Purses, Prayers, Priorites
by Shari Braendel

A few summers ago I walked into a department store and saw the purse of all purses. Oh, let me tell you, this bag was the most amazing of bags! It was the biggest, grandest, most beautiful Coach bag I had ever seen.

I asked the sales associate to unlock it from its case. You see, this bag was so expensive and grandiose it needed to be put behind glass doors. The sales associate went on to tell me that she had just gone to a training class where they said if you were ever lost in the desert, this bag would certainly be all you would need! It could hold a small child if necessary, I am not kidding you! I was impressed.

For weeks, all I could think about was that purse. I would go to sleep and wake up thinking about how amazing this purse would look with my outfits. I even dreamed about it one night. One morning I was having my quiet time and as I was praying, I heard God whisper to my heart: “I don’t care if they GIVE you that purse, you can’t have it.”

“Excuse me, God,” I replied. “Did you just tell me I can’t have that beautiful, amazing, large purse that I might need if I’m ever stuck in the desolate, dry desert?”

“Yes, Shari, you cannot have that purse, even if they give it to you,” God answered.

I was dumbfounded. Why would God care if I had that purse or not? Then I understood. I was spending more time obsessing about that bag than obsessing about Him.

A few weeks later, I was speaking with a woman outside a church when I heard God instruct me to give her my purse. Another conversation ensued.

“What?” I said.

“Give her your purse,” He answered.

“But God, I like this purse. You said I couldn’t have the other purse, and as a matter of fact, I just cleaned out my closet and I have two other really nice purses I can give her, but not this one, okay, God?”

“Give her your purse.”

Now mind you, this entire conversation was going on in my head as I was attempting to have a conversation with her. I excused myself, went to my car, dumped the contents of my purse in the back seat, went back and handed her my purse. “God told me to give you this,” I said.

She burst into tears and told me she was a single mom with three children, and couldn’t afford a new purse. When she discovered my expertise in fashion, she had hidden her purse on the chair next to her because it embarrassed her. Here I was, giving her a purse that looked like new to her.

God knows me and purses, and obviously wanted to teach me a few lessons. To do so, He used a couple of them to drive the point home. I often say purses are my Jesus love language! It must have been the other woman’s love language, too, because He certainly made her happy with one.

About a month later, I received a phone call from the manager of a local department store. She told me to come by the store because they wanted to give me a gift. You guessed it! She told me I could choose any handbag in the whole department!

Now remember, God had told me I couldn’t have that particular Coach bag, EVEN if someone gave it to me. So, I took my husband along to guard the Coach department so I wouldn’t be tempted! And guard he did. As the Coach sales associate was waving me toward her to see her beautiful bags, my husband told her, “I’m sorry, she can’t cross into this department; God told her she can’t have a big Coach bag!”

She looked at him like he had two heads and just shook her own. Isn’t God amazing? He didn’t mind if I had a purse, in fact, He didn’t even care if it was an expensive one. What mattered to God was that I had my heart right.

Shari Braendel, of Proverbs 31 Ministries, is the author of Good Girls Don't have to Dress Bad: A Style Guide for Every Women . This full-color style and fashion guide is the first of its kind in the Christian marketplace. Shari helps you develop your unique style by teaching you how to dress for your body shape, what colors to wear, how to find the perfect jeans and swimsuit and much more. For your free on-line color analysis, visit www.FashionMeetsFaith.com and find out what colors are best for you!

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Blogger Linda said...

Awsome story!!

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