Eleven years ago we were coming to the end of Olivia’s first winter. I began to panic. We’d been given a ton of clothes as baby gifts, and she had so many outfits that she wore some of them only once or twice! But her summer outfits were size 6 mos and under, it was about to grow too warm for her winter outfits, and I knew she needed new clothes. As the weather began to turn, we loaded into the car and headed thirty minutes up the road to the Carter’s outlet. (How I loved that store!) We purchased her basic necessities and prepared to finally wear out some clothes.
Then came the hand-me-downs. I honestly felt foolish for panicking – and for shopping! We were flooded with so many amazing clothes that she didn’t wear out those Carter’s outfits. They were passed down to her sister, and then to more children after them. I determined that year not to panic ever again. I determined to pray and wait. God has been faithful every single year. Why do I ever doubt?
But, I do. When we moved to Arkansas, we moved away from the people who handed us down clothes. I worried. Then I prayed. And we were handed bags.
Then came last year. I had just gone through seasonal clothes, amazed that once again we had plenty even though we had been given no new hand-me-downs for quite some time. I barely finished the sorting before I was handed a couple of bags of clothes, some of which were perfect fits for Olivia right then, and even more that would fit her her over the next year or two. I’d just stash them in the attic and wait for them to fit her!
But, God challenged that mentality when I heard that the friend who’d passed the clothes on to us had another friend who could use what we didn’t want or need.
Thankful for the “new” shirts that lined Olivia’s drawer, I looked at our discards: two little Wal-Mart sacks by the door, full of random t-shirts the girls said they probably wouldn’t wear. Everything else – a huge trash bag full of beautiful clothes – was destined for the attic. But I couldn’t do it. God convicted me with the same old line He’s had to give me before: Trust Me.
I kept the shirts in Olivia’s drawer, thankful for that provision. But I returned everything that did not fit right then. Everything. Ouch! That hurt! I wanted that bag of clothes! Those things would have looked adorable on my girls! But, with release of the future stock of hand-me-downs also came a freedom to trust.
I thought about that bag again this spring as Doug and I pulled clothes out of the attic. What would fit? What wouldn’t? How much would we need to buy for Olivia, who had grown tremendously since the previous summer? How much better off would we have been had we kept that bag of clothes? I just knew very little would fit her. I prayed, and trusted. And once again God provided – this time more beautifully than ever before.
One of these days, maybe I’ll learned to not panic, not stress, and not hoard. Just trust.