Karis takes ballet and jazz and once a month they "open the curtain" and allow the parents to watch through the glass window. We get there early on these days so Moriah and I can claim the seats right next to the window to watch our girl, proud to be her biggest fans.
Karis loves to dance. I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said she dances at least 2 hours a day. We got her a CD player for her birthday (Yep, they still sell those. Hard to find but they still sell them.) and she often chooses music over TV when given the option. If there is music near or far, she is moving. She is actually really good. Not really good in the way that all moms think their kids are the most awesome. Others tell me often how talented she is after she's showcased her splits, high kicks, twirls, and pointed toes.
Which is why this particular "open curtain" class was heartbreaking.
I watched my fiery, tenacious, determined, passionate girl stand in fear. Nearly paralyzed in it.
As you can see below the other girls in her class were being girls, not a single one of them being still, standing in first position with mouth shut and eyes on the teacher. Nope they are all squirming because they are five and we had our first cool front in Texas (which means we all lose our minds to be back in the 80s).
Except my girl. The cute one on the far right with the curly ponytail. Most parents would want that right? Their kid being respectful and quiet, obedience being our marker for good parenting. Which I'm all for and love that teachers often comment on how sweet Karis is.
However, as grateful as I am that she is respectful my heart aches because I know the respect is combined with fear. And I feel so helpless. And my heart aches. I sit at that window and I beg God to give her courage. I beg Him to remove the insecurity. I beg Him to give her confidence through dance. I trust that she will figure it out, that courage will come. But waiting for it to all click and come is heart wrenching.
I've stared at that picture at least 100 times since I took it. Each time my heart aches for her more. I'm desperate that my girl will be fully herself because she is awesome. I can't even handle it I love her so much. If I didn't want to slow down time so much, I'd want to speed it up to see what God does in and through her.
Not only is she awesome but she is really good at dancing and she loves it. My heart aches because she misses out on the joy she always feels when dancing.
Then today I read this after finally picking up 31 Days of Prayer for the Doer + the Dreamer by Jenn Sprinkle and Kelly Rucker and I read this:
I realized Karis and I are so similar and, oh, how God must ache over me too.
So often I stand paralyzed in fear, even the fear of doing the things I love most to do. Actually, often in fear of the things I love most. I want those things to be perfect, so I freeze knowing they aren't. I want to be as good as others who do similar things, and I freeze because I can't. I freeze because I feel too far behind or not good enough or ill-equipped or _____________.
Fear freezes me. But you know what? I'm starting to thaw out.
A year ago I stopped listening to the lies that kept me paralyzed. Every so often I listen again and I start moving with a limp. Then I remember what is true and I pick up pace again.
Today I'm living my dream job. Not perfect, not even close. But I wouldn't do anything else with my days. It took a long time to get here. It took a lot of jobs I didn't love. I needed those jobs, each one teaching me something different that I need today. I didn't know it at the time, I didn't understand God's ways then. Let's be honest, I still don't understand His ways! Ha! But I get there is a method to His (seemingly) madness.
This quote by Jenn is my new mantra:
May He fulfill the dreamer.
May I value being His.
My my passion be contagious.
Measured by strength.
Embracing struggle and journey.
Confident in His embrace.
Imperfect and choosing grace.