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Wright Words: Prom shoes and children

Published: Monday, Aug. 31 2015 3:55 p.m. MDT

Oakli Wright before leaving for prom.  (Kodi Wright Photography) Oakli Wright before leaving for prom. (Kodi Wright Photography)

This weekend my oldest daughter, Oakli, a junior in high school, attended her first prom. Her mother did her hair, her younger sister did her nails and she wore a beautiful dress made by the loving hands of her grandmother.

The entire ensemble was exquisite, but as she walked out the door with her handsome date for the evening, it was her shoes that made me nostalgic.

Shoes.

Oh my, how those shoes have changed since she was my little girl.

As an infant fresh from heaven, her spirit and body still becoming acquainted, we put white shoes on her pink feet long before she would take her first steps.

Shoes.

Michael Rees poses a very important question to an unsuspecting Oakli Wright. (Jason Wright) Michael Rees poses a very important question to an unsuspecting Oakli Wright. (Jason Wright)

Later, we dressed her in shiny black shoes befitting a princess at a ball. Once again, we put those on her innocent feet ages before she actually needed them.

She played dress up and stumbled like an awkward angel around our tiny home in her mother's high heels. Like most kids, she even wore her first pair of tennis shoes years before she could have scored the winning goal or won the 100 meters.

Shoes.

They represent the future. Potential. Dreams. Greatness.

Maybe we put our children in shoes of all kinds before they fully understand what they can accomplish while wearing them.

Because maybe that's what God does.

He gives us feet. He gives us hands. He gives us a heart before we grasp the amazing things we will do with them all.

Michael Rees and Oakli Wright posed for a photo moments after she accepted his prom invitation. The two went as friends to the Central High School prom in Woodstock, Va., on May 4, 2013. (Jason Wright) Michael Rees and Oakli Wright posed for a photo moments after she accepted his prom invitation. The two went as friends to the Central High School prom in Woodstock, Va., on May 4, 2013. (Jason Wright)

He prepares us. He tests us. He lets us stumble, fall and get back up.

He gives us shoes.

A year from now, my daughter will pack up all her shoes and walk out the front door wearing her most comfortable pair. She'll glide into the world with shoes to dance, shoes to serve and shoes to worship him in.

And maybe, if we're lucky, her mother and I will have prepared her to wear shoes that will eventually carry her home for a long embrace.

Because maybe that's what God does.

Jason F. Wright is a New York Times best-selling author of 10 books, including "Christmas Jars," "The Wednesday Letters," and "The 96th Annual Apple Valley Barn Dance." He can be reached at jwright@deseretnews.com or jasonfwright.com.

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