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Just like our little dancers in the house who can hardly wait for their recital to show off what they’ve learned in their dance classes this year, it’s showtime for us, too. Time to take what we’ve been learning all year in our Healing Journey class* and put it into practice. Time to come out of the wings of self-protection and courageously take center stage in our lives.

And as much as I’d like to say we can hardly wait, the truth is that we’re feeling the pressure and having a bit of stage fright. What if we forget the new steps we’ve learned and revert to our more familiar dances? What if ingrained habits and previously programmed patterns take over, and off we go again dancing as fast as we can in wrong directions? Not that you’re likely to hear us readily admit these fears. Are you kidding? We know how to perform. But a closer look at some of our behaviors reveals deeper truths, and our Unbridled family cares enough about us to lovingly challenge us when they notice that our words don’t match our actions, and when it’s so obvious to them that fear is producing self-sabotage in our lives.

So… we continue to practice, and pray for the patience and perseverance to press on.   We thank God for providing a grace-filled environment where people are celebrated regardless of performance. And two little girls dance effortlessly around us helping us realize that it’s not about performance at all, but about just being ourselves, naturally sharing our gifts and talents as a part of who we are for others to enjoy.

Photo-blogger, Libby Williams, says it beautifully in her post, Stage Fright:

I love watching the people who can dance across the stage in their solo events. I study those who can move blissfully with the rhythms of life while I stand on the sidelines contemplating my fears, inadequacies and short-comings. I wonder in awe about where they get their courage and fortitude from. Where they find their confidence. I examine them closely to learn from their fearless confidence. What I have found while sitting on the sidelines for so long is that everyone – every single person – is scared in their own way. (If they tell you they are not, they are lying or are seasoned professionals at the task at hand) The difference is in how they are covering it. Some (like myself) cover it with an act. Some medicate. While others face their fears and angst with sheer bravery and real courage plowing through it all. Through all this, what I find most comforting is that while we all stand Stage Right with knees knocking waiting for our turn to shine and leap across the stage in our sparkly, sequined costumes, almost every person is watching us with empathy in their hearts while they quietly cheer us on from the audience. Everyone knows how we feel in that moment. And nobody – not one decent person – can ever judge us for trying our very best. 

Take a look at that precious child in the photo. See if she looks at all familiar, and know that our hearts overflow with love and empathy and celebration of her courage… and yours.

Love Julie

UnbridledACTS Guest

The Healing Journey: A Biblical Path to Freedom by Cyndy Sherwood