“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.”
These words are echoing in my head and not just because I have to dance to them in less than four hours and I have no choreography. They are echoing in my head because there was a time I never thought I’d dance again. The physical weight, the mental stress, the memories of being told I wasn’t good enough, I didn’t have the right body type, my technique was bad, I danced too hard, I wasn’t in the clique, it destroyed my desire to exercise the gift I knew God had put in my body. I remember, as a child, handwriting letters to Mayfair Academy and Sammy Dyer literally BEGGING for scholarships since my parents could not afford dance lessons. I sent away for brochures and price lists SEVERAL times and privately kept them, hoping one day, I’d be able to do what the other girls did, put on makeup (well, I didn’t so much enjoy that part), dress up in pretty bright costumes (well, actually I hated bright colors) and have all of my family and friends come watch me perform (well, actually, I was really shy). What I really wanted was the opportunity to learn more about what I knew was inside of me and get better at it. I picked up a little bit here and there in dance classes in high school and college and managed to make my way onto dance and performance teams based on sheer will and hard work but I always felt left behind.
And then there was grace. I was lost in the idea of dance. Lost in what other people thought I should be and how I should be it and how I should move and how I should look when I do it. And I dabbled here and there, unable to accept grace for what I felt like were my shortcomings, unable to accept that God was beckoning with what He had given me how He had given it to me.
And about ten years ago, I was found. Sort of. I started dancing with NEEMA International Performing Arts when I moved to Alabama. And I, honestly, cannot remember a show when I didn’t have an emotional battle hours before I went on stage. And I sing “Amazing Grace,”, I’ll admit I’m having one. I’ve had bronchitis this week. My hip has been out of socket for days. My achilles is flared up. I cannot move like I did this time last year. And, mentally, I sort of want to just grab me a program and watch from the audience. But grace says, “no.” Grace says, “From where you are, tell how you were found, not fixed. Tell how you can see grace from where you are and not how you have it all together and no longer need to keep your eyes open. Tell your true story. The story of that wretch….all of it. Accept grace and pass it on.”
Tonight, I dance in grace, for every time I thought of myself otherwise and felt like I couldn’t get it together and go forward.
“Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already comes; ‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.”
The winner of the FRS Giveaway is Colleen! Thanks to all for entering! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize. Congratulations!