When You Need a Cure For Withering

We drove to the ballet studio, chatting away. In a moment my wedding dress filled our girl talk. Your little girl wedding dreams glowing on your face. As you stepped out of the car, and I watched you walk away, I had one thought.

Just one.

Please, my beautiful girl. Please don’t wither.

You don’t understand what I mean. I know. But I’m serious about this, this speaking of important things. I want to clutch you by the shoulders, look deep into those brown eyes that unmask your stories, and tell you straight—don’t wither.

Daily, I’m a witness to the withering. Young teenage girls shrinking into themselves. Drawing their souls deeper, wearing only the shell of who they once were.

When you were three, one of my great joys was to watch you dance. You danced everywhere you went. You paid no attention to those watching. A praise song would fill the church while you danced the aisles. The sweet matriarchs would nod their angel-white hair and smile as you twirled, your dress spinning, light shining.

You’re eleven now. Mighty, strong. Intelligent, kind, beautiful. You stand on the edge of a precipice—teetering, inching closer to the years that will define and shape your life in unimaginable ways.

The other night you asked me to lay in bed with you—to snuggle. You tucked your head in my shoulder with a book in your hand. You read as I pulled fingers through the silk of your hair. I soaked in your presence, your beautiful heart, your brilliant light.

My heart was so full.

You wondered what I was doing as you turned pages. I was praying, baby girl. Praying you wouldn’t wither.

Praying you wouldn’t shrink away from the amazing human at your essence. Because it sometimes happens. As women we can forget who we really are. There is a point in our lives when we being to worry.

We wither because we worry. Worry the world may laugh.

We become afraid and allow that fear to guide our decisions, our actions, our dreams. Because if we’re too smart, the boys won’t flirt with us. If we’re too bold, other girls may exclude us. If we like sports too much. If we’re too pretty. If we’re not pretty enough. If we wear the wrong clothes. If. If. If…

My precious girl? We can if our way into an empty shell. We can if our way into a weakened spirit who no longer dances because the world is watching. And that woman? That girl? She holds no joy in her heart because she no longer lives as the one she was created to be.

And I watch this every day. Girls trying so hard. I watch their giggles, their flirtations, their masks. I keep watching when they turn away and the crowd is gone.

I watch them when the mask is removed.

Their eyes don’t sparkle. Their lips turn down. And their shoulders sag from the burden they carry. The burden of withering. The burden of loosing themselves.

It breaks my heart.

Because our God did not create us for withering.

My darling? You don’t have to dance down aisles.

But you do need to stand tall.

The cure for withering? Standing tall in your Creator. Know there is only One to please. He is the God who fashioned you, created you, perfected you.

If you allow it? The world will only ever stomp the words “You’re not enough” into your soul.

But Jesus? He’s there whispering You’re always enough because I made you so.

You’re always enough because He made you so.

Listen to His voice when the world flings fear and hurls hate at all you’re meant to be. Because it will. And you’ll want to wither and shrink and hide away from the pain the world digs deep into your heart.

You’ll be tempted to become the world’s version of yourself. It’s easier. It shields you from pain. But you will never be happy. Because the world’s version of you? It’s all gray and lackluster.

No brilliance will ever shine from that you.

But when you stand tall in Him?

You become a prism, angled to reflect His glorious light—more dazzling than the world can begin to handle.

Tomorrow I will paint your nails. You will dress fancy and slip on sparkly shoes. We will curl your hair, and I may even let you wear lip gloss. Your Daddy, your first Prince Charming, will open the car door and escort you to your last Father-Daughter dance.

Your last before your wedding.

I will stand in the driveway, a tear in the corner of my eye, wishing the days were slower and the years even longer. Praying my beautiful girl, who twirls through life, will refuse to wither.

LIVEFREETHURSDAY-300x300Linking up with my friend, Suzie Eller and learning to Live Free. I’d love for you to visit her community here. You will be blessed and encouraged.

God-sized Dreams

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13 Responses to When You Need a Cure For Withering

  1. Roberta Fish says:

    Heather, this touched my heart on many levels. Thank-you.

  2. Joanna Adicks Wallace says:

    O.K. The tears came. Why does it take so many years before we allow God to fill us so completely that the withering no longer exists? May He bless our daughters and granddaughters so that they continue to dance unashamedly.

  3. I teach 8th grade and have a 16 year old daughter of my own. Here is a video I have shared with them. I see so many of my students with little self-worth. I think you will enjoy this song…Colbie Calliat…TRY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXoZLPSw8U8

    • Melynda, Thank you so much for your response. And the video is absolutely fantastic. I saw it several months ago, but love that you brought it back to the forefront of my mind because it is just. so. beautiful…I’m sure you are a blessing for your students! Some days is rough, right?!

  4. My friend, Allison, forwarded me this link to your blog. I’m so glad she did.
    I’m a local blogger too – who has three girls – 18, 15 and 6; all have, (and one is currently) attending RLE here in Lake County.

    Loved what you had to say. Thanks so much for sharing. And just as Melynda shared a link to the Colbie Caillat song, here’ s a link to a video of a song I recently shared on my own blog. (2nd video in the post – not the first one).

    http://www.pnpflowersinc.com/2015/01/Louisa-Wendorff-Blank-Space-Taylor-Swift-Cover.html

    It’s a “mash-up” of three different songs, all very powerful, about self-esteem and self-confidence…one of which includes “Try”.

    I hope you’ll take a minute to listen to it – and I hope it touches you as your post touched me!

    • Jessica, thank you so much for taking the time to comment and share that powerful video. Loved it for sure! I also loved taking a peek at your blog. Just beautiful. LC girls definitely need to stick together. Maybe we’ll bump into each other sometime. I think I already met your sweet youngest at Allison’s one afternoon when I was picking up my Ella:-) Thanks so much for your encouragement!

      • pnpflowers says:

        Thank you Heather! I really appreciate that you peeked at my blog but especially happy you liked the video. I’m certain we will bump into each other!! I look forward to it!! And I’m happy to be following you on FB. Are you on Instagram by chance too? Let me know.

        • It’s funny you ask about Instagram…I JUST joined last night! Ahaha! My user name is heatheriseminger…You can also just click on the link in the right-hand sidebar on the blog. I’ll look for you there too!

  5. Suzie Eller says:

    I love this. So beautiful!

  6. This is absolutely beautiful. I forwarded this to my daughter because you said everything I wish I could put into words for her. Oh, I love this soooo much!

  7. Leslie says:

    SO, SO GOOD! As usual!! Love! thank you!!

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