ballgown dress

Wearing White In The Everyday

I never got to wear a real wedding dress. Instead, three weeks after my 18th birthday, I walked down the aisle resembling a big piece of pink cotton candy with a rain coat. I was seven months pregnant with the groom’s child. Each step was supposed to be joyful. Instead, I remember vividly how ashamed I was. As I looked at my friends and family dressed in T-shirts and jeans, I remember the wedding of my childhood dreams. I wanted to be wearing a big stark white, ball gown princess dress. My hair up in a knot with ringlets of blond hair cascading down. I wanted my dress to mean something–to know that it symbolized the fact I saved myself for my wedding night. 

The Scarlet Letter: The Guilt & Shame We Weren’t Meant to Carry

Instead, my sin, my secret showed for all the world to see. And my dress wasn’t white, but a stained color of pink. Five long hard years later, God washed away my sins. Every. One. Of. Them. As I was submerged under the water to be baptized, I remember seeing an image of myself walking before God’s throne, dressed in the whitest gown I had ever seen. I stood before God as Jesus pardoned my sins and took me as his bride.

And he does the same for each of us who feel like we carry around scarlet letters.

“Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.”
This is God’s Message:
“If your sins are blood-red,
they’ll be snow-white.
If they’re red like crimson,
they’ll be like wool.
If you’ll willingly obey,
you’ll feast like kings. Isaiah 1:18-19 The Msg

Modern Day Princess Bride

In my book, Mama Needs A Time Out, I talk about the shame I carried for years and how I found God in the trenches of motherhood. I discovered that God is frequently called Ish. Ish means ‘husband’ in the Hebrew language.

This aspect of God’s character is often overlooked except the few of us who love the story about the Woman at The Well or the entire book of Hosea. Many of us are stilling carrying the guilt of our past sins. Things we think are so unforgivable. And that’s when we have to choose to stand on God’s word as woman, as mothers–and fight the battle of believing who we really are.

One evening as I sat in worship, I heard Jesus’ voice tell me that I was his beloved, his bride. Jesus had taken my sins and dressed me in white, I didn’t have to carry the guilt or shame of my past anymore and chances are, Jesus is saying the same thing to you.

If we don’t begin acting like the brides of Christ, how can we teach our daughters otherwise? In a social media saturated culture, the message to our sweet, innocent girls is the same message I heard that led me down the road of being a teen mom, we are only as beautiful as we are sensual. Our hearts need to reflect the love and titles Christ has for us, as being his “Beloved”, “Captivated” and “Bride”.

photo credit

How to Walk the Walk & Talk the Talk

When you are standing in the grocery line, don’t avoid the covers. Talk about it with your daughters and address your own mind too. It’s hard not to feel like we don’t measure up to those covers! But the message is clear, if we don’t replace the lies for the truth, we begin looking to belong and loved in all the wrong places.

Ask your daugthers what is real on those covers and what isn’t, then replace the image of what she sees with God’s truth.

When a movie portrays a sensual woman is an ideal woman, pause the movie and ask your daughter what the truth of the show is.(Even the Disney shows portray younger girls as better, prettier, and sexier and are a great way to discuss who your daughter really is versus the message she hears).

As for you, my beautiful mama, how often do you tell yourself or believe that you are God’s captivating masterpiece? Have you let go of your past? Have you replaced the messages in your head with the voice of truth? Take time each day to soak yourself in God’s word, even if its just a scripture.

And trust me, you and I do not  need to carry the guilt of our scarlet letters, or of the sin that we believe is so terrible. We are redeemed, wanted, and so loved.

Heather Riggleman
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Heather Riggleman

Heather is a speaker/blogger known as “The Real Mom.” Her mantra for ministry is Real Life, Real Moms, Real Faith, Real Grace. You can find her at on her blog: Falling to Peace(s): Thoughts on grace, letting go, & imperfection.She is the author of Mama Needs a Time Out and Let's Talk about Prayer and you can get a free copy when you visit her site at
Heather Riggleman
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Comments 9

  1. Julie Sanders

    I love how you shared some of the beauty that God has sifted from past pain, Heather. Thank you so much for being willing to share, and I love the practical ideas at the end. Sometimes I just want to “avoid” the worldly suggestions, but you give excellent suggestions for how to use them to strengthen our girls.

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  2. Chinwe Kalu


    I identify strongly with what you write about here. I have three daughters who need me to constantly show them the path God has for them rather than the movies and magazines and all the other things. I believe the grace to be the Mum I should be has been given to me. I never get tired of saying the same things over and over again.
    I particularly wanted to mother daughters just because I wanted to raise princesses for the Lord. I believe it is an honor form our heavenly Father.

    Thanks so much.

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  3. Tara Dovenbarger

    Wow Heather, what a beautiful picture of the gospel you painted with this post. So many truths you shared. Thank you!

    1. Heather Riggleman

      You’re welcome. So surprised that it touched so many hearts today. Glad you were refreshed and encouraged.

  4. Genny

    Beautiful, Heather. I am always so touched by your writing. And thanks for the encouragment to talk about those magazine covers with my kids. Sometimes I catch myself hurrying them by the racks hoping they don’t notice the covers. Talking about the images, expectations, and how it makes my kids feel head on is such a better idea!

  5. tiffany

    Love this. The lies of the enemy so often deceive us into covering up or not pursuing the true character of God. I love the description of our God that you laid out. The honesty and vulnerability is so refreshing.

  6. Stephanie Shott

    Great post Heather! As someone who wasn’t ‘qualified’ to wear white, I get this! I love how you said, “If we don’t begin acting like the brides of Christ, how can we teach our daughters otherwise?” Once we become His bride, it’s time to start living out who we are.. not who we were!

    Love this! 🙂

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