“Mom, this is the one” were Madison’s words as she stood in a dressing room looking in a three way mirror. Together, Madison and I had completed our search for her Junior formal dress. The fit and sparkle of the blue sequin dress was the vision she had for her school event requiring a long gown. Not wanting to rely on my own photographer skills even with the help of a Nikon camera, I made an appointment with our family photographer to have Madison’s portrait made in “the” dress.

The day began with a hair appointment and then off to a town over an hour from home to capture her beauty in a dress that matched her eyes. It was a happy day with joy filled anticipation of what would become of the elegance of my 17 year old. I did not expect an anticipated happy day to hit me the way it did. As I sat in the passenger seat traveling down two lane roads to the small town, I became overwhelmed with emotion for several reasons. One reason was I never got this far to enjoy with Ashley. I missed not knowing how beautiful she would be as a junior in high school. I found myself trying to envision Ashley’s photo results.

Another reason was I found myself struggling to accept Madison’s pictures in our home would now outnumber Ashley’s. My effort to equal their pictures whether on a wall or in an easel back frame was being forced to give way and embrace Madison at this moment and received what God was giving me through masterpiece photos.

I also began calculating how long I had waited since Madison had been to the photographer for a professional portrait. Seven years had passed since our last trip to the studio. Ashley and Madison had a portrait taken just months before Ashley passed and we had not been back since that session. Walking in the studio brought tears to hold back to keep the day “happy.” I wanted to have a moment in the studio and cry my eyes out because much of the studio had not changed and the memories flooded my mind and heart. I was blindsided because this day was one more experience I needed as part of grief, healing and moving forward.

In the bible, the number seven is significant as it represents completion. Beginning in Genesis, God finished His creation on the seventh day (Gen. 2:2). In Genesis 7:2, Noah was instructed to take seven of every kind of clean animal. Joshua 6:4 shares the story of Joshua on the seventh day marching around the city wall seven times and the wall collapsed.

I believe the photo experience was a seven in my life because God had completed a season and He had something new for me. He was showing me that seven years had passed and it was time to return to the studio even if my wall had only one frame displayed instead of two. If I had buckled and refused to take Madison for her portrait session because I did not have the same for Ashley then beautiful portraits of Madison would not decorate the walls of my home. It still hurts yet I love how God blessed my family when I surrendered to His will instead of living on my feelings of thinking I had to be a fair mom who has to have everything equal.

Point to Ponder: God wants to adorn our lives with good things. Are you experiencing a “seven” in your life where He is showing you an area of completion? If so, submit to His lead and allow Him to bless you in ways you cannot imagine.