“So, I’m sitting at Arby’s right now and David’s Bridal is right across the parking lot. I’m tempted to go inside and dream a little.”
“You should do it!” My friend’s enthusiastic reply came through the earpiece of my phone while I crunched on some curly fries.
My eyes shifted out the window to the store across the way. I wanted to. For a while now I’ve wanted to walk into a dress shop and peruse the racks for the pure fun of it, to dream out loud for a little, even though the day of wearing a white dress is still who-knows-how-many years away. I wanted to embrace the fantasy for a while. But I hesitated.
“I don’t know. I mean is it socially acceptable to look around if you’re not actually in need of a dress? Plus, I’m wearing sweatpants.” I don’t think that last part had any weight in the argument, but I mean come on…sweatpants just don’t seem like proper attire for a bridal shop.
My friend laughed, encouraged me once again to go, and told me to send pictures. I decided to go for it. What could it hurt. So I trekked through six rows of parked cars and empty spaces, and into the store. The first impression was overwhelming. Dresses everywhere. To the left, bridesmaids dresses of every color and length. To the right, ivory, white, pale pink, and off-white gowns.
I strolled to the left, flipping through a few of the colorful bridesmaid dresses because I hadn’t quite worked up the nerve to look at the gowns. But after a few minutes I was bored, so I mustered my courage and started perusing the racks of white, hoping the helpful saleswomen would leave me alone.
Thankfully they did. I went through two or three racks, admiring different styles, sending a couple of pictures to my friend of gowns I liked. It was kind of fun, though I’ll admit my eyes widened a little bit when I peeked at a few of the sale tags. Better start saving now!
When I rounded the corner of the clearance aisle, a bride-to-be started sifting through the far end of the rack. “There are so many choices. I don’t know how anyone can pick one!”
I smiled, discretely shoving the dress I had been trying to take a picture of back into it’s place. “Yeah, there sure are a lot here.” In an effort to make conversation, I ask, “So when are you getting married.” Big mistake. Because of course, one would assume that if one is looking through racks of wedding gowns, one must be getting married soon.
“What about you?” she asks after she’s shared her quickly approaching date.
I stumble over my words a little and smile awkwardly. “Uh, well, actually, I’m not. Just dreaming a little.”
“Oh, that’s cool too. Sometimes it just takes some time. Took us ten years.” I smile and flip through a few more gowns, thinking that’s the end of the conversation.
“How long have you been with him?”
I’m sure my cheeks must have flushed pink. Of course it’s another logical question. I just shake my head in response and add a nervous, “I’m not.” Thankfully she thought I said, “Not long” and offered another encouraging word about how things can start to happen fast. I smiled then gracefully–and quickly–excused myself and left the store.
When I first left, I texted my friend about the experience and joked about the next time I do this, I’ll have to make up a story. Then when I told my parents about it later, my dad suggested that maybe I just need to find a way to explain it to people: “Nope, I’m not engaged nor am I currently dating anyone. But I am dreaming and planning ahead. I want to be ready when it happens.”
I expect that I’ll get quite a few strange looks for that explanation–not that I plan on regularly popping into bridal stores–but that’s okay.
That’s how dreams go. Not everyone will understand them. In fact, most people won’t get it. There is One who gets it, though. In fact, He’s planted some of those dreams. And He’s the one I got to share that experience with today. So, yeah, it was silly and spontaneous and a little awkward. But it was also sweet because I got my first tiny taste of what it will be like. One day that dream will be real and I’ll be with a handful of my favorite women, pulling dresses off racks, searching for my dress.
Whatever dream is sitting on your heart, I want to give you permission to dream a little. Spend a little time on Pinterest, stare out the window and let the daydreams entertain you, make or purchase a physical something to remind you of that dream. It might feel a little awkward and uncomfortable, but go for it.
Give yourself permission to dream.
Live in His love!
Photo by Shane Abbitt