Until I Dance Once Again
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My story—in my own voice!
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
A nameless dancer and distant memories
Glancing up from my seat in the dimly lit theater, I saw you walk onto the stage. You were alone, confidence radiating from you, and a hush fell over the crowd. Though strangers, we were somehow united, you and I, both in silent anticipation. The music began—softly at first, but soon we were surrounded by the rhythm. I stilled in response, and you began to move.
You were a nameless dancer on the stage, but I could not take my eyes off you. The choreography affirmed your dedication and hard work. Each step exposed your strength and grace. Your heart was visible in every move. And my own heart—it also moved, a subtle tightening as it tasted the joy and sadness of nostalgia.
It seems a lifetime has passed since I was on the stage, but watching you for only a moment called to life distant memories and emotions long since forgotten. And soon I recognized a shadowy version of myself dancing right alongside you.
I smiled to myself as I watched you turn and leap…
Did you know that you looked beautiful?
Did you know that your dancing lifted the hearts of those who watched?
Did using this talent, talent clearly gifted by God, fill your heart with joy?
And then, seemingly from nowhere, a question I hadn’t expected:
Were you uneasy in your two-piece costume? Did it make you uncomfortable—revealing too much of the body you unceasingly compared to others, the body you’d declared not good enough?
I froze in my seat, momentarily stunned by this familiar line of questioning. Questions that spoke to a sense of embarrassment and body shame deeply rooted within an old heart wound. And then, with a smile, I offered a quick prayer of gratitude, once again thanking God for all He’s done to heal this old wound.
The top of the closet
I stared at my prayer journal, rereading my own words. It had been several days since I watched the young dancer while reminiscing about my own time on stage. I could no longer remember the song she danced to or even the color of her hair, but the question about how her two-piece costume made her feel haunted me.
This issue again, Jesus?
Do we really need to go back?
I thought we were done with this one. I thought … I was better.
Suddenly an image of my closet filled my head, and as I stood in the center, Jesus gently lifted my gaze towards the top shelf where a box of my too-small clothing was perched. I recalled placing the clothes there a couple years prior after spending considerable time with Jesus tending to these body image wounds. The small task of placing that box on the top shelf had seemed momentous then, symbolizing that I would no longer chase a body that could fit back into those clothes. A body achieved only through a near obsessive exercise and diet regimen.
But I hadn’t gotten rid of the clothes.
And just as I’ve held on to the clothes, if I’m honest I can admit that a piece of my heart is still holding on to the idea of fitting back into them. A piece of my heart still believes the lie that my body—as it is—isn’t good enough. That my body is somehow less than.
Following a barely perceptible nudge, I picked up my Bible, and read:
God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them.
God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good.
Genesis 1:27a, 31a
Now I know it’s true, what Bob Schuchts wrote in his book Be Healed: “Jesus will not heal us without our consent and cooperation.” But now I see it's also true that Jesus loves me too much to leave me with a partially healed, but still wounded heart. And He will continue calling me to a deeper relationship—because this is the only thing that will bring about true healing and complete restoration of my heart.
I closed my eyes as a familiar sense of peace and wholeness washed over me. And while sitting in the quiet of my den, I once again sensed His gentle whisper:
No, my beloved. We’re not done with this yet.
We won’t be finished until this wound is completely healed.
Until thinking of it brings a smile to your face as it makes you think of Me.
Until looking at the left-behind scar reveals only My Glory.
And until standing where it once was moves you to dance once again.
(blessed by these words? feel free to share, so you can bless others.)