The other night, music softly playing in the background, I watched you dance. I peeked around the corner so you couldn’t see me because I knew if did, you’d stop.
I was right.
When you were just a little bug-of-a-girl, you would twirl. Everywhere you went, your soul found the music and you would spin. Grocery aisles and church aisles. Nothing was safe from your dance.
You didn’t care who watched.
Your tiny body laughed as joy bubbled while your dress spun straight out. Your cheeky smile still fills the space of my mind where memories live.
When did you stop twirling?
You may dance in your ballet shoes for audiences, for your instructors, for practice, but somewhere along the way—this way toward adolescence—you stopped twirling.
I can’t blame you. Because somewhere along the way I stopped twirling too.
My sweet girl. I don’t know what this is—this afraid to dance to the music of our own souls when others are watching. But I know we’re not the only ones.
Women, girls everywhere have stopped too.
Sisters, when did we stop spinning joy? When did we allow our own insecurities to take up residence in our hearts? When did we force ourselves into hiding?
I remember the teacher who put my desk behind the filing cabinet in first grade because I couldn’t sit still or stay quiet. Maybe it was then.
Or it could have been the bully in fourth grade that punched me in the stomach. I can’t remember why.
Or possibly it was the friend in sixth grade that told me to suck in so I didn’t look fat.
Or there was the note I found at camp where the cute boy had written I was ugly.
Or maybe it was all those times and the others.
You see, my darling. We tend to listen to the loudest voices. To the voices that cause great pain. I don’t know why, but we do.
We allow the wrong people to define who we are. And those wrong people? We’re afraid of them. Afraid of what they might think of our twirling and spinning and dancing through life. Even if they’re not around—we’re afraid of them.
Isn’t that crazy?
We allow a world that really isn’t watching to keep us from dancing through the only life we are gifted to live. We allow those who bully and laugh and point fingers to tell us who we are.
This is not God’s desire for you. And only your Creator, the One who breathed life into your soul, can define you.
His voice, His soft whisper, is the one to cling to. The voice that pulls you close, reminding you that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are a young woman of beauty. Of strength. Of dignity.
I know it’s easy to say don’t worry about what others might think. So easy to say those words…
But to live them?
Sometimes we can’t see the top of the wall we must scale to overcome our insecurities, our awkwardness.
So maybe, my sweet girl, maybe if we joined together? You and me and our sisters—the wives and mothers and daughters of our world. If we joined together and learned to twirl again?
Because being a woman is something to twirl about.
It will take all of our courage. We will need to be brave. But we can do this. And we’ll be glad we did.
I’m desperate for us to lift our arms together toward the heavens, wherever we stand, and begin swaying to the music of our own hearts. Dancing to the rhythms of our individual souls. Twirling for the One who gave us each our own song.
What a breathtaking site that would be.
My sweet girl. Shall we dance?