I went to my junior prom with a guy friend. It wasn’t technically a date, we were great friends and just wanted a no stress night of fun. I searched for a dress for weeks. Some of my friends had theirs made by professionals and some bought theirs at the mall. I had my eye set on the prettiest, most,unique dress that I could find. It was at a little boutique in my neighborhood where not only some of my friends worked but some of my moms friends worked there as well. I tried it on, it was perfect so I put it on hold so that my dad could go buy it. He surprisingly actually went and bought it for me and brought it to my house a few nights before prom. The night of my prom was also the night that my moms new boyfriend was going to come to our house and meet me for the first time. Oh thrilling, I couldn’t wait. I got dressed and went out in to the living room where my mom and the new guy were hanging out. I said a pleasant hello and then hurried out, I was after all on my way to prom and way too cool to hang out with the old people. I danced the night away and made some amazing memories. When I got home that night my mom asked what i thought about her boyfriend. I said he looked old, that was it. I had a major teenager attitude. But there was something that I didn’t know about that night for a very long time. The day before my prom, my moms friend who worked at that cute boutique called her to inform her that the check my dad had written for the dress was not a real check. I don’t know for sure if he made his own checks or if he stole someones but they wanted the dress returned quietly so that neither mom nor I would be embarrassed. Prom night came and I still got to wear the dress. I had no idea what had happened. So how was I wearing the dress that night? My mom had called her boyfriend very upset and told him the story, for support, not to get anything out of him. This man that I had never met went to that boutique without my mom or I knowing and paid for the dress. I walked out into my living room that night in the dress that my future stepfather had just bought for me and introduced myself to him. I judged him by his looks at that moment, acted like he wasn’t anything special and I left without so much as a hug. My mom didn’t tell me what he had done that day for a very long time. She wanted me to like him for who he was and not that he had spent money on me. He didn’t do it to impress me or win me over either, he was already in love with my mom which made him in love with her daughter too. That has been one of my biggest life lessons to this very day. Who was I do judge him when I didn’t know him. How dare I walk out and flaunt that beautiful dress as though I deserved it. He is still my stepfather now and would still do that act of kindness for me if given the chance. Because of that moment I have tried very hard to raise my girls not to judge anyone and I have to remind myself everyday not to do the same. God makes our heart far more beautiful than He makes our outward appearance. I think that making us look different from each other was His greatest idea. We have to get to know each others hearts to love each other. Lets pray “God, forgive me for not being able to look past outward appearance and see directly to the heart. Help me to seek everyone’s inner beauty. Guide me to teach my daughters that we are not valued by our looks. In Jesus name, Amen”. I have to say that my stepfather is silly, handsome, funny, hardworking, honest and strong but….he kind of looks like a turtle…there I said it. I love him.