It’s Harder Than It Looks

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Tonight one of my favorite television shows is back!! Dancing With The Stars: All Stars and I cannot wait!

If I had a bucket list, learning to dance like the contestants on DWTS would be near the top. Dancing has always been something I’ve admired from a distance. You see, dancing was taboo in my church when I was a kid. There are no memories of ballet shoes or fluffy tutus for this girl. But no matter how ‘bad’ dancing was, I couldn’t watch enough of it. My favorite movies were musicals with lots of dancing. Grease, Sound of Music, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Footloose, just to name a few.

Several years ago I went to a Captivating retreat out in Colorado. Everything about the weekend was breathtaking. However, I was completely caught off guard when one of our speakers started incorporating ‘dance’ themes into her talk about how we relate to God. The whole ‘letting him lead’ thing really messed me up. We watched clips from different movies about dance. I didn’t have enough Kleenex to sop up the mess. She hit a nerve that I didn’t even know existed. The pain was too much to deal with after a lifetime of watching from the sidelines, secretly wanting to be the beautiful girl being led around the ballroom by a handsome man. The desire to be swept up in the dance was too strong to ignore that day.

The Lord did a powerful work in my heart in the Rockies that day. He cut through the legalism. He asked me to dance. He dared me to take his hand and allow him to lead even when I don’t know the steps.

The truth is, I thought it would be easier. It isn’t.

My husband listened to me tell him about my ‘dance’ encounter with Jesus in Colorado. He watched ‘Shall We Dance?’ with me trying to understand what had got me so worked up. A few months later, he offered to take a beginning ballroom dance class with me. I had our class scheduled so fast we both had whiplash. I couldn’t wait!!

The truth is, I thought it would be easier. It wasn’t.

It was dang hard. Turns out I like to lead a lot more than follow. Allowing my husband to lead me around an elementary school gym floor was excruciating. We left many a class barely speaking to one another. So much for my romantic fantasy.

Too much of life feels like those dance classes right now. Jesus has asked me to trust him with our home, my children and their education, my job, vacations…the list goes on. He wants to lead.

It’s hard to follow even though I know it’s harder when I don’t.

Maybe you can relate.

My favorite dances to watch are the ones where there are a lot of stunts. You know, the dips, the flips, the crazy stuff. Watching from the sidelines is so much safer than participating. It’s also filled with regret, envy, and a whole lot of “I wonder if I could ever…”

These verses are reminding me that participating in the dance is the only way I’ll ever truly be safe:

“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble. I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party. I’ll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!”–Psalm 91:14-16 The Message

The God who is willing to rescue us and then throw a party (which would definitely include dancing!) extends his mighty hand and is asking

“May I have this dance for the rest of your life?”

He waits for our response. He wants to lead. We want to follow. Deep down, we really do. We just need a lot more practice. It’s harder than it looks, but it’s OK. He’ll teach us the steps.

Have you taken dance lessons? Have you wanted to? Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear your story.


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Julie

    Crazy! Just posted about the whole “letting Him lead” thing. SOOOOO much easier said than done. Your faith example has been an inspiration to me, though. Not only seeing you take the lessons and step out on the dance floor, but letting Him put your “routine” with Him center stage, for your friends and family to watch…the dance that has been your journey with Jesus (these past few weeks alone) is well deserving of a mirror ball trophy!!!

    1. Nichole

      You make me smile. You know if I had a mirror ball trophy to focus on I might be able to do anything. 😉

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