To Have This Dance

My attempt at writing an otherwise 3rd person entry in 1st person. I think it started off artistically better than it ended, and I DEFINITELY shifted tense part-way through and didn’t feel like fixing it, but the message is there. I might keep adding to this since I felt like I rushed the ending a bit……… or re-write it in the 3rd person cuz I like writing that way better. ha.

Anywhoo, enjoy.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

In a tattered, weather-worn dress, I ran through the woods. It was pouring, and I needed shelter. As I continued to run, dim lights began to dot my vision before me. Though the trees still dip down and obscure my view, I realized that these lights must belong to a magnificent house.

And what a house it was! As I drew nearer, more and more lights come into focus. I came to an abrupt stop as I stood point blank in front of the mansion. My words were lost as I’d never seen such a sight in my life.

But I wouldn’t find shelter here. My hair was matted against my face, my clothes a mottled mess of mud and rain, clinging to me like a leech, my skin is caked with dirt and blood. No, I didn’t belong here. I should leave before anyone notices me staring from the yard.

As I turned to leave, I heard the front door of the luxurious mansion open. I wanted to run for it, but I just stood frozen, unsure what would happen next.

“Won’t you come in?” a kind voice called.

I turned around to meet him eye-to-eye. There wasn’t much to this man. On any other day, I probably wouldn’t have noticed him or remember his face. But as I stood only yards away from shelter, his face would be one I would never forget.

“It’s pouring out here!” he called again. Only then did I realize I was staring. “Come in and warm yourself up!”

Without passing another heartbeat, I tugged up my tattered skirt so I could run easier and bee-lined for the house.

Once inside, I was overwhelmed by the smell of roasting meats and fragrant wine. Warm, pillowy bread had just come out of the oven somewhere and was being taken to the guests for their sampling. I stood at the door, taking in the sight of so many well-dressed, smiling people, and all I could think about was how much I didn’t belong here.

My rescuer was whisked away almost instantly as many began to bombard him with a myriad of questions from his opinion on the wine, to his opinion of the house, to his opinion on some woman’s dress and hair. I was left alone at the entrance of the house, trying to ignore my hunger – hunger for food, for acceptance, for hope. I continued to observe while ignoring the disgusted looks on the faces of those who bothered to look my way.

From what I was able to gather from floating chatter, my rescuer’s name was Jesus, and this party was held in His honor. Exactly what He has done to have such an extravagant party was not the question. It was more like what hasn’t He done? Among the guests in the ballroom was a man who spent his entire life blind who received his sight from Him and a woman who had bled for twelve years who was healed by just touching His clothes. Then there was a soldier whose son was healed through his belief and a man who was once disabled, dancing and laughing with his two friends.

Some others seemed skeptical of this man, attending this event with the intent on learning more about Him in their own way, for their own intentions. Some scoffed at the mention of His stories. Others were curious. These people stood in my general area, looking into the ballroom.

Eventually, the man of the hour walked toward us, inviting the spectators to join in. Some eyed Him warily; others ignored Him completely.

I couldn’t take my eyes off Him.

There was a radiance from Him that I couldn’t quite figure out. It seemed to be coming from His very soul. The smile in His eyes was as handsome and inviting as the one on His face.

Still, others refused His invitation to join Him.

Then His gaze shifted to me.

“How about you?” He said. Then He extended His hand toward me. “Will you dance with Me?”

I couldn’t help but stare. Me? Wet and pathetic-looking after running for hours, days, in the rain? Dancing with this amazing and wonderful man?

His hand lingered in the air between us as I realized I hadn’t given Him my answer. As much as I wanted to throw open the door and run back out into the rain so that all of the nicely dressed people wouldn’t have the pleasure of staring at and pointing at and mocking me as I stood next to this Man in all His radiant splendor, my curiosity and attraction to Him overpowered all other thought.

Slowly and shyly, I slipped my hand into His and allowed Him to lead me to the ballroom.

As we began, my steps were awkward and heavy, stumbling over my feet and His multiple times.

“Let Me lead,” He whispered.

I looked at Him as a warm smile drew across His face. A flush rose to my cheeks as I turned away and nodded. Soon, all else was cast from my mind as I followed His graceful steps around the room.

Then suddenly, a voice cried from outside the ballroom.

“Look at Him! What kind of King associates Himself with the likes of that?”

At that, the crowd outside the room cackled with furious laughter. It was then that I realized how different we were. It was then that I came back to reality.

I look for the first time in what seemed like ages at my mud-stained dress, remembered my disheveled hair that hung in clumps and caked with dirt, my blistered feet and cut up skin from all the times I ran and fell.

A King.

It wasn’t good for a man with His reputation and standing to be seen with me. I began to loosen my grip on His hand and shoulder when He suddenly tightened His hold on me.

“You’re here with me. I invited you, so don’t think about everyone else here.” His voice was like diamonds – beautiful yet strong. He continued dancing with me as though nothing ever happened, spinning me and whirling me around and across the floor.

As the music drew to a close, He led me to a room filled with the most beautiful gowns I’d ever seen.

“Choose one,” He said simply.

My gasp caught in my throat as I registered what He had just said to me. He smiled and then left the room so I could change and clean up.

After dressing and deep cleaning, I retraced my steps back to the ballroom. I looked left and right, trying to spot Him. Then in the sea of faces, I saw Him – eyes warm with kindness and love, a smile laced with joy and pride. I gathered my courage and walked up to Him.

“Will You dance with me, my Lord?” I asked.

His smile stretched even wider as He held out His hand toward me. As we danced, I couldn’t help but think of how much this Man changed my life in such little time. Earlier in the evening, I was running through the woods in the biggest storm I’d ever encountered and covered head to toe with exhaustion and dirt from my journey. And now I’m in the most lavish house I’d ever seen, dressed in a beautiful gown and dancing with my Savior.

“Why me?” I asked.

He tilted His head slightly as if considering my question. “You accepted my invitation.”

“That’s it?” I was quite confused to say the least.

“You trusted Me to shelter you, and you took my hand and danced with Me.”

I lost all my words as I listened to His answer.

“Now, will you let me into your heart like I’ve taken you into Mine?”

As tears began to stream down my face, all I could do was nod and nod vigorously.

“I love You,” I blurted out. I was a little embarrassed having just met the Man not too long ago, but there’s no denying that in my heart, I truly loved Him for saving me.

“I love you, too,” He answered. “Since before you were born, I loved you.”

I knew from this that I wasn’t just a dirty girl in a nice dress. He’s washed me clean of the dirt that clung to my heart.

This Man saved me from the rain and gave me shelter. And He proceeded to save me by giving me identity and a foundation to stand on.

All I can be is thankful, and all I can do is serve Him. And with my whole heart, my whole mind, my whole soul, and my whole spirit, I will love Him because He loves me with all He is.

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rhizoo

Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD
And whose trust is the LORD.
For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.
-Jeremiah 17:7-8

The one who trusts in God will not be free from trials and adversity, but God will bring fruit and blessing in and through those difficulties.

Questions rise about her faith and how she can persevere. How is it possible to continue trusting the Most High when life burns her at every turn?

How can she blame Him when He is the reason she can stand strong and rise every time she is burned? Circumstances will never – or at least, should never – dictate one’s trust in their Lord. When we see our blessings, is God not still God? Likewise, when trials come, is God not still God? Does He not still hold our lives in His hands? Does our name not linger on His lips?

The reason for her inexplicable faith and trust in her Adonai?

Him.

He is the reason she can learn to stand, to walk, to dance. He plants her near a stream – a stream of Living Water – so that her roots will be sent out toward it. And when adversity comes, she can continue to draw from the stream and have life that makes her pleasing to Him. Her roots in this Stream will cause her to bear fruit even in the most difficult times of scarcity.

Those who desire to see her burn will never be be satisfied in their quest so long as her roots continue to extend deeper and deeper. When she rises, she will shake off the ashes and allow the wind to carry it away.

Her God never fails her, never leaves her, and is the very reason there is breath in her lungs. The breath He has given her is for her to praise Him, for her to bless Him.

This life is His. To be given breath for each morning is a gift worth more than all the gold and precious stones in the world.

Why wouldn’t she praise Him?

Who am I?

“They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you for I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD.

Who am I? Who am I that the God of the universe would even know my name and care about my details? Who am I that the Creator of everything spent time to give me the life I have, to give me a story to love? True, this story has had its fair share of scars and tears, but from these scars and tears grew joy and smiles and overwhelming love and thankfulness.

Who am I that a man should bear my punishment? That I should be spared and He should be suffering? Who am I that I should receive forgiveness when I truly deserve not an ounce of it?

Jeremiah 1:19 promises trials. They will come from every side, every angle, everywhere a shadow casts. They will come in their multitudes, equipped with the necessary weapons to defeat us. Lust, hunger, desire, money, stability – their weapons are great, and they know which to use and how to use them most effectively.

But they will not overcome us. He is with us to rescue us. When we think we cannot overcome temptation, He shows us we can through Him. When we think all hope is lost, He shows us our hope is in Him. When we think it’s the end for us, He shows us our new beginning with Him.

Why? Why is the weak and timid sparrow allowed to become a strong and spirited phoenix? “The appearance of a phoenix” – a name to live up to for the rest of my life, rising from the ashes to a new beginning. Who am I that i should be allowed to bear such a name? That I should see trial after trial become blessing after blessing?

Who am I that You should even care about me? That I should even receive a second glance?

You’re My daughter, He says. It’s as simple as that. He smiles then. And I love you.

I am Your beloved. I am Your rebellious daughter. I break Your heart, come back for food and shelter, then I break it again. Your love is greater and stronger than anything I could ever begin to dream about. It is a love that sent an innocent Man to die for the most guilty of girls. Who am I that I should receive such a gift?

My daughter.

A betrayer.

My love.

A deserter.

My creation.

A failure.

My image.

One tarnished.

My precious child.

I miss you, Daddy.

This is who I am. I am a failure who’s trying. I am a deserter who’s learning to commit to Him. I am a broken and dirty sinner who’s learning to allow my Father to wash me clean and clothe me in white.

I am Yours. It’s as simple as that.

permanent marker

So believe it or not, I got a tattoo. Surprise!

Many have asked me why I chose to get it, and well, there’s a lot of things, I suppose. I definitely didn’t get it for anyone else as it is not visible. I chose the rising phoenix because it is very symbolic for me. It’s been emphasized on a lot of my posts. Refer to this one if you’re lost.

Thinking back, I probably could’ve given this a whole lot more thought than I did. That’s not to say I regret it, though I’m pretty sure there were a few times (like when the needle was working its magic on my sensitive skin) when I was pretty close. Actually, I think when I had finally realized what I had done, my stomach knotted a bit. Ha.

But looking at it now, this is me. I think it depicts me very well. Blazing and beautiful and looking up always… this is it!

A tattoo is essentially a scar. But when I look at this, I am reminded of myself. Scars are supposed to be ugly things that come about after your skin has been damaged. But here where my damaged skin is lies a pretty picture that represents a lot of things in my life. My life is like one big scar (or a million little ones, I suppose), but Jesus makes it a pretty picture.

This image reminds me of the ashes that I have risen from. It’s kinda like a mini representation of me – I should be marred and bruised, but Jesus makes me beautiful when I rise again. This is my reminder that Jesus provides for me, that I can always be looking up.

Forgive me if this isn’t as smooth-flowing as my other entries. I haven’t written in the first person in a long time. Ha. =)

Here are some photos of the process!

(yes, I was crying a little at this point. Outlining freaking hurts!)

one other reason I’m thankful it’s in this spot is I didn’t have to look at the needle. =)

this is the end result of the outlining

And this one’s really crappy quality cuz I zoomed in on the mirror a lot with my cameraphone (didn’t have a friend there for very long while the shading was being done, so no pictures of that process)

this part took 2.5 hours. Had a 10 minute break in the middle. Yeah, the blood rushed to my head after I was done, and I almost fell over when I got up. O.o

yep.