Favorites February…Learning to Dance

In preparation for a writer’s conference at the end of this February, I will be posting some of your favorite blogs and some of mine. Today’s blog, Learning to Dance, is a revised version of A Time to Dance. Please enjoy the truths God still speaks into my heart.

Since my daughter could walk, she has danced. I can remember taking Ella to special events at church during her preschool years. As soon as the music began, she would float and twirl in the aisles.

Pure joy shone on her little face when she danced. She just couldn’t help herself. We knew without a doubt, God created her very soul to dance.

For over five years now she has taken formal lessons and always anticipates the recital with bubbling excitement. But last year, just two weeks before the annual performance, the unthinkable happened. My sweet girl, with a dancer’s soul, fractured her foot in two places.

My heart fractured into two pieces. I will never forget driving home from the specialist’s office. My throat thick with emotion, I had to make sure she understood she would not dance in the ballet she had worked on for months. I could see tears pooling in her eyes reflected by the rearview mirror.

Her incredible instructor reworked the choreography so Ella could still be in the ballet with her class. She would do all of the upper-body movements from the same place on stage. But my little girl was still broken-hearted. She wanted to dance!

Who am I kidding? I desperately wanted to see her dance! I was broken-hearted too. The rehearsals leading up to the performance were difficult for her, as she could only sit and watch her classmates. More than once, I questioned my wisdom in allowing her to participate at all.

She wouldn’t have had to watch all the other dancers freely jete around her stationary position on stage. It was painful for her and gut wrenching for me as her momma.

The night of the performance, I struggled to leave her backstage. Would she be okay? Did I do the right thing? What if she decides she can’t go through with it? I sat in my seat anxiously waiting for her dance.

At last, the notes I knew by heart began to play over the speakers. With my stomach flipping back and forth I watched as my daughter and her classmates entered from stage right.

A Time to DanceWhat I saw took my breath away. Tears filled my eyes as I witnessed my daughter dance. From her stationary position, Ella Grace danced from her very soul without ever moving her feet.

Her smile encouraged me.

Her bravery moved me.

Her joy inspired me.

My daughter danced. Oh, how she danced!

We move through our endless days broken. Isn’t our heart often fractured into pieces, waiting to be mended? Aren’t we often asked to stand on the stage of life and watch the world dance around us?

God doesn’t promise us a life without pain.

We often face difficult, life-altering moments that break us and leave us tiny fragments of what we once were. But there is such hope! My daughter taught me that often our brokenness could be so much worse, and God really does keep the evil one from destroying us.

She also taught me I can dance in spite of my brokenness. In spite of my pain, my frustration, my heartache, I too can learn to dance. And so I shall. Because maybe, just maybe, we only ever learn to really dance when we are broken.

Our Creator knows the music of our hearts. He has placed it there. We steal away the very breath of God when we begin to dance His song.

The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1&4, “There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven…a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.”

God has created us to dance. Our souls long for the deep joy it brings. My daughter dances with every ounce of her being—broken or not. She has taught me how to dance too.

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