
weird antiques
thoughtful on the beach before we headed to shop

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