Ya’ll know that song right? I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack? It is a song that has weaved its way through all different seasons of my life.
Growing up it was a song our extended family featured when walking down memory lane at some milestone events.
In high school it was used often around SUPERDANCE, our high school 24-hour dance-a-thon for Cystic Fibrosis.
Certainly a feature of the starting of our life from a young fun couple to married.
To a song in the delivery room to welcome Miss Shannon.
A song of hope. A song encouraging the effort… the daring to dream … going on the adventure. Lately as some mountains have seemed so high I have felt sorta naive for being a person who thinks the impossible is possible… who sees the glass half full… who isn’t afraid to take risks and truly believe they can work out. I have wondered if while I was busy making a life in the midst of incredible challenges, as if I can work hard enough to overcome them, the rest of the world was waiting for me to realize the impossible is called that for a reason. When things have gone so pear shaped, how can I be so surprised or disappointed? Didn’t I know that the other side of the coin – failure was right there?
Looking beyond the circumstances, I see the faces…. the …. the hearts I seek to please or help to protect. For YEARS I have sought support, guidance in the form of religious counsel, therapy, true family and friends and they all remind me of the boundaries that have not just been recommended- but demanded for my world. “Protect your heart Jackie, even God has rules and boundaries for how folks need to behave to interact with Him,” they all warned. And yet I return to trying everything to fix or please people who may never truly care for me. And yet I turn myself inside out to give, try, do…. and still feel broken that I am not enough.
What have I done? Believed my playlist of Hope and thought for sure it would work….
I listened to this very song this week and actually heard the other part. The lines where even if you love and loss, at least you loved. I never took that path of least resistance. When I got the choice to sit it out or dance, I danced. Still am. And tragedy can still strike, loss can still exist and impossible may never be achieved. But I only really lose if I worry about what that means…. what it looks like… what people think of me . If I regret taking the chance…. and regret can only be created and accepted by me…. then I regret my best intentions and that makes no sense. As my world finds itself in another battle of impossible…. I almost let the people who never loved me, the worries and embarrassment ride in the passenger seat, regret erase my hope and bravery.
When I had the chance to sit it out or dance, I danced- period. Effort is never wrong… Hope is a gift and in fact not even close to dead if I cultivate it. These reflections… the choice to not regret has also brought w new commitment: I am no longer afraid of what happens….. I am too grateful I lived.
Thank you all so much for your support and prayers over the years. The future for our world is completely unknown, but God is gracious and your prayers have been and continue to be powerful.