Thank you sweet sisters for praying me through this week. I have to admit, heading into this taping I was scared. Beyond nervous. Slightly having a little internal panic session.
It wasn’t a lack of preparation. I knew the material for this “Made to Crave” project. I wrote it. I live it. These weren’t prepared speeches I had to memorize. These were messages burning and churning and demanding to be delivered.
But there was this desperate feeling inside of me. Sometimes I just wish Jesus would sprout some skin so I could see Him and touch Him and look into the face of all certainty, you know what I mean?
I guess that’s why our relationship with Jesus is called faith. Coming to know ‘certainty’ without ever physically seeing it. And simply letting the eyes of our soul lock with His.
It reminded me of this story with Brooke…
Many times throughout Brooke’s childhood, I’ve come to realize the importance of my mother’s touch to her especially. All of my kids like a hug, a pat on the shoulder, a hand of comfort on their back, but to Brooke these gentle touches seem to be a lifeline.
Recently, she had a performance with her praise dance team from school. All the girls looked especially beautiful dressed in all white, their hair pull gently back from their faces, and an extra measure of grace in each of their steps.
I couldn’t wait to see Brooke perform these dances she’d been working on and talking about for weeks. She loves getting up on a stage so I expected her to be full of smiles and giggles. But just a few minutes before the performance was about to begin a very distraught Brooke made her way to the audience to find me.
With tears streaming down her cheeks, she explained that the teacher had moved her from the front row to the back row and she didn’t know the back row’s part. I assured her everything would be fine. I whispered, “Honey just get up there and watch the other girls for cues and follow in step. You know this dance Brooke. You’ll be fine.”
She sobbed back, “I won’t be fine if I mess up and I know I’m going to mess up.”
That’s when it occurred to me. She would need my touch to get through this. But she and I both knew that it would not be possible for my arm to reach all the way up to the stage.
So, I quickly whispered, “Brooke, lock your eyes with mine and mommy will touch you with my smile. Don’t look at anyone or anything else. Don’t even look at the other girls dancing. It doesn’t matter if you mess up. What matters is that you keep your eyes on me the whole time. We’ll do this together.”
“The whole time Brooke,” I replied as I watched my brave girl walk away to take her place in line. Several times during the dance, Brooke fell out of step. Her arms would go down when the rest of the back row lifted theirs up. She would go left and bump into the others headed right. She knew her steps weren’t perfect so her eyes brimmed with tears.
However, the tears never fell. With her eyes perfectly locked on my smiling face, she danced.
She danced when the steps came easy. She danced when her steps got jumbled. She danced even when her emotions begged her to quit. She danced the whole way through. She danced and I smiled.
I smiled when her steps were right on track. I smiled when they weren’t. My smile was not based on her performance. My smile was born out of an incredible love for this precious, courageous, little girl. As she kept her attention focused solely on my smile and the touch of my gaze, it was as if the world slowly faded away and we were the only ones in the room.
This is the way God wants me to dance through life.
Though I can’t physically see Him, my soul pictures it so clearly. In my mind’s eye He is there.
The touch of His gaze wraps about me, comforts me, assures me, and makes the world seem so strangely dim. As long as my gaze is locked on His, I dance and He smiles.
The snickers and jeers of others fade in the strangest way. Though I hear their razor sharp intentions, they are unable to pierce my heart and distract my focus. Even my own stumblings don’t cause the same feelings of defeat. My steps so often betray the desire of my heart. But it is not my perfect performance that captures His attention. Rather my complete dependence on Him.
He then whispers, “Hold on to Me and what I say about you,” He says. “For my words are the truth of who you are and the essence of what you were created to be.” I then imagine Him pausing and, with tears in His eyes and a crack in His voice, He adds, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
His truth frees you from the chains of doubt and despair. His truth frees me from feeling too unable and inadequate to try and pursue God in an all out way. His truth washes over me as I tentatively whisper, I want to be a woman who says yes to God.
And in that moment, with my eyes locked on His, I am.
This story about Brooke was taken from my book, “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God.”