Take the chance to dance beyond your dreams

Before my daughter was born, I swore she wouldn’t be a girly girl.

I had always dreamed of becoming a parent, and I had very clear expectations of how things would work and who she would become. I was certain that she would be a daddy’s girl and that as a result, she would trend more toward playing in the dirt than playing with dolls.

I actually wrote a song about my expectations entitled “Daddy’s Little Rock Star.” It was intended to be a prophetic word guiding my daughter to her rock ‘n roll destiny and away from the evils of all things princess, pink and lace. I had a vision in mind of who she would become or rather who she wouldn’t. It didn’t take too long for me to realize that Mikayla had a vision of her own, and it did not align with mine.

My daughter is the very picture of a princess. From a very early age, she developed a deep love for all things pink and lace. For years, she was vehemently opposed to wearing pants of any kind and instead opted for the most gaudy, poofy dresses she could find.

I finally realized I had lost not only the battle but the whole war when she decided she wanted to be a ballerina. She wanted to wear the flowing, flowery costumes, and she wanted to dance on her toes.

It became very clear that my daughter has all of the rock star attitude about which I had sung, but I was way off in my prediction of the application. Mikayla is a strong, stubborn, grace-filled, young woman, and I could not be prouder of who she is becoming, pink ballet shoes and all.

Several weeks ago, Mikayla came to me with a request. Her dance instructor wanted to do a ballroom number and was hoping us fathers would step in as partners. I jokingly told her that I wasn’t interested. She seriously informed me that I didn’t have a choice. So for the better part of the last three months, I have attended special ballet lessons with my daughter, her fellow dancers and about six other dads.

With that, my manifesto for my daughter was completely undone as I was pulled into the very things I swore she would avoid, and while the song was always intended to be somewhat tongue in cheek, I would have never dreamed that I would one day join her in a dance recital.

I can tell you with all confidence, however, that it was one of the single most memorable experiences of my parental life.

While I was a glorified accessory for her to use while displaying her incredible talents and gifts, it provided me with a front row view of how amazing she truly is. As I watched her perform a bunch of moves with French names that I can neither pronounce nor produce, it struck me that she isn’t exactly what I dreamed of all those years ago. She is so much more.

It’s easy to become fixated on our own plans, priorities and perspectives. We live in a world that tells us that the customer is always right and that we should have it our way, right away, but what if God has more in store for us? In my experience, this is often the case.

As Paul points out in Ephesians 3:20, he is the God “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” If we aren’t careful, our hopes and dreams can actually become a limiting factor for the good God desires to do in our lives. God is in the habit of taking us beyond our dreams.

When I dreamed of sharing the stage with my daughter all those years ago, the soundtrack to “Beauty and the Beast” wasn’t playing in the background, there weren’t teary-eyed parents sitting in the audience and she wasn’t wearing ballet shoes, but that is exactly where I found myself last weekend.

As the music played and as the other dancers and dads made our way around the stage, we danced beyond where my dreams could have ever taken us. When God presents the opportunity, I hope you take the chance to dance beyond your dreams.

A special thanks to Ms. Carin and the fine folks at Dance by Design in Columbus for making this moment possible for myself and the other dads.

The Rev. Dr. Jeremy Myers is the lead pastor of First Baptist Church in Seymour. Read his blog at jeremysmyers.com. Send comments to [email protected].