As I settled into the window seat on my flight to Florida, my neighbor to the left asked why I was headed to Tampa.
In a quaking voice, I choked out words that sounded foreign to my ears, “To see my Dad who is in the ICU.”
In one of the many ways God showed me He was with me over the hard days that followed, she revealed that she had been a hospice chaplain for many years. Then she asked me to tell her about my Dad.
From nearly the time I was able to walk, I can remember placing my tiny feet on top of my daddy’s shoes and moving to the beat of 1960s and 1970s classics.
As I got a little older, I’d place my hand in his and let him spin me around on the splintered wood and cracking concrete of our back porch.
Despite our history of cutting a rug, I never really mastered the art of moving my body in rhythm to music. In fact, the only time I can remember dancing without feeling self-conscious is with him.
When it came time to pick the song for the Daddy-Daughter dance at my wedding, I struggled. Nothing seemed to fit our relationship just right.
Two weeks before the big event I finally confessed that I hadn’t yet selected the tune. He said, “Oh, I know what we’re dancing to.” It was as if he had pictured the moment in his head for years.
My heart skipped a beat when he told me.
“I’ve Had the Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing
In heels? And a full length, beaded gown? On a polished dance floor? In front of nearly 200 of our closest family and friends, and some of my in-laws I hadn’t yet met?
Ummmm… What? No. Way.
But then, I remembered. I remembered how he had twirled me around to that very song over a decade before during a 4th of July BBQ. How he had never let me down. How his hand firmly gripped mine and his eyes focused on me without distraction. As I watched him and took my cues from him, I could anticipate our next move. How well we danced when I let him lead me.
That’s when I knew it was going to be alright. That I could trust him to keep me from sliding across the dance floor in that crowded ballroom.
We danced to that song at my wedding and a friend of mine snapped a couple of my favorite photos during our performance. The skirt of my dress full and flowing. My arms stretched out wide. My hand firmly holding his. Our eyes focused on each other.
I'm so thankful for this amazing memory.
As I talked with my neighbor in coach, I realized the things that helped me believe I could dance to that song with my daddy are the same principles that give me confidence to face challenges in life with my Heavenly Father.
It’s been twelve years since my wedding, but the lesson surfaced when I needed it most. When I’m faced with something that feels hard, daunting, overwhelming, or like it has the potential for failure, drama, danger, or embarrassment, I know Who has the power to provide the comfort and encouragement I need. When my Heavenly Father asks me to dance to a song I wouldn't have picked for myself, I can turn to those same four principles.
When I stepped off that plane, I knew nothing in my life would ever be the same again. My father was critically ill, and I carried the burden of his medical power of attorney. My sister and I faced decisions that no child should ever have to make for a parent. But throughout the whole ordeal, I focused on remembering God's faithfulness, following His lead, holding tight to His promises, and focusing on Him.
What challenges are you facing today? Which principle can you apply to gather the courage to step onto the dance floor?
Word of the Day: Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced. (1 Chronicles 16:12)
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for always being faithful to Your Word. Help me to be deeply rooted in You so that no challenge I face feels out of Your control. Help me to remember to hold tightly to Your promises, follow Your lead, and keep my eyes focused on You when I face challenges that are beyond my own abilities. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Author: Liz Giertz