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Eternity clothes

Hurricane Katrina hit in August. Everyone knows the devastation and the great need. Our family, like millions of others, pitched in to help. Our church collected aid items and sent a team to the Gulf Coast to help. In fact, our church has embraced one tiny town in Mississippi and teams go down once a month to help with the cleanup and restoration. Hubby has signed up to go this March for nine days.

Our kids chose toys to send. We bagged outgrown clothing. We sent household goods, like dishware and cups. Everything was done with a spirit of concern and a heartfelt desire to help those in need. Except the maternity clothes I found.

When we moved, we gave several bags of clothing, coats, and shoes to Goodwill, including maternity clothes. They were in good condition, but I hadn’t worn them the last several pregnancies. I gave no second thought to dropping them off at the collection station.

But I missed one of the bins, with the still-in-style and recently worn maternity clothes, so it got moved to our new house. When Katrina hit and I went to look for things we needed to part with, I found them. I looked at them. I wanted them gone. My most recent loss was only two months past.

The pants I wore the day we found out our first-miscarried baby died were in the bin. I pictured myself pulling them on again, the wide elastic up and over my belly and knew it would never, ever be possible to wear them without remembering, without being thrust back in space and time to that moment when I thought to myself my pants are ironic, less the necessary hint of irony.

Without hesitation, I grabbed a big white kitchen trash bag and stuffed it with clothes of bellies-past, when live babies wiggled under blue flowers and kicked the waistband of black capris. I used to joke that maternity clothes should be called “Eternity Clothes” because I spent so much time in them. It bothers me my motivation in donation was not altruistic but survivalistic. I gave because I wanted to avoid pain. There was nothing cheerful in my giving at that moment when I scrawled “maternity clothing” on the bag with a Sharpie.

It was relief, for me, not for a pregnant woman with nothing to wear because her clothes had been blown away or ruined.

Perhaps it is part of our journey to be made to wear eternity clothes sometimes. The pants reminded me of anguish. She, the woman who received them, wears them because of a storm that caused anguish. In her story, I pray for nothing more than the baby kicking her waistband to be born healthy and strong.

In my story? Well, I just pray.

10 comments to Eternity clothes

  • It’s comforting to know that God can use anything we give out, even if we give more out of personal pain than sympathy. Your story is especially moving for me today as I read it for reasons that are long and complicated. Thank you for once again sharing such a personal story.

  • kim


  • I’ve had that experience with the clothes. There were worse parts too, as I’m sure you know, things you can’t give away. But I don’t think it lessens the giving, really. And you give more in your thoughtful writing.

  • God uses everything we give–no matter what our hearts are struggling with. The blessing is that he uses these things for the reciever of the gift, but he also blesses the giver. Mopsy, the trial that God has allowed in your life is a rough one but he has obviously brought great fruit from it. Your words are sweet and encouraging and He will continue to bring you through this and allow you to be a light to others!

  • Another beautiful, touching post, Mopsy. (((HUGS)))

  • Mom-of-mopsy

    Your gift was one of love no matter what you think the motive is now. Letting go of things that bring remembrance of pain is a good thing because God wants to bring healing to those places yet so raw and tender and your thoughts toward the unfortunate woman who also lost so much brings God into her situation. she will be richer knowing that someone cared enough to give. My hats off to your hubby for volunteering to go.

  • You know I understand. And I’m sorry that we have this particular reason to understand each other. {{{hugs}}}

  • (((Hugs)))
    Isn’t it interesting how a simple garment can bring up so many emotions?

    I remember going through a miscarriage and shortly thereafter seeing a friend wearing maternity clothes that I had lent to her. It nearly tore my heart in two, I remember that moment so vividly. You are not alone, so many women share your heartache. Thank you for putting it into words for the rest of us.

    God bless you for giving,Gretchen, no matter what the motive.

  • mopsy

    Thank you, everyone. Hugs for those of you with those clothes.

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