Sunday, December 4, 2016

Return to First Position

(image found on Pinterest)
I have always been the one to hold back.

I've been scared.

I've seldom thought myself good enough.

I haven't had the nerve to commit.

I am the girl that suffered intense joint pain through most of my childhood.

I have often wondered what my body was even capable of.

I doubted it was anything significant.

I didn't take advanced math in high school, because I never thought I would amount to anything that would require a degree.

I didn't touch a guitar for years, because I thought my fingers incapable of applying so much concentrated pressure.

I have balked in the face of auditions & applications.

I have looked at a person & deemed them above me.

I've pruned my expectations time & time again; cut down my dreams until they looked realistic & acceptable.

I have given up when I should have kept on fighting.

It turns out, a lot of things are closer to my grasp than I first thought.

I have discovered that things that are even quite literally out of my reach can be brought down to my hands by a loving Heavenly Father.

He healed my body over two years ago now, & for longer than that, He's been slowly healing my dreams.

I still catch myself settling when I look down at the water & depend on myself.

It was never my own strength that brought me through all those tempests & troubles.

It was His.

All I had to do was look towards Him, step towards Him. Never removing my gaze.

He's closer than I thought.

"Then Jacob awoke & said, 'Surely the Lord is in this place, & I knew it not.'" {Genesis 28:16}

It's amazing what a difference it makes when we adjust our focus.

When we choose what is our center.

I dared to put small action toward a crazy dream tonight, & took a beginner ballet class on YouTube.

I learned some key secrets.

Your body may look relaxed & still, but every position has a purpose. Even in the waiting, your body is full of energy, sustaining your posture & position.

You work with your feet as your base, your core. They are always planted intentionally, though they look to be at ease, & every part of your body must work from them. If you try to plie by focusing on the position of your hips or knees, you will get nowhere.

Sometimes you must almost go into the floor to rise up from it.

It helps you to remain erect if you imagine your legs end at your waist.

I have tried to pretend I was a ballerina before. I love to bounce around en pointe.

But here's the thing; I had no balance, I didn't know where to start; what to focus on.

I was surprised by how much those simple adjustments changed things. My body seemed to give a relieved sigh, even as the movements felt new & challenging. As though this was what it was trying to do all along.

You know when you hear someone play a song you know well, & they seem to miss the flow of it; the heart of it?

It felt like I had moved from that to its opposite. Like, "Yes! That is how Mozart should be played!"


I tell you this because it is such a fitting analogy for my fumbling attempts to walk through my life alone.

My movements have been halting, stumbling, as I focus on all the wrong things.

I've got the Master in the studio, but all I've looked at is the mirror.

I have chided myself a billion times without leaning into my patient Support.

Brother Lawrence called it Practicing the Presence of God for a reason.

If I stumble into my day trying to mimic what I've performed before, on my own, I will make zero progress, guaranteed.


I stand up. I am alert; I refuse to be passive.

I put my shoulders back, raise my chin. I am a daughter of the King.

I plant my feet; heels, big toe, little toe - all grounded. My foundation is the Lord, & leaning into all of Him, I shall not be moved. 

I turn out my feet now. I am positioned to receive, positioned to stretch my waiting muscles. This is the posture I start from. 

Upper arms extended out, lower arms curved in - First Position. Even though it looks like I'm doing nothing, my Foundation is secure & vital. 

I feel myself slouching, & imagine that my legs end at my waist, pulling myself upward. My boundaries are not what I thought they were. I encourage myself, knowing that Christ has overcome this world, & has shared with me a glorious inheritance. 

I move to the left, into pointe, sinking my left foot into the floor as I move, & then rising. Pressing into the hard things, I find the freedom & strength to soar. 

I look to the Master, & He tells me the next step.