As they prepared to present their first drama sketch in front of their peers at Youth Group, I told my youth drama team,
“Be brave. Be fearless!”
Without putting aside all their fears of what people will think and all the what if’s that their brains with inflict on them, they will not be able to step out of their comfort zones and perform to their fullest.
It was 5 am when I took over the long Ohio leg of our return journey home from New York. As my family slept, my heart was breaking. While memories of the past week flooded my mind and worship songs from my Ipod fought to fill the space that was rapidly filling with pain, I asked God, “What do you want me to do with this? What am I supposed to do now?”
“I want you to be brave. I want you to be fearless.”
I’m tired of hiding . I’m tired of hiding who I really am. I’m tired of letting my past define me. I want to break away for good.
But I would have to be brave.
I would have to be fearless.
I would have to set boundaries that I am not sure I have the guts to set.
I would have to tell a story that hasn’t fully been told.
Be brave. Be fearless.
I would have to step out in front of a firing squad that would take dead aim at me.
I would have to allow myself to be vulnerable.
Be brave. Be fearless.
I started writing this post a couple of weeks ago and then I left it. I guess I wasn’t ready to be brave or fearless.
But I haven’t stopped listening to Him. He has been speaking a lot lately. I could ignore Him out of fear that He is going to force me to be fearless and brave and I, well, I am really a wimp. But I am choosing to listen. Why? Because His words have reminded me of what fearless and brave look like.
It is a dance.
I first saw the dance in December 1990, when I watched this frail, yet beautiful woman dancing with Him. I thought I was dancing with Him. I thought I was in partnership with Him on the dance floor and He was leading. But when I saw her dance, I knew she had a completely different partner. She trusted her Partner whole heartedly to lead, and yet, my trust in my partner was waning. My partner was dressed in fine clothing that made him seem to be the perfect partner, but his lead was not a tender, yet strong leading. It was forceful and controlling. There was no room for mistakes on our dance floor.
I found myself longing to have her partner. To feel, just for a moment, what it would like to let Him lead. But the pull and control of my partner was strong and I wasn’t sure I could ever pull away from this dance we shared.
She was a true friend to me. She loved me and prayed for me and never stopped caring for me. She spoke to me with truth, honesty, and love. But she never stopped dancing. She stayed firmly in His grasp, continuing to let Him keep leading her. She never tried to pull me away from my partner, no matter how much she wanted to, and force me to take hers. She just kept dancing. Kept dancing. Kept dancing. His grasp was the most important thing to her. And as much as she wanted me to experience that dance, it was too precious to her to let go of.
I watched her dance with Him through happy days.
I watched her dance with Him through diagnosis.
I watched her dance with Him in a bandana covering her baldness.
I watched her dance with Him on her death-bed.
And I watched Him lead her onto the eternal dance floor of heaven.
Because of her dance, it made me want to leave the partner I was with and let Him lead me. I wanted to dance that beautiful dance.
She showed me how to be brave. She showed me how to be fearless.
This was what God whispered to me this week…”Being brave and fearless doesn’t mean that you will force others to take MY HAND in this dance. It means that no matter what happens, YOU never let go of MY HAND. Not for a second. Not for a moment. Don’t let go out of shame or embarrassment. Don’t let go out of fear. Don’t let go because it seems too hard.
Don’t let go…because if they see you with Me, then they see Me.”
I will be fearless as I lay my book proposal on the table. I will be brave when I present my Art on stage left. I will be fearless in a group of my peers, presenting my art through words in my own way.
And I will be brave as I foolishly dance this dance while others watch who do not know this dance orMy Partner.
And so, I will continue this dance with My Man on the dance floor that is uniquely ours. And with ever spin and dip along the way, I am confident that He will catch me. He will lead me.
And it will be a beautiful dance.
“Oh Lord I feel like dancing. It’s foolishness I know. But when The world has seen the light. They will dance with joy like I’m dancing now.”
This year, God has laid it on my heart to attend the She Speaks Conference in Charlotte, NC. She Speaks is a conference where women’s hearts connect with one another in a joint effort to connect other women to the heart of God. This is part of the dance that God wants me to join Him in, so I am following His lead to She Speaks.
If God is speaking to you about attending this conference, I would encourage you to visit A Holy Experience for a chance to win a scholarship to this incredible conference. You will also meet and beautiful woman, Ann Voscamp, whose book sits at my bedside filled with words that comfort me every night.
Dance to your fullest….