Tonight was a special night for one young girl who had a dream of going to her Senior Prom. Melanie (name was changed to protect her) lives in a homeless women's shelter with her Mother. Melanie is a Senior in high school and suffers from autism. She is shy, withdrawn at times, but very smart. And her dream was to attend her Senior Prom.
Living in a homeless shetler, her Mother didn't have the means to make this dream a reality for her daughter. But God intervened, as He often does - and always to my amazement for some strange reason - and tonight Melanie was transformed into a beautiful Cinderella.
Several of us got together and finally found a borrowed dress that fit Melanie - interestingly enough, it was just the color she had dreamed about -- 'Cinderella Blue.' Isn't God amazing. Not only that, but God put together some other amazing things tonight ---her hair was transformed into a beautiful 'up do' by my friend and co-worker who is attenting cosmetology school. I have done makeup for weddings for years, so that skill came in handy. And another friend and co-worker put together about $150 in donations that paid for beautiful pearl jewelry, pantyhose (her very first pair) pretty silver shoes and a new bra.
Pastor Mychal and his wife, Donna, were kind enough to purchase a beautiful corsage that Melanie couldn't keep her eyes off of when he placed it on her arm. And then finally, another friend and co-worker volunteered to drive her to and from the prom that was held at the downtown Hilton tonight. She looked absolutely beautiful tonight - just like Cinderella. When she stepped into the make-shift dressing room to let everyone see the final results, everyone began to clap and tell her how beautiful she looked. Then we all formed a circle around Melanie and we prayed for her. We prayed that God protect her and allow her to experience a truly wonderful night. And we thanked God for allowing us the privilege of being a part of such a special night in her life. And I noticed that Melanie seemed to stand a little straighter, head up and shoulders back. (usually she is shy and hangs her head or slumps her head down toward the ground.) I believe she felt like Cinderella too. She felt special. Like she mattered. I've said it before, it's how you make them feel that matters.
Take a look at the shots I snuck in tonight during the transformation -- I plan to make a little scrapbook for Melanie of this very important night in her life. I hope she will always look back on it with the understanding that while she may not remember our names, she remembers our hearts. Our hearts that said, "you are important to us and we love you." I hope that everytime she gazes at the photos of her Cinderella transformation, she feels special. Like she matters. And I hope that somehow, it leads her to Jesus each and every time she looks inside her memory bank and sees His hands at work through our service tonight.
Have a wonderful time at the ball tonight, Cinderella. And know that we are so honored to have been a small part of your wonderful Prom. I somehow know that God is smiling tonight. Smiling at his daughter who looked so very beautiful.