Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Consider it Joy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. ~ James 1:2

I know that for me, I do not naturally rejoice when I face trials.  Rather, I inwardly shake my head at them, despise them, and try everything I can to get rid of them.  Being a parent has had it's fair share of struggles, but none so hard as to watch my own child(ren) begin to struggle with the same things that I have struggled through in this world.  Even though she's only 3, she's already learning about persevering through trials.  Now, these are not life changing tragedies, or suffering as many children in this world may know. But, still, they are trials that my little girl is beginning to face.
Just a few months ago, my daughter began dance.  She absolutely loved it, and as you can see, has even taken to being in dance clothes all the time; pretending she is in dance, or on her way to dance, or changing into dance clothes at school getting ready for dance, etc. etc. 
One day while we were talking, I mentioned excitedly that dance was that day.  And it was the first time I saw sadness about it.  She looked up at me, and then kind of slouched down, sighed, and then threw her head in her hands and said, "But, Mom, I can't do the HIP!"  and I knew what she meant.  She meant she couldn't skip, or hop.  Combined, it comes out as "hip".  My heart sank, as I realized that she had realized that she wasn't doing what the other children were able to do, and that she was really trying to do it, but just couldn't get it.  So, we tried to work on it, and every week, she went to dance, and every week, she galloped, and did not skip.  And, I cheered every week when she came out, even though I knew that she knew, and she knew that I knew, that she hadn't skipped.  But she had tried.

Last week, I had to go somewhere, and when I came back to pick her up, her dance teacher came out with her, and said really loud, "She skipped!"  I could tell that River was beaming, and as proud as she could be.  Of course, I hated myself for not being there, and seeing the result of so much determination and effort.  But I knew there would be another chance.  

And there was.

This week was parent observation week.  It was really fun to go in and be there up close, and be able to see her being excited about dance class, and all that she's doing.  It came time for the across the floor stuff, and she lined up, where she knew she was to be...first.  I think because she's the smallest, and they go smallest to tallest.  Ms. Suzanne stood at one end of the room, and the girls lined up on the other side, ready to skip all the way to her, and then jump up and hit the drum when they reached her.  When Ms. Suzanne had said that she had skipped, I just pictured in my head a normal paced skip, slow, but steady, around the room.  Well, my little one, wasn't quite that fast.  She was precious.  

She took one step, and then held that leg up, and hopped.  Then the other foot, step, up, hop.  The other, step, up hop, step, up hop, step, up, hop.  Slowly, mind you, very slowly, she made her way, all the way to Ms. Suzanne.
Without fear, without insecurity, just knowing, she put her mind to it, and however long it would take, she would make it.

And she did.

My eyes were wet with tears, and I knew that she had been able to have joy in the midst of the struggle.  She had persevered through, and come out on the other side. 

This is when I had first started taking dance.
I had to find this pic when I had taken the one of her in the same pose.  The only difference is my wonder woman band aid on my forehead.   

1 comment:

Jenny said...

love it! you have a beautiful little dancer and i'm so proud of her for learning to "hip." and you write beautifully...isn't it cool the life analogies God gives us?