‘My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 4:19
I couldn’t believe it when my husband came home and announced I was going to be invited to his work’s Christmas party which was to be a black tie affair. “You don’t want to go, do you?” he said rhetorically.
“Yes, of course I do!” I retorted, after all it was my first chance to wear an evening gown. My husband had no idea that only a day or two earlier I had entertained myself thinking how lovely it would be to dress up in a ball gown and how I had missed out on a previous opportunity. My husband hadn’t known my heart’s desire, but my Lord and Saviour had and here he was giving me the opportunity to wear a fabulous dress. The very thought of God doing this for me made me gasp in awe.
My generous hubby said I could spend £100 on a dress (which was a lot for us at the time) but I realised that wouldn’t go very far, so I asked the Lord to provide me with a ball gown in a charity shop. I started browsing though the charity shops in St Helier, Jersey, where we were living at the time. It has a vast array of charity shops with good quality cast offs from the rich and tax exiles. I’d never worn secondhand clothes until we lived in Jersey, when I realised I could get more for my money if I shopped at the car boot sales and charity shops.
I tried the charity shops in the High Street first. There were lovely luxurious, velvet gowns with tassels, sequins and glitz to outshine the stars, but none of them were my size. In other shops, the clothes would fit, but had little defects, or seams coming undone making the garments far from good enough for the ball of the year with one of the Island’s top financial institutions. I was on the verge of wishing for a fairy God Mother and sneaked peaks at the lavish vestments in the boutiques around the corner. Further ventures to help boost the funds of Oxfam and The Salvation Army also proved fruitless.
I remember there was a week to go and I was still gownless when I decided to visit my friend who was in hospital. Beside the General Hospital was the Headfirst Charity Shop, the last fund raising outlet left to visit in my hunt for a frock for my huband’s Christmas party. I had scavenged around all of the others in town without success. Before leaving home another friend and I had prayed about my shopping spree. “Dear Lord, you know I need a dress for the ball and I really want to be a good steward of your money, so please provide me with a ball gown at Headfirst, otherwise I will have to buy one of those expensive dresses in the boutiques. In your name I ask it Amen.”
Jesus said if we ask anything in His name, He will provide it and I have always believed that so I shouldn’t have been surprised when he answered my prayer less than an hour later. We had visited my friend who seemed to be making a good recovering and headed for Headfirst which was due to close in half an hour. I browsed though the rack of evening wear and couldn’t believe my eyes when my hand alighted upon a black beaded dress. I cautiously pulled the hanger from the rail, half expecting the ticket to say it was a size too big or too small, but no, my guardian angel was with me. The dress was my size and my friend, who had prayed with me, encouraged me to try it on. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked in the changing room mirror. It was less than a year since I had given birth to my youngest son and a bit of baby bump still bulged from my torso, but when I put on the dress it looked perfect. I looked like a Princess. “Cinderella Sally will go to the ball!” I thought. The beads shimmered under the changing room lights as I tiptoed out to show my friend.
“Wow!” said my friend, Beryl. “You look like Princess Diana.”
what a compliment, Diana had always been my favourite member of the Royal family and even though she had passed away in tragic circumstances, her memory lives on for me and millions of others. As I took the dress off, I realised it was brand new; it still had the Wallis label and repair kit attached, as well as the charity shop’s price tag. I couldn’t help telling everyone how God had provided me with a wonderful evening gown for £25.00 and it was brand new.
The day of the ball arrived and I was so excited. I could hardly wait to put on my new dress. I had my hair done and painted my nails. I’d bought new shoes, tights, a clutch bag and gloves and borrowed a beautiful shawl from Beryl. I felt like a bride on her wedding day. My friend Philippa, who had trained as a beautician, came along to do my make up and two girls from church had offered to babysit for my boys. It was destined to be a night to remember and it certainly was. As I slipped into my gown, I prayed that my husband would make a comment about how nice I looked. He rarely gave me compliments, in fact his last one had been on our wedding day.
I was so nervous going into the room filled with my husband’s colleagues. They all looked so glamorous and confident, but my husband guided me to our table and I started to relax under the intoxicating atmosphere of food and drink, not that I drink (it’s something I sacrificed for my Lord years earlier). After a gourmet Christmas dinner, the light’s dimmed and the disco began. A glitter ball hung in the middle of the room and laser’s swirled to the rhythm of the music. My husband asked me to dance and we glided to the centre of the room and as I did, I looked around and saw that no one looked more glamorous than I did. My dress outshone them all, or at least I thought it did. As I girated to the music, my dress glistened and my husband whispered in my ear, “You look lovely, I’m proud to be with you.”
My heart glowed with sheer pleasure as I heard my Lord whisper “You are the daughter of the King of kings and Lord of lords and your Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills, so don’t be surprised to be the best dressed woman here. You are my Princess!”
It was a night to remember. A wonderful evening of luxury and opulence and I thought to myself how much I had enjoyed myself. I thanked God but also thought I wasn’t in a rush to repeat it, otherwise it wouldn’t be special. And as the daughter of the King of kings and Lord of lords my God has continued to supply all of my needs and never ceases to amaze me.