Elaini is one of my online customers who instantly became one of my dearest friends. We met last summer when she was placing an order on our website. She was very specific about the packaging and asked if we could remove any pregnancy related material. In her second email she explained that the gown was for a young girl who had leukemia. She had never met her but, wanted her to have something pretty to wear while she is in the hospital. I found out later that the young girl was Marissa and she was hospitalized while awaiting a bone marrow transplant. Marissa was only seventeen and just graduated High School. Elaini heard about Marissa and was prompted to do something incredible. Here is an exert from a post she wrote for Radical Womanhood.
"In February my dad heard about a young lady who had just been diagnosed with leukemia. Marissa is just seventeen and she is a Christian who loves God with all her heart. Her family had set up a caringbridge site (similar to a blog) to update their friends and family about the different stages of the sickness that they were experiencing. I was able to get on and read about her, as well as post a note of encouragement on her guest book. The Lord had heavily laid her on my heart and I was sure He had a good reason. Two days before she went into the hospital to start the intensive part of her treatment, God prompted me to purchase stylish hospital gowns for her. Yes, hospital gowns. While browsing the Internet I had come across some very fashionable gowns, and I knew that if I were Marissa I would not want to be wearing an ugly, drab sack of material. (If you already feel bad it doesn’t help if you look bad as well!) When I discovered the B.Y.O.G. company--bring your own gown--I knew this was going to be good. One idea led to another and very quickly I decided to ask friends to join me in purchasing these “dresses,” as well as writing notes of encouragement to Marissa. I was blessed and overwhelmed by the response of generosity that started pouring out around me. Everyone was so willing that I had more than enough and was able to order two gowns. When I went on to B.Y.O.G’s website the Lord directed me to a page about the owners, Andrea and Cindi. At the bottom of the page about them was this verse from Psalms 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Excitedly I wrote the owners and shared that I was a Christian and I believed that verse as well, and explained to them what my girl friends and I were doing. Their response was prompt, gracious, and kind. Some special packaging was needed, which they were eager to do. They also said they would pray for Marissa and enlist their Bible study to pray as well. A few days later the package arrived in the mail and I couldn’t help but jump up and down with excitement as I read this enclosed note:
We were so touched by what you girls have done for Marissa and we wanted to match your contribution. Enclosed, please find four gowns for Marissa. We thought she could use the suitcase for all the cards she will be receiving too.
Cindi and Andrea”
Wow, not only did they send it beautifully wrapped but they also sent two more gowns. It was such a confirmation of God’s plan.
Several days later I was delighted to finally meet Marissa, a warm, sweet, and friendly girl. When I gave her the gowns she was very overwhelmed and she enjoyed reading the cards and looking at the girl’s pictures who had helped with the purchase. I was so grateful to be a part of what God was doing. The notes ended up going up all over the walls of her room and she even modeled the gowns for me. She said that she had been asking the Lord that morning if cute and discreet (modest) hospital gowns existed!"
Elaini is not like most twenty year olds. She has a pure, caring heart, she knows her purpose and is faithfully serving God. She is a sweet and amazing girl! We chat and exchange emails regularly. She often will sense when I am stressed and send me an email or call to let me know that I am on her heart and she is praying for me. We always end our conversations by saying "I love you." She is like a little sister to me. We have made plans to meet (she lives in another state) and have a girls day out filled with shopping and pedicures (because she know that I am constantly surrounded by little boys!) I know that Elaini is meant to be in my life but, I NEVER dreamed I could meet a friend like her selling hospital gowns online! Marissa is in remission and in good health. After receiving emails from Marissa's grateful mother, getting daily updates/prayer request for Marissa and seeing her beautiful photos we feel like we know her and are so thankful for her miraculous recovery. We also realized the need to create a line of gowns for women and young girls like Marissa who really need to be uplifted. I'll never forget the email I received from Marissa's mother. She wrote to tell me that Marissa got up that day to take a shower so she could wear her new gown. This seems like such an ordinary task but, for a mother who has watched her daughter lay in a hospital bed day after day this was a huge feat! If you would like to read more about Elaini's story visit Radical Womanhood
We will proudly introduce the Grace Collection this Summer. Until then, please let us know if you have a special request and we will do whatever we can to make it happen!
the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.