The valet line in front of the Ritz Carlton stretches down the street and winds around the block. After handing off my keys, I register for the charity auction at a table on the patio, and enter the conference area.

Chaos.

Women adorned in cocktail dresses, high heels and matching jewelry—at nine in the morning—mill from table to table, clutching numbered stickers and small goblets stained with lipstick.

Heels. I should’ve worn heels. I look down and notice how my black flats highlight the bruise covering my big toe. My dress, while cute—a Dillard’s outlet steal—hides beneath an old black cable sweater. A sorry stand-in for the silk wrap I lost last week. I pull the sweater off and drape it over my arm. Maybe no one will notice. Goosebumps race across my shoulders and back.

Cold and chic? Or warm and ratty? A dilemma—we’ll see how cold it gets.

I’ve already embarrassed myself three times this morning. I left my phone in the car after the valet drove away. I gashed the front of my shin when I tripped over the spotlight on the floor. And, by far the worst, I opened a door in the bathroom to find the stall occupied. 

Maybe sitting is the best way to wait for the luncheon to start.

As I head for the lone chair at the edge of the room, I pass tables laden with beautiful purses, positioned just so on white silk tablecloths, waiting for the highest bidder to carry them home. I push through the sea of women perusing the bounty and glance at the invitation in my hand. In stylish cursive script, I am encouraged toDress Hip with a Hip Handbag.

My eyes catch on the plethora of hip handbags promenading around the room. I peek at my own bag—brown-striped tweed, half zipped, a wad of paper hanging out—and wince. When I reach the chair, I breathe a sigh of relief.

Poor purse. I frown and trace the front buckle. As we walked past the frou-frou handbags lining the tables, it must have cringed in humiliation. Cast-off, tossed to the bottom of the bin at Goodwill, it never perched, proud and regal on an auction table.

Kind of like me, needy and neglected, at the bottom of the reject bin. With great care, God rescued me, placed me among the adorned, heeled, and jeweled. The highest bidder, He paid the price and reminds me today as he whispers through His word. “…even the very hairs of your head are all numbered…you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:30-31 NIV) and you are “…precious and honored in my sight…” (Isaiah 43:4).

I pat my purse and smile. “You’re mine. Doesn’t if feel amazing to be chosen?”   

Lori Freeland is a freelance author from Dallas, TX with a passion to share her experiences in hopes of connecting with other women tackling the same issues. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a full time home school mom. You can visit her blog at http://lafreeland.wordpress.com/.