I usually end the monthly blogs with a question or two to ponder on, so I thought I would be different with this blog and start with a question…
Do you like to dance?
When you hear a song that has a good beat, do you throw caution to the wind and just dance without worrying about what other people think?
I have been told many times that “I have no rhythm.” The top half of my body just doesn’t move in sync with the bottom half when I try dancing. I used to jokingly say that it was ‘against my religion’ to dance, but that would never fly, as most of the people I hung around were also Catholic, and they knew that was not true. As much as I really wanted to have fun and dance, I just was not willing to take the risk, be vulnerable, and let myself go.
What if I changed up the question a little bit: Do you dance with the Lord?
I am learning to dance with the Lord which means learning to let go, stepping into His arms, even onto His feet, and letting Him take the lead. I felt I had no rhythm spiritually. I didn’t think my prayers flowed with grace but were instead choppy with a bunch of “ums” thrown in as I searched for the words to say. Also, I was afraid to lead prayer for others, falling in the trap of comparison believing that everyone else was much better at it than me.
I heard for the first time in many years Lee Ann Womack’s song “I Hope You Dance.” It was a favourite song of mine when it first came out and has since become a favourite once again. The refrain of the song is what hits me every time.
“I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,
I hope you dance.”
When I hear the last line about sitting out or dancing, I know in my heart I have been doing a lot of sitting out in my life. I could be a bit of a wallflower. I believed the lie that it is easier to sit out and watch other people have fun and be happy than to take a risk, fall, and make a fool of myself. This even happens with prayer ministry, or simply sharing a word from God’s heart with others. I had convinced myself that I did not know how to evangelize. I allowed that lie to take root in my life and I used the “no rhythm excuse” and became stuck in thinking, “I don’t know the words to say when I pray” or “I don’t hear God’s voice like others do” or even “I can’t do this!” Sound familiar to you? I am pretty sure I am not the only one that says these things.
But something is so new in my heart! Throughout the song, I can hear Father God inviting me to dance with Him. It only takes my yes to His invitation. No matter how old I may be, He will still let me stand on His feet as He teaches me to dance. In order to learn to dance, I realize I need to keep taking risks, getting out of my comfort zone, and going for it. Yes, there will be times when I fall, times when I may feel like a wallflower or want to just sit out, but I want to get on the dance floor and fall in His arms.
Something big happened in my heart and in my prayer time with Father God. Recently through prayer, I gave back these lies to the Lord, grabbed my dancing shoes and started to dance! He has shown me that even if I stumble and fall, He will reach out His hand and help me get back on my feet. Growing up, I was told many times the old saying that “practice makes perfect.” However, I recently have learned that it is more about progress, not perfection. Everyone must start somewhere, and it is rarely smooth at the beginning. It is in practicing that the footing is worked out, and the steps become easier.
Lately, I have been following my deep desire to dance with the Lord by taking small steps of faith out on God’s dance floor and offering prayer for others. What might feel unnatural and wobbly right now, will eventually become more natural and flow nicely. For instance, after Mass one day, I surprised myself by asking people if I could pray with them. I was the one initiating the prayer, and I was following the Holy Spirit’s lead. I am still a bit nervous when it comes to praying with others when He leads me, but as I allow myself to be more open and vulnerable to Him, He will continue to teach me the steps. In His eyes I know I’ll be graceful and He’ll lead me. This excitement to dance is very freeing because dancing is no longer tied to fear. And I am going to respond to the Lord when I see him with His hand outstretched saying to me, “May I have this dance?”
It is always fun to partner with the Lord, and to be honest, come on, He has to be the best dance partner! So, what do you think, are you ready to hop on His feet and let Him lead and teach you to dance?
This is a great song to start dancing with Father God today!