I hated middle school dances. I remember that Campbell’s soup commercial of the gawky redhead coming in from a dance and crying because she didn’t get asked to dance and her mom fed her soup.  Do you think that’s maybe when her food issues began?  I could totally relate to that commercial.  
High school came along and the braces and glasses came off.  I went to a dance with great fear and trepidation due to the middle school trauma.  Babyface came on and life got better when my 3rd grade crush asked me to dance.  No Campbell’s soup for me that night.  Just a heart to heart with Be Frie Anne.  
Ironically my most memorable class in college was Dr. Key’s ballroom dance shindig.  Adam White was my partner and we Fox trotted, Cha Cha Cha’d, Waltzed, and Boot Scooted with the best of ’em.  Dr. Key also taught my tennis class which would be anothe blog entirely.  Anyway, one struggle I had was to let go and trust Adam to lead.  Sometimes, especially in the beginning, I would be mannequin-like and hold back because I didn’t want to mess up.  Not surprisingly this is when I would “mess up”. 

I write all of this because once again I find myself in a dance of my own.  It’s a dance I hear over and over as I hand my sister, friends and my sweet college girls kleenex after kleenex.  As an aside, Kleenex needs to pay my salary for the next year.  The tears I hear are about longing and being ashamed that they have longing for relationship. Longing they try to keep hidden because of every single book or tv show we read about playing hard to get or fear of looking like Josie Grossie in the movie, “Never Been Kissed”.   I’m on a rampage to end the statement, “I just need to learn to be content.”  Hear me out here  I’m not saying to not be content, but what I am saying is, “DO NOT KILL DESIRE!!  You are not a Buddhist.”  Being content is different than killing desire.  We don’t know how to live with longing, therefore any hint of unmet longing we think is bad when in all actuality it is an invitation to lean into the Father.  Take John 11 for example.  (Thank you, Phillip!!)  It’s a familiar story about Mary and Martha and the death of their brother Lazarus.  They called for Jesus to come and heal Lazarus, but Jesus waited and Lazarus died.  When Jesus finally came to them Martha greeted him in Martha-like fashion and said, “If you had been here our brother would not have died.”  Right before that the text says that Jesus loved Martha….She was honest and He responded to her.  What I had never realized before is that Mary said the EXACT same phrase as Martha, but her heart was broken and she wept at Jesus’ feet.  Jesus was moved by Mary.  I know I’m taking some liberty here, but what I see is one who kept her heart a little more at bay, and one who said the exact same words, but her heart was dancing toward Jesus even in her pain.  And He was moved. 

I’m wondering also what “the dance” is like for men.  My friend Eric when talking with me about women alwasy refers to us as “your people”.  I wonder what “your people” dance to.  Do you make a silent vow to play it safe or be passive?  Is it more similar to the dance that women dance than “my people” would think???  Throw me a bone here.  I really want to understand.

I’ve been in a process of wanting to dance freely.  I’m not very coordinated and sometimes I am like Martha or those early middle school days, but I’m seeing more and more of a desire to live (in the words of Misty Edwards) “arms wide open, a heart exposed” because that feels like faith to me….an invitation.  I hope you will be persuaded to join me in the dance……….

“I’m restless ’til I rest in You.”

5 thoughts on “The Dance of the Heart”

  1. This post is very insightful.

    Jesus is the protector of our hearts. He knows how precious His children are and fiercely protects us from relationships that wouldn't be in our best interest, or that wouldn't ultimately glorify Him. He sends only the best to His beloved, so wait patiently, resting in Him.

  2. Here comes comment 2…. I THINK THAT IS DANG INSIGHTFUL ABOUT MARTHA KEEPING HER HEART AT BAY — just getting busy serving! wonder if she's doing that in spite or if she's withdrawn in hurt?….wonder if she's afraid of her pain like me? 🙂

  3. Love this thought-provoking post.

    I’ve told the story over and over of a day with the Lord when I met Jenn for lunch at Chick fil A. I do that. This extrovert needs a human with flesh to break up a day. Anyway, I had been wrestling all morning with “feeling content” in life yet still have so much desire for a different life. Desire for a life I’ve wanted for 27 years. A life where I’m not the only person in my house. In my bed. A life where there are little messy hands and feet. A life where it is a rare gift to sleep in on a Saturday. A life where I would not have to walk in to church alone. A life where I would disappoint and be disappointed. Where I would ask forgiveness, be forgiven, and forgive.

    Jenn in all her wisdom said, “Kristin, have you ever read anything written by Paul?” Um, yeah. Good reminder that he so desired to go places the Lord never allowed or maybe even stopped. YET he was content. They can co-exist!

    It was a freeing day for me. I had spent months (maybe years?) in a place of guilt that I still felt both.

    Oh, sisters, do not kill desire!

    (were you st nd?)

  4. Thanks for another insightful, encouraging, and challenging post! The part about a longing being an invitation really hits the nail on the head. Thanks for writing about this and making me laugh too!!:)

  5. You've definitely challenged me to move closer and "lean in" over the year and a half I've known you. Thank you one million times, dear friend. Love you!

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