I’ve never been one to enjoy shopping for “formal wear,” but I didn’t realize how much I really despised it until May of 2018.

 You see, we were going out of town for my cousin’s wedding (as guests!) and I realized that I had absolutely NOTHING to wear (though my husband might say differently!). A few months prior, I had ordered a few things online that I ended up not loving, but a week before we were supposed to leave for the wedding, I realized that I should maybe get the show on the road!!

I pulled up one of my favorite clothing sites (Modcloth) and within ten minutes, found three dresses that I absolutely loved. I put them all in my cart, went to check out, and realized that, if I wanted my dressed to come on time, I should probably upgrade my shipping.

 I’m a bit of a penny pincher when it comes to online shopping, so I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I paid the $30 overnight shipping charge. I reasoned to myself (and my husband ;) ) that I deserved to feel confident at that wedding – so the $30 shipping charge, though annoying, would be worth it when my clothes made it on time!

Since I ordered my dresses on a Friday, they were set to arrive the next business day, on Monday. I waited alllllll weekend with GREAT anticipation, and when Monday finally rolled around, I couldn’t wait for the FedEx guy to deliver my greatly anticipated package! But for some reason – it never showed.

Feeling slightly frustrated, I emailed Modcloth and told them I had paid extra for overnight shipping, but that I hadn’t received my package. Immediately, they refunded my card with the full amount (they are an excellent company!) and they assured me that my package should be there by Tuesday, at the very latest. And so, I waited.

On Tuesday, as SOON as I received an email that my package had been delivered, I raced downstairs, flung open the door – only to find that my porch was, in fact, empty. Confused, I walked outside, looking on our front stairs, on the side walk, and on my neighbor’s stoops, wondering if the package had been mistakenly delivered to someone nearby. Starting to feel a bit of anxiety over the whole situation, I called FedEx – who told me that my package had been delivered. I assured them that it had in fact not been delivered, and the confused employee said he would do a little digging to see what was going on.

The next day (Wednesday – two days before we had to leave!!!) I received a call – my package had, in fact, been delivered, but they weren’t sure to whom it had been delivered. OF COURSE this would happen! I remember thinking to myself. The one time I pay extra for shipping and I NEED something to arrive by a specific time!! The FedEx employee assured me that he would do everything in his power to make sure I received my lost package by the time I left for the wedding. I never heard from him again.

I was SO frustrated by this point. All I could think was: why me?! Why would this happen to me, the girl who HATES shopping for formal clothes, who has nothing to wear to this upscale wedding?!

Right in that moment, I felt a twinge of guilt. I was only thinking about myself in all of this, and I was letting it affect my work (which, as you might be able to imagine, was NOT getting done), my attitude towards my husband (who was being SO patient with me while I threw angry and short responses towards his kind and helpful words), and my general demeanor, which was incredibly poor. I had let something so small and SO out of control, well - control me.

After realizing this, I decided that it didn’t really matter if the package made it. What mattered was my attitude in this situation. Obviously, my heart needs a little bit of work. I decided that I would give one last attempt at tracking down this package, and if it didn’t work out, I would accept it, graciously – so I reached out to Modcloth directly. I told them the whole situation, knowing full well (and reiterating to them again and again) that none of it was their fault. They were able to control FedEx as much as I was! But I figured, the best thing I could do was ask to see if they had a solution that I couldn’t think of. The worst that could happen was a bit “no” – but at least I would know I tried!

Who might need a little undeserved grace from you today?

After they heard my story, the incredibly kind voice on the other line told me that they would overnight a new package to me, free of charge, with everything I had previously purchased. My jaw basically dropped to the floor. I couldn’t believe their outrageous kindness! It wasn’t their fault my package had been lost, but they went over and above to make sure that I would receive exactly what I ordered exactly when I needed it.

I’m happy to report that my package arrived the day before we left for vacation (woo hoo!), and yes, I was able to wear one of those dresses to my cousin’s wedding! But what REALLY floored me was the fact that Modcloth refunded every dollar of my purchase. And friends – this wasn’t a 20, 50, or even a 100 dollar order. This was a BIG “let me buy all of these things and I’ll return the ones I don’t want!” order. But Modcloth went above and beyond for me. They didn’t just refund my shipping, or ship me a new order – they completely refunded me for the inconvenience and gave me something I in NO WAY deserved. And they didn’t deserve to have to pay for someone else’s mistake. They gave me grace in my time of need.

 If you’ve been following along with some of my personal posts on the blog, you might see a theme throughout some of my posts – grace. And grace just so happens to be the word I chose to focus on in 2018 (now extending into 2019!), because Lord knows I need more of it for myself and for others.

And you know what God’s been doing? POURING grace out over me in SO many ways and in SO many lessons. I learned a big lesson about grace earlier in 2018 in a HUGE way at Disney’s Boardwalk with my husband (read that post here!) and I learned about it again when I realized what Modcloth had done for me - so undeserved. I’m finding that the more I experience those moments of grace, especially when I least deserve it, the easier it is to give it to other people – and easier to give it to myself.

Who might need a little undeserved grace from you today? Your child? Your parent? Your boss? Yourself? I don’t think grace is something we can ever give enough of or have enough of. And the good news is - if you know the source of grace - you never have to worry about having to do it in your own strength.

“But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.” - Ephesians 4:7