“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” Eph. 3:20
I’ve been struggling to know how to start this post because these stories of what God has done (and continues to do) are just so BIG. Because this isn’t really my story to tell, I want to pretty much let Christy share with you. But, here is a little background:
Space is always an issue for us at Hope’s, and it was time to find a new home for some of our discontinued wedding dresses. While praying and putting out feelers to see where they might best be used, Diane and Mark happened to talk to their friends Dave and Amy, who live in the Denver, CO area. Dave is a pastor at a church that does a lot of outreach in the city. He had an idea…
And Diane was connected to Christy Short. Christy tells her story of renewal and the start of her program for brides in need, Something Borrowed, in her own words:
As for my own story of how I began and MORE….
I came to Denver 4 years ago as a single mom of twin girls. I had worked for a large church in Virginia for 6 years and had been married for 13. He became one of the Youth Pastors on Staff at our church. On February 28, 2009, he told me that he no longer wanted to be married to me and was moving to Tennessee the next day to live with his mom. Two weeks later, I found out that he had moved to Tennessee to be with another woman- an old girlfriend that he found on Facebook.
I had never been alone before. My family lived in different parts of the country, and I asked God to go ahead and do some major surgery in my identity since I was so broken from my husband leaving. I got as close to Jesus as I could, got a mentor and began a journey of discovering Christy. At that time- I felt thrown away and completely UNVALUABLE. About a year and a half later, God spoke very clearly to me- “Behold I make ALL things NEW”…Every scripture that I opened up the Word to was speaking about New Life. The next thing I knew, He said to sell everything I had, quit my job and go to Denver Colorado where I knew NO ONE.
I took a radical and very scary step of faith with a car packed full of clothes and my twin girls and we came to Denver. All kinds of doors opened for us, and I ended up as the Executive Assistant of Colorado Community Church- a very large multi-cultural church. Because I sing, I was up on stage just about every week. Eleven months later, I met the man who would eventually become my husband- in the lobby of the church. He stopped to tell me that he didn’t like it when I was not on the stage doing worship and loved to watch me. HE WAS GORGEOUS!
I had never been treated the way he treated me and knew that he was the one that God had for me. I was watching and seemingly obsessed with every show on tv concerning weddings. I was DREAMING of being married to Alvin and what my wedding would be like.
It was on a Saturday afternoon that I went to a Wedding Dress Consignment store and tried on two dresses. They were sooo beautiful, and I ended up falling in love with a 1500.00 gown (used). I knew that I would NEVER be able to afford it. When I got to my car after trying on the dresses, the words “Something Borrowed” came to my mind, and I immediately began to vision and dream of a place where we would have everything you would need to throw a beautiful wedding- including dresses. A place where those who never thought they could have a beautiful wedding would be able to have a wedding BEYOND their imagination according to Ephesians 3:20. A place where we fight for marriage with classes and seminars on how to keep your marriage together when times get tough. Classes on finances and blended families. Counseling (low cost) using Denver Seminary students who have 2500 hours to clock before they get their license.
I wrote down the vision on Sunday night and when I came to work on Monday, someone called our church (this call had never happened before) and asked the receptionist if she knew anyone at the church who took wedding dresses….I believe it was GOD saying to me- Christy- It’s MY desire to use you to start this ministry. So…I purchased table cloths, centerpieces, taught myself how to make bouquets and corsages and boutonnieres. Just learning the business, but wanting God to show me the way. I’ve now decorated and coordinated about 15 weddings. I’ve just let HIM lead the way- bringing people to me who have a need. I do work full-time still, but God continues to grow the vision.
One day I got a call from Pastor Dave who told me that a friend of mine had sent him to me. That’s when I met Diane and Hope’s Bridal. I pretty much knew that it was from the Lord, but I never imagined that the dresses would be SO incredibly beautiful. When they arrived, I opened up one bag and burst into tears. I was FLOORED.
I honestly didn’t know what God wanted me to do with them, but He quickly showed me. I was to let Brides in need, BORROW the dresses (unless He says otherwise), and in return, that bride will serve a non-profit organization with her time to earn the dress. I was totally excited and quickly shared about the gift of the dresses and what I wanted to do with them with one organization that I knew had a lot of connections within the city. It wasn’t long after that, I received a call from a pastor of an inner-city church with a bride in need.
Sylvia grew up without a father. She ended up as a single mom of 5 children and hooked on heroin. As a result of her addiction, she lost custody of all 5 children and hit rock bottom. Through her situation, someone shared the Hope of Jesus with her and she began to make the steps to get her life together. She got clean and began to serve her church every week in feeding the homeless. She eventually won back custody of all of her children. She met a man and fell in love, and he asked her to marry him. She accepted, but because of the brokenness of her past and because of how much it costs to have children, she never imagined that she could have a beautiful dress. Someone overheard a conversation and said to call me. Sure enough, I had THE perfect dress, and Silvia felt SOOOO valuable on her wedding day- I knew it was GOD’s heart for her and I was honored to be the one to provide it for her. What I LOVED so much was seeing my own 16-year-old daughters get involved in the process of making her feel beautiful!
I am currently in the process of connecting with Churches and ministries all over Denver. I am letting them know about Something Borrowed ministry. I don’t have a building YET- God isn’t ready for that just yet, but it’s my heart to serve and celebrate those who may have NEVER known what it feels like to feel valued. I’m giving God the LEAD in this thing because when I tell the story, I want HIM to be glorified- not me.
Poverty is NOT just in certain neighborhoods in Denver, it’s ALL over. Within poverty is a mindset that people are not valuable or worth anything. It’s not my heart to just provide a dress or service for someone who will continue their broken cycle, but to help someone experience value and to help them see themselves the way GOD sees them, and hopefully bring change.
We are so excited that some of our gowns are blessing women in the Denver area now because of what God is doing through Christy. We wanted to share Silvia’s big day with you, as well as the story of why Something Borrowed in a chosen ministry for us. We want our customers to know that they play a small part in these special Denver, Colorado weddings too when they shop with us!
Praise God for what He is doing; and we pray that Christy’s work would continue to grow according to His plan!
Silvia said “I do” on April 22nd, the first bride in Christy’s program to wear a Hope’s dress. According to Christy, she was GLOWING. “You could tell that she REALLY felt beautiful. At the ceremony, the pastor introduced me to some people who work in the church and told them that I had given Silvia the dress. They literally cried saying THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I got a private Facebook message from her cousin yesterday thanking me for making Silvia feel so beautiful and valuable.” Oh, how special this is!
Christy took some beautiful pictures at the wedding, which we are excited to share with you. And we can’t wait to learn about more beautiful brides who benefit from Something Borrowed!
Faith, Hope & Love,