Death of a Ballerina

Ok so the title is drastic. My ballerina did not die, but she may as well have killed me! Since the ballet season began, my ballerina has protested through tears about her tights, her hair, and the long drive. Her tights are too tight and uncomfortable, she hates her hair in a bun and the process we have to go through to get it in one, and she hates the long drive to the studio. I have done my best to encourage her. I have used lotion bars to soften her skin before pulling up the tights. I have tried several different brushes and hair products to comb the knots out of her hair and I have allowed her to select stories and music for the drive. These accommodations, however, have all been in vain.

Tonight was the third time she told me that she did not want to go to ballet. Again I asked her the reason, knowing the answer all along. I asked her if she liked to dance and she confirmed that she did, but not enough to go through the rigmarole to do it. Had I had her opportunity, I would have driven to the ends of the earth, sat through torture, and worn a corset just to get to dance. But here we get to the real heart of the issue. Dancing has always been my dream, my heart, and my soul. My circumstances did not allow me the opportunity to dance as a career, which was my dream, but I danced every opportunity I had. I was always the first one on the dance floor and the last one to leave. I took as many dance classes as possible in college. I took as many ballet classes as my mother could afford, and was even captain of the dance team in high school. As a mom, I took open ballet classes at the nearest dance studio whenever possible, but these bits and pieces of dance never satisfied the dream I had to become a professional ballerina. After having 2 boys who were obviously musicians, I was hopeful when my daughter was born. She has the perfect ballerina body, long and slender, with a naturally high arched foot. She takes her classes seriously, practices at home, and performs beautifully on stage. She has all the makings to become a ballerina, except the heart. Sure she enjoys dancing, but she doesn’t have the passion, and in the highly competitive world of ballet, passion is the key to being successful.

So I am giving in. I am tired of the tears. The Lord has shown me that this is my dream, not hers. This is not easy for me. It is hard not to question God. Why do I have this desire in my heart to dance? Is it from Him? What does He want me to do with it? Why did He give my daughter a dancer’s body, but no heart for it? Why did He give us a house an hour drive from the nearest, decent studio and kids that get carsick? To see one of my kids pursue dance with the same passion I have would be a dream satisfied.

So I am left with the battle between flesh and spirit.

The Lord asks, “Does it glorify Me?”

I argue, “But Lord you give us bodies that can move beautifully.”

He responds, “ They exchanged the truth for a lie and worshipped and served created things rather than the creator.”

And He asks again, “Does it glorify Me?”

“Not in this world, my Lord, not in this world.”

So the ballerina has died, yet since I believe the Lord is the God of the living, I wait to witness a resurrection. We will dance, one day, for His glory, just as David danced when he brought the ark back to Israel, for His mercy is the only real reason to dance.