“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucious
The falls in life usher new seasons that change the chromatic scale of a soul.
When my life feels tangled up with complicated cords, I jump. Four years ago, my work and relationship empire began to crumble. Under pressure, I plunged from the pain and got twisted up in an exhilarating free fall that had me parachuting into the world of dance.
Some lessons later, I was swinging away the blues with a new focus. In class, I stumbled over the feet of a confident partner who was a little cocky in his push and pull, which I enjoyed. We swiveled West Coast Swing into any space we could.
The leaves formed and fell as my dancing feet moved with the rhythm of life. And then, a new season came, swaying my course into a new city. Reluctantly, I boxed up another chapter.
Dust settled on the shine of those dancing shoes as unfortunate circumstances chiseled away at the emotional edges of walls I had built.
I clung to my brokenness, and stuffed my soul with the false security of familiarity.
And yet, God met me with mercy in those tears, as He unwrapped the wounds and purified the bleeding pain. He revealed fresh layers of faith and revived buried passions.
This year has been a journey of beginnings. So it should not surprise you that last week, I took a leap right into Lindy Hop; back into the world of dance.
In the sway of those old songs, I was reminded a good dancer is one who follows the tender touch communicating which way go. This is a lesson for me in life, as sometimes it can be a struggle to restrain my tendency to control things with others and with God. Truthfully, I discovered a greater freedom in following the gentle nudges and flick of a wrist that send me sailing left over right in a thrilling twist of surprise and pure joy.
A dance begins on trust; otherwise, partners will fumble and fall over footwork. Expressions with the hands and body inspire each other in speechless conversations. I feel a blanket of peace covering my mistakes because I know this partner is a step ahead of me with his arms held out to catch me in a fall.
As you’ve been reading this, I hope you caught the reflection of God as your partner in the dance of life.
It can be difficult to close your eyes and concede control when you don’t know a companion, much less the dance. Yet, the only way to experience the thrill that comes with taking chances is to trust. Trust the One who is already ahead of you in the dance.
He will never let you go. Even when you’ve flung yourself so far away and gotten twisted up in the momentum of your mistakes, He’s always waiting to whirl you back in; He welcomes with open arms on the return.
When you place your confidence in the palm of His hand, this unspoken permission allows Him to gently shimmy you in the way to go. It also grants Him access to press into your steps to stop and steer the course before you spin out of control.
You may be like me, with a tendency to escape pain, the unknown, and sometimes things that seem too good to be true.
There is no escape from the grip of God’s grace, interwoven and wrapped around every fiber of our being. He goes with us into the dances we do around life’s hard stuff so that we can discover the deeper love from a Father who never walks away, no matter what we’ve done.
God leaves the pattern of His fingerprint on every experience we encounter. When we know the lines in His hand and let them sink deep into our hearts, the imprint of His image stamps our soul with the Spirit’s seamless whispers, ‘I love you, I love you’.
Press into Him and feel the beat of His heart. Get close enough to taste the breath escaping His lungs through His lips.
Pray. Study Him. Seek His attention.
Open your eyes and notice His personalized expressions of love and beauty surrounding you. His embrace is warm and tender, His heart is compassionate and kind. He is for you. The identity of your first love is waiting to be discovered. The King is asking you for this dance.