Discover more from On The Side of Grace
Dance with Abandon
On lessons from my daughter
Recently, my daughter, Ava, has been in the habit of going outside after dinner to dance and sing on the sidewalk. As I gaze at her through the window, it seems like she’s in her own world, unaware and unconcerned about who might be watching. There’s something so pure and sweet about this simple act.
I’m in awe of the freedom with which she moves, while at the same time I can’t deny that I fear such freedom. At ten years old, she’s on the verge of a new, complicated, confusing season of life. I’ve seen the change in her classmates over the last year, seen the ways that relational dynamics have shifted. And I worry. Will she stay true to who she is? Will she find belonging even as she resists the temptation to simply “fit in”? Will she feel the sting of rejection?
I don’t know at what age I learned to hide pieces of myself away in hopes of being accepted, but even as I approach 40, I’m still slowly unlearning that habit. I’ve feared rejection for too long, but I’ve come to see that losing myself to please others leaves a deeper scar. I pray that my sweet girl won’t fall into the same trap. I pray that instead of projecting my own insecurities onto her, that she will continue to show me how to be free. What a sweet gift it is when our children become our teachers.
Dance with Abandon
You dance with abandon Unaccompanied by music Letting a song flow from within Without thought of eyes upon you Without concern of ridicule I admit that it scares me at times To see you move with such freedom To hear you make your own beat Because I know the sting of rejection And I don’t want you to feel it, too But don’t let my fear cage you Don’t let me be the one To tame your wild and wonderful ways Rather let me delight in your heart’s tune Let me dance along in rhythm with you You, my dear, are brilliant You shine brighter than the stars Radiating beauty from within Inviting us all to have the courage To dance with abandon
In honor of Pride month, I offer gratitude to my queer friends who have also taught me what it is to dance with abandon. I’ve seen the fruit that comes from wrestling with their identity and faith, trusting in the love and faithfulness of God, and embracing themselves as fearfully and wonderfully made. I see the beauty in the ways they live freely and honestly and I’ve received such grace from these friends that invites me to know and embrace myself as beloved.
I invite you to take some time this month to listen to the stories of queer folks. Whatever theology or worldview you may hold, there is something to be gained from bearing witness to others’ stories – both the beauty and the pain.
Here are a few suggestions from queer Christians who offer a variety of perspectives…
Heavy Burdens: Seven Ways LGBTQ Christians Experience Harm in the Church by Bridget Eileen Rivera
Disclaimer: If you purchase a book from the affiliate links above, I will receive a small commission at no extra expense to you.
Thank you for subscribing to On the Side of Grace. This post is public so feel free to share it.
If you don’t want to miss a thing, upgrade to a paid subscription for just $5 per month!