Wallflower: 1. A shy or awkward person who remains unnoticed or is excluded at social events. 2. A woman without a dance partner.
Following on from previous messages at church, this morning Ps Zoran Paunovich continued his series entitled “What time is it?”
Ecclesiastes 3:4 says: “There is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance”. Today marks Chapter 2 – the time to laugh and dance again.
When I was chatting to a friend after the service I was reminded that it was only a few short months ago that I was stuck in a three year long season of weeping and mourning and I was telling her how wonderful it felt to laugh and dance again.
I never expected to be a wallflower. I didn’t expect to find myself in a position where I had my back pressed against the wall feeling discouraged and disillusioned with life and with God. I never thought I’d feel excluded and alone. But that’s where I found myself earlier this year.
I had become that awkward woman who, because of disappointments, had retreated into myself so much that I had taken on the spirit of being a wallflower. Empty. Numb. Barely present. Breathing shallow breaths and smiling just enough to
hide blend in and not be noticed. For three years I played a game of hide and blend. I smiled. I breathed. And I did my best to keep everyone at a distance. Including God. And somewhere during the past three years my soul fell asleep and emotionally I faded to grey. Because of hurts and heartbreaks I became unrecognizable as the bold, vivacious, happy, purpose-filled woman of God that I was and I became a wallflower. Awkward. Alone. And without a dance partner.
I turned into a woman bound up in ropes and chains from which I couldn’t find a way to free myself. I stopped dancing. I stopped laughing. And I stopped truly living.
“When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging about us, all hope of being saved was finally abandoned.” (Acts 27:20)
Like the sailors in the story in Acts 27, I abandoned all thoughts of being ‘rescued’. I felt as though I was standing alone in the darkest storm of my life and it seemed like God was hiding the sun and stars from me. No matter what I tried to do, the storm continued to rage around me and bit by bit I felt myself sinking as bit by bit hope evaporated and bit by bit I began to lose my faith in God.
Paul told the sailors “you will all die if you leave the boat” (Acts 27:31). Another translation says “If these men do not stay in the boat, they will lose all hope of survival.”
I wish I had heard this advice when I was in my storm because I came close to making my biggest mistake ever. In the midst of my storm, I tried to leave the boat. I tried to jump overboard. I walked away from prayer. I walked away from fellowship. I walked away from relationships with other women. I walked away from church. I even walked away from God. I backed myself into the wall and wondered “is there any hope of being rescued”?
Will I ever laugh again? Will I ever dance again?
Paul told the sailors “keep up your courage and take heart, for I have faith and I believe God that it will happen exactly as he told me.”
God said “Weeping and sobbing may last through the night but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
What time is it? It’s morning! Joy has come!
It’s time to stop weeping.
It’s time to stop mourning.
It’s time to laugh.
It’s time to dance.
It’s time to stop pretending to be a wallflower and step out with my Dance Partner because He did exactly what He promised – He rescued me and saved me from my storm.
Nicki Edwards ~ Day to Day Trusting God
My prayer is that everyone who feels like me would learn how to dance! And I mean literally, not figuratively. I attend a church where dancing and jumping and laughing is the norm. I remember the first time I moved my feet just a little bit (I told myself I was dancing) I felt like the biggest idiot ever! I thought everyone must be looking at me. The next week I moved my feet some more. Finally, a few weeks later I let loose and I danced and moved and jigged and turned circles and raised my hands in praise and it was the most freeing moment ever. I remember sitting down afterwards and hoping no-one had been watching. Immediately I was attacked by the enemy’s voice saying: “You looked stupid! You’re too old to be dancing around like a teenager!” Then at the end of the service I had someone come up to me – a complete stranger – with the smile of an angel. She said to me: “I was watching you dance today.” And I NEARLY DIED! Then she held me by my arms and looked into my eyes and said “Jesus just set you free and I’m so blessed I was able to witness you dancing this morning”. I’ve never felt embarrassed to dance since.
Don’t hold back.
It’s time to dance.