The Wedding Dress

I just finished reading The Wedding Dress, by Rachel Hauck, and I LOVED it.  Charlotte Malone’s gift is finding the perfect dress for each bride–the dress that fits her character and melts her heart.  The problem is that Charlotte is getting married in two months, and she hasn’t found her own dress yet.  This has left her with doubts–is she marrying the right man?

To seek a little bit of solitude, Charlotte retreats to her favorite place, the old Ludlow estate, where her mother used to take her for picnics before she died when Charlotte was just 12.  On this day, though, the normally quiet estate is buzzing with the activity of an antique auction.  And, somehow, Charlotte ends up paying $1,000 for an antique trunk that is sealed shut.

When she finally gets it open, Charlotte finds an amazing wedding dress–one that is supposed to be 100 years old, but that was actually worn 3 times.  As she traces the dress back to its original owner, Charlotte learns about herself and about God, discovers the truth about her relationship, and also finds a connection to a family she never knew she had.

What really struck me about this story is actually the story of the third bride, Hillary, who got married to Joel Miller in 1968–right before he shipped out to Vietnam.  Joel was killed just 6 months later–and that’s when Hillary welded her dress and his dog tags inside the trunk.  When Hillary finds out from the second bride, Mary, that the dress had been left for her when she was just 10 years old, a gift from Mary, her first thought is one of anger.  How could God will that a 10 year old would marry a man who would die just 6 months later?  Charlotte’s response is one of compassion–and a perspective that we don’t often hear.  “What if it wasn’t about you, Hillary–what if it was about him?”  What if the marriage was to give Joel that last bit of happiness, those letters from his bride to comfort him in the battlefield?

And, that made me think about my Dad, who died 15 years ago today.  We always talk about how thankful we are that we had him for as long as we did, but, still, the question lingers–why?  Why did he die at just 49 years old?  Today I thought…what if it wasn’t about us?  What if it was about him?  What if it was about Dad having a wonderful family and years of happiness with us.  You know, he didn’t have the best childhood.  He didn’t ever know his real dad.  And his step-dad was an alcoholic.  Dad had a hard youth, filled with sickness and hurt.  Maybe it wasn’t that we had him, maybe it was that he had us.  It just turns a lot of things upside down.

The Wedding Dress is a great story on its own, and I love the way the author weaves the tales of the brides together with the way that God works in our lives, sometimes mysteriously.

Disclaimer:  I received a free e-copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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