In the spring of 1993, I was a senior in high school. I was preparing to graduate. But graduation was the farthest thing from my mind. As spring came into full bloom and May drew closer, there was one thing and one thing only that I was thinking about and that was Prom. And I, I was a Baptist pastor’s daughter.
In case you don’t know what that means, I’ll tell you: most Baptists don’t dance. I had a very tall hurdle in front of me. I wanted to go to the prom so badly that I begged, I pleaded, and I bargained with my dad. Finally he acquiesced. I could go to the prom, on one condition: I had to lay low… I was absolutely not to make a big deal of this. We didn’t want the deacons finding out, right?
On the evening of the dance, I donned a beautiful bright pink taffeta dress, I hopped into my date’s freshly washed shiny red Toyota and we were off to have fun and be as inconspicuous as possible. And oh, did we have fun!
I didn’t realize until the following morning that I had been unsuccessful with the “inconspicuous” part of the plan. There on the very front page of my hometown’s Sunday morning newspaper was a picture of me, arm in arm with my date, large as life in our fancy prom duds, our names in the caption box below.
So much for incognito…
Twenty years later, I can laugh about the story with my parents. Sort of. But, I still feel the details of the story like it was yesterday; my face flushes several shades of bright red and my pulse races to new heights.
Back then I was so nervous to see my dad’s reaction! I wanted to hide the Sunday paper, but that was futile since I was sure that all of the deacons got the Sunday paper. There was one thing that had been impressed on me long before that day, but now it was stuck permanently to me like glue : dancing is wrong. Except, its not. At least, that’s what I’ve learned since then.
Actually, it was only a few weeks ago that I realized just how right dancing can be.
My children and I were sitting at the breakfast table, getting ready to start our school day. The atmosphere was a bit heavy because of a few things going on in our family; a sick friend was in genuine need, an uncle of mine had passed away recently, and of course there were all of the other frustrations and plain old junk that happens. We were life-less while we sat munching our cereal, completely weighed down by it all.
Instead of beginning our day with the usual memory work that goes with our home school curriculum, I decided to put on our CD of Scripture songs by Seeds Family Worship. We started bee-bopping at the table, singing along. Songs from Matthew and Jeremiah and Isaiah, were ringing out with truths we needed to hear like, “Ask and it will be given to you,” and “Call to me and I’ll answer,” and “Do not fear for I am with you.”
We’d heard these tunes before, but they were new that morning. And then something indescribable happened. There was this unexpected, blissful freedom lifting us right out of our seats and propelling our bodies into movement. Singing along was just not enough. Before I knew it we were up dancing and giggling and jumping right out of our sorrows.
Now, I’m sure we looked funny. As you can imagine, I am not a dancer in a groovy, “Oooh! That girl’s got moves,” kind of way. But, we were moved by the exciting truths from God’s Word – and when that happened, there was such a release of joy right in our living room!
Should I be surprised? In Ecclesiastes, it says there is a time for mourning, but also for dancing. Psalm 30 talks about how HE is able to turn our mourning into dancing. It makes so much sense to me as I think about it now: when I begin to meditate on the power of His promises, the burdens are lifted and my feet really do become light.
I’m so thankful for a Heavenly Father who inspires new dance moves at a moment’s notice, just when I need to “get moving” with a new attitude! The life He gives really does turn sadness into a dance of unspeakable joy!
By: Melody Day, Daily Portion