For whatever reason, despite the fact that my daughter LOVES LOVES LOVES the idea of ballet... when presented to the class weekly to actually DO IT... she crumbles. Take the first class for example, she stood as she was told on the yellow line... but REFUSED, absolutely refused, to do anything. An hour later, upon arriving to our living room she said, "Mommy, watch me do ballet." and she showed me every bit of the routine she was taught in class.
This week, it was more than just "I'm not doing it." This week, it was an outward display of just how much she didn't want to be standing obediently on that yellow line. This week, it was tears streaming down her face relentlessly, with no pause. For thirty minutes I watched as my daughter was the only child not actively participating, not involved, NOT ENJOYING HERSELF. This week, I questioned repetitively, not just to myself but the mother next to me, "Do I get her? Do I allow her to come over to me? Do I not make her plow through the initial stages of discomfort when I know full well she will LOVE ballet once she is comfortable with the people involved?"
Thankfully the mother confirmed what I already believed, "Leave her there. It's not like you've left her presence. You're right here and if she really needs you... you're only a cry away."
I left her there to cry through ALL of tap. And then she came over to change into her ballet shoes. I softly whispered to her, "You'll enjoy it more if you participate. I know you know how to do this- and I'm right here if you need me. " (And maybe I said something like, "I'll take you shopping for a toy, I'll buy you ice cream, I'll give you whatever you want kid JUST DO BALLET."... just kidding... about the last statement that is.)
I settled into my metal chair, preparing to endure another 30 minutes of her tears when the teacher told them all to get into 1st position. The mother next to me leaned in to say that Kylee moved her feet. I assured her that's just how she stands but the teacher, as surprised as the mother next to me... told the kids to reset and do it all again so I could see it for myself. My daughter moved into first position. To which a deliberate glance back accompanied by the biggest smile in which to confirm her joy in ballet, her comfort in the class, and assuredly the confirmation that I owed her a trip Target AND Dairy Queen... made my little heart leap inside.
The teacher also shot me a few looks throughout the next 30 minutes. Looks as if to ask, "What the heck did you say to that kid while putting her ballet shoes on?" K-girl did EVERYTHING. And she did it well. (She should have as she practiced daily between classes.) The teacher was so shocked she picked her to be the leader for 'follow the leader'. And K-girl led everyone happily.
At the end of class I said to her, "Sweetheart, you will have just as much fun next week doing tap as you did today with ballet... all you have to do is DO IT."
She hasn't stopped smiling since.
I've spent a large part of this week thanking God for easing K's fears in her class, helping her to be comfortable and allowing her to have fun. And I have to tell you that I haven't missed the lesson here either. How often God calls me to things that I don't want to do, I don't feel comfortable in the setting, and I dig my heels in. I resist with everything in me. I don't disrupt, I don't hold up the process around me, I stay on the yellow line but refuse to do anything. And God sees me. God stays with me. He is never out of my presence. He is just a cry away. But He also doesn't allow me to quit. Give up. Walk away. And then it happens. I give in. I try. I do it His way. And He is so proud of me. And I enjoy myself. And sometimes He even calls me to be the leader.
How much more does God delight in me when I do what He asks of me without the process of digging my heels in? But even when I dig my heels in... how much is He pulling for me? How much does it pain Him to see me miserable simply because I resist His will for me? And to what extent does He dance over me when I forfeit my stubbornness and commit to His desire for me?
2 Timothy says that "Even when we are faithless, God is faithful. For He cannot disown Himself." How amazing that God is faithful to us despite our faithlessness. I grasp that but in such a small way... I wouldn't have turned my back on K-girl either... even if she refused to participate in any part of that class.
And K-girl learned her own little lesson too. Philippians 4:13 (her new scripture verse for the week...) I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST THAT GIVES ME STRENGTH.
Oh boy can she ever!!!