It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. —Psalm 118:8 (NKJV)
My daughter Elizabeth floated across the stage in her white tutu doing her jumps, leaps, and pliés in synchronized harmony with the other girls. She looked like an angel as the snowflakes fell to the stage, bringing closure to the final scene of act 1 of Te Nutcracker. Seeing her as a beautiful little girl brought back memories to me.
As a young girl I loved to read. I often daydreamed and pretended to be in that faraway or exotic place I was reading about. If there were a heroine in the story, I would become her—a maiden in distress waiting for the knight in shining armor to come and rescue her, or a ballerina. I often escaped my routine, mundane life by imagining myself as the damsel in distress or the heroine in the novel. Most times I dreamed of being a ballerina. I wanted that sleek swanlike neck and petite waist with an hourglass figure. But that was not my lot in life. Unfortunately, I was what some people call “a big girl for my age.” When everybody else was a tiny size 2, I was a size 12. Needless to say, I was overly endowed at an early age. I often dreamed of being one of those skinny little girls that looked cute in anything they put on. They seemed to move and dance gracefully to any rhythm, at least in my mind.
Whenever I was with my skinny little friends, I watched from the sidelines while they had a good time on the dance floor. I danced in my head and heart. As Cinderella sang, “In my own little corner in my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to be,” in my mind’s eye I was a great ballerina. Girl, I could really twirl and dance. Back when I was growing up it was unusual to see a black ballerina in person or on TV. Boy, was I thinking outside the box! But remember, in my book reading I could be anything I wanted to be and go anywhere I wanted to go.
My folks, even though they had limited income (in other words, we were poor), took us on trips every summer during their vacation break from the textile mill. I got to see some of the world outside my immediate surroundings. My parents also encouraged my sisters and me to be whatever we wanted to be. From the spiritual perspective, they taught us that we must put God first in our life, to put our trust in Jesus. From the worldly perspective, they told us to get an education—this could open the door to a whole new world for us.
We all have dreams. But sometimes we find dream-busters in our lives, people who try to squash our hopes and dreams. They tell us what we can’t be and can’t do because of this reason or that reason. More often than not they are people we know, family and friends, the very people in our lives who say they love us. Yet they don’t seem to realize how their comments and putdowns hurt, deterring us from pursuing our dreams.
I never shared my fantasy world with anyone while growing up. It was my childhood safe haven. It was a place where I could go and be whatever I wanted to be or travel wherever I wanted to go. I grew up and moved on with my life. I got my education, found a job, married, and had children. Even though my folks are dead and gone, I still remember what they taught me—to keep God first in my life and get a good education.
No, I did not become a ballerina, nor did I become a great dancer, even though I still love to dance, especially swing dance. However, I do still have a great love for reading. When the pressures of life weigh me down, I curl up with a good book. I block out the world and I begin to read and be whatever I want to be. Jesus did that for me. He took me from a world of mundane life and gave me the greatest miracle of all. He transports all of us from an unfulfilled life in the world and transforms us into miraculous sons and daughters of God!
A Month of Miracles
by Women by Design
Available in print and digital formats.