Beautiful Provision

Beautiful Provision

When God Claims a Closet

by Annie Wesche | May 1, 2011

“But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

– Philippians 4:19 KJV

Someone once said that my mum’s style had “the look of royalty.” And while I would definitely share this opinion, her wardrobe is far more “bargain and consignment shop” than “jewels and designer labels.” She’s frugal through and through, but you would never know it to look at her. She truly looks like a fine lady – classy, dignified, and, with a genuine smile from Christ upon her face, radiant. She set the example for me in the area of style and laid a beautiful foundation in my life that has accompanied me on all of my shopping trips – the belief that God has promised to meet all our needs and delights to have us ask Him about even the small things, like a recital dress or new shoes.

If God has called us to be women of virtue, clothed with dignity and dressed modestly, then why would we not seek His wisdom and provision in this area of our lives? In a world that caters to the very opposite of dignity and modesty, it can be a tricky thing to navigate the racks of modern trends and land a dress that comes past the knees and doesn’t need a scarf draped across the chest. But I have a few personal stories I want share with you that illustrate God’s amazing love and provision for me, even in this seemingly small area of life.

Summer Sandals: Restraining “Want” with Stewardship

Mid-summer of 2010 my brown sandals had been worn clear through, so I headed to DSW to browse the clearance aisles for a new pair. My search in the back room didn’t yield anything, but as I was walking out of the store I discovered the most perfect pair. If I could have envisioned my “ideal” these would have been it! But because they sported a price tag of $79, I could only subtly wince and walk out of the store. I made due with my nice black pair the rest of that summer, but I confess, I thought of this ‘dream’ pair once or twice more.

Summer came to an end, and as I was driving by DSW one day, I felt the nudge to go inside. I had completely forgotten about my “dream summer shoes” (as it was now winter) until I saw them sitting there, back in the clearance room. I was determined not to get my hopes up, but upon further examination God’s provision was looking me square in the eyes. One pair left. My size. And the price tag almost winked at me: $15. In gratitude to this blessing from the Lord, I reminded myself once more, “Wait upon the Lord, Annie. Don’t allow the pleas of ‘I must have,’ ‘It’s only one splurge,’ or ‘But I need it!’ to invade a contented, trusting heart. He always provides. Sometimes with a garage sale find, a clearance sale, or a gift from a friend. And sometimes in the exact pair, just one season later.”

Royal Blue Dress: Trusting His Provision in Gift-Giving

Jade had been eyeing a new dress for Easter, and with some recent gift money she was making plans to go purchase a lovely royal blue one at Macy’s. But when a need arose for the money to go elsewhere, I watched the twinge of disappointment come over her.

“Jade,” I said excitedly, “just think of my shoes! This is how we live – by faith. We may see things we would like to buy, but our money is not our own. So if that money is needed for something else, He’ll provide in a new way.”

Later that same day on my way home, I stopped at a clothing store that carries new, last-season items. When I was done looking for what I needed, I strolled over to the dress section and began breezing through. It took me a moment to realize I was holding my breath, but there in my hands was a royal blue dress. And as I pulled it out it was revealed to be the same size, style, and brand of the one currently in stores that Jade had had her eye on.

My heart started to beat faster as I realized what the Lord was unfolding. “Please, Lord, please let this be for Jade!” I looked at the price: $15.

When I came home that night and presented the dress to Jade, she cried and sat shaking her head in disbelief. Why would a current dress be found at a last-season store at such a fraction of the price? So that God could show His faithfulness.

“This is how we live, Jade. We’ve seen God provide in relationships, prayer, witnessing, finances, and now in this. It all belongs to Him, and if we surrender the want, and trust Him for the need, He goes above and beyond our expectations – to the praise of His glory! We don’t put our joy in the objects, but lay everything at His feet in joyful expectation that if it will please Him, He will provide it!”

Yellow Jacket: Supplying the Cover Shot

It was the day before we had planned on going out for a few photo shoots and I was getting together some items for our “detail” shots. I didn’t have much in my closet that boasted of “spring,” so when I was dropping off a few items for resale at my favorite second-hand shop, I glanced around for a few brighter-hued items that we could photograph the next day.

I love having things that are high quality – they last so much longer – but high quality most often comes with a higher price. And sometimes it can be worth the investment for a timeless piece. I love JCrew for their classic, high quality style, but I have never purchased something full price in their stores. While scanning the racks and waiting for my items to be looked-over, I spotted a brand new mustard yellow vintage style sweater. It was JCrew with the original tags still attached.

Now, I should interject here that before walking into the shop I had asked the Lord to provide something new for the next day’s photo shoot. I also asked that whatever I earned in the selling of my used items would be enough to cover anything I would find – so that I wouldn’t overspend. As I looked at this beautiful jacket, I wondered if my gutsy prayer had been a bit too hasty and specific. The tag read only $16 – a steal for a brand new item, especially from JCrew. I was shocked! But I was still bound by faith-filled obedience to my prayer before the Lord.

By the time they posted my name up on the board I had joyfully resolved in my heart to trust in God’s provision and not waver or even display a wince should I not have the money needed.

“Annie?” the store clerk said. “We can offer you $16.50 for three of your items. Is that pleasing to you?”

I smiled and said, “Oh, more than you know.”

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Far too often I do not give the Lord room to work on my behalf in areas I may think “small” or “less important.” And it is true that there are many more pressing issues for the kingdom than my shoes or a new jacket. Style is not to be an obsession in the life of a set-apart young women, but a surrendered expression of her high calling as a woman of dignity, grace, and femininity. We are not provided for by a God who is limited in where His attentions may be spent. He does not need to manage His time, dividing it between the important and less important. He longs to be intimately involved in every area of our lives, bringing His beauty and righteousness to it, in order to testify of Himself. If your style and wardrobe is surrendered before Him, sought to be kept within it’s proper boundaries of feminine grace, modesty, and contentment, I know you will find Him faithful, as I have, to “have the preeminence” (see Col. 1:18) and “supply all your need” (see Phil. 4:19).*

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