She was beauty, elegance and grace. Balancing faultlessly on one toe, she spun slowly to the dainty twinkling tones of “Ballerina”. Occasionally hanging up on a single note, she quickly regained her position to continue her magnificent endless performance. At least that was until I closed the lid.
A ballerina in a box; she was still the most beautiful thing I had seen and I dreamed of being just like her. Secretly, I hated shutting her up in the box. I would eventually learn to never close the lid on a dream.
I was six years old when I received the pink jewelry box with the tutu clad ballet dancer as its centerpiece. Soon I was looking for tutu alternatives in fabric, towels, even a blow-up swim ring. I tried numerous attempts of standing on my toes; however Red Ball tennis shoes did not make the grade when it came to pirouettes. I practiced the walk, the arabesques and the feet changes I had observed in the dancers on television. I could feel the dream unfolding inside me. In my mind, I was a ballerina!
I’m not sure what it was that attracted me to the fascination of the ballerina. My guess would be what all little girls admire - the gracefulness and elegance, as well as the talent and agility of standing on one toe and spinning at the same time. The ballerina seemed to exhibit strength, dignity and composure, always poised for the next graceful move. In time, my pink jewelry box, along with my swim ring tutu made its fated journey into the Land of the Lost.
Visions of ballerina slippers took a back seat to basketball shoes and pom-poms throughout virtually my entire school career. During my senior year of high school however, my English teacher offered a course in Creative Writing. I enjoyed it and surprisingly won a scholarship in a true-life story contest sponsored by a popular magazine.
“Keep writing”, she urged the week of high school graduation.
Keep writing? About what?
The years following would lead me through paths of opportunities as well as roadblocks and difficulty, teaching strength, grace and humility. All the while, I would occasionally pick up a pen and paper and jot down my thoughts, many times in the form of poetry. Sadly, I did not take it seriously, and either lost or tossed much of what I had written.
From the time of my youth, God has granted me glimpses of His providence. He has shown me areas that “hang me up” and I quickly returned to my position in Christ. Over the years, He has slowly but faithfully reopened the lid on my box of dreams, although His plans have been so much better than mine.
I never learned to do a graceful arabesque or a perfect pirouette. God did not desire for me to be a ballerina balancing on one toe and spinning in one place, but rather to be grounded in truth and walking in love. Such is His desire for each of us.
God of all glory, majesty, honor and power, Your ways are so much higher than our ways; and Your thoughts and so much higher than our thoughts, but You come down to where we are and meet us at our place of need. Give us the grace, Father, to seek out and accomplish Your will for our lives each day, becoming the person that You have designed us to be. In Jesus’ name, Amen.