July 19, 2013

Dancing Alone

She danced by the brick retaining wall  in front of her home, wearing tan corduroy pants and giggling at nothing but being a girl and being alive. When she was alone she was always herself. She was free from the burden of sharp words and downward glances that came for no reason and any reason at all.  Alone, she could disappear into a world of thoughts and words and make-believe.

She had porcelain, doll-like skin speckled with freckles across her nose and cheeks, saucer blue eyes with lashes for miles, and a shy smile, but her nails were ragged from the gnawing of her teeth. She knew she was smart and the best athlete in the class, but at a very young age she knew she didn't belong.  It didn't matter about looks or ability or breeding, she just wasn't accepted the way God made her.  Alone was the only place she could find a home, and chewing her nails was all she could do to calm her nerves.  She read God's word daily from the age of eight, but the audible voices seemed to be louder than the One that spoke to her spirit.

Was it the shyness that made her a magnet for ridicule or did the ridicule make her shy?  As the years passed, she learned that it was both.  Early, and in the most vulnerable years of her life, lethal words flew easily through the air and into her heart, making her skeptical and unable to trust anyone at all, except herself.  Hearing over and over again all that was wrong with her, she turned inward, and when we turn inward, the world looks away because there isn't anything to see.  When we fear people, we give them power over our lives. When we build a wall thick enough to protect us, it also makes us invisible. We can't reach out, and others won't reach in.  

When we grow up believing we don’t belong, the emptiness that remains will become a hunger that we will seek to fill one way or another. We will keep seeking and finding nothing until we understand the love of the One who makes all things new. The emptiness is not something we grow out of; we have to be redeemed from it.  Thankfully, we can be.  Thankfully, we don't have to dance alone.


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16 comments:

  1. Beautiful words; I could relate to the little girl and am so glad that God can enter our lives and allow us to live in His grace.

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    1. Thank you. Jesus enters in to the very details of our lives, he truly does.

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  2. Love this. I was totally one of those alone kids. It has taken me a while to recognize that God is the only one who will fill that sense of longing to belong. Thanks for this post!

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    1. Thanks Sonja! I'm finding that there are a lot of women that were alone little girls, and in many ways that little girl still lives in them. God does fill us up if we allow him to. He is so good!

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  3. Beautiful post. I grew up shy, and therefore, often felt like I was on the fringe of things. Your words really touched me. You're right that God's love is what fills you up. Thanks for sharing. (Visiting from Faith Filled Friday linkup.)

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    1. I try to keep my eye out for people who seem to be "on the fringe of things" because I've been there and sometimes still feel that way, but I want to do what I can to make them feel welcome, to invite them in if they want to come.

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  4. Hi Stephanie, Wonderfully powerful post and reminder. I was ridiculed as a child and into my teens, looking for love in all the wrong places until I found Jesus. It is only His perfect love that can take a broken child and make them whole.
    Hugs, Noreen

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    1. Thanks! I'm always amazed at how God makes beautiful works of art out of our broken pieces.

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  5. That sort of describes my whole experience growing up until I went to college where there were so many different kinds of people I finally felt like fit in. But even as an adult that way of thinking still creeps in from time to time. I always have to remind myself I belong because God says I do and no one else has a say in it.

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    1. Colleen, I always got along with all kinds people, but I never got close to too many. After all, that was too risky! God is renewing us as we go along our path. It doesn't happen over night for sure! That old ugly head of fear definitely raises itself more than I'd like to admit!

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  6. What a heartfelt post Stephani. I knew/know folks like which you described and my heart just ached/aches for them. Thank goodness for a God that can fill any longing that we may have if we will allow Him too. May you have a wonderfully blessed weekend!

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    1. Thanks friend! The beautiful thing is that God makes us overcomers! We can overcome shyness, fearfulness, dread, inferiority, self-protection etc., etc., etc. Anything we lay at the foot of the cross becomes new and re-used for his purposes!

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  7. So beautiful! If only we could grasp how truly loved we are by the Father!
    ~Adrienne~

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