Elementary school might have posed some challenges.
I recall one frightful day when I went to a roller skating party with all my friends.
I don’t want to brag, but back then I was pretty cute. Like Hannah Montana.
Okay, more like Hannah Montana’s chunky friend with glasses and frizzy curly hair who really liked to wear the same pair of green elastic sweat pants about 3 days out of the week.
As a tomboy, I had a lot of guy friends. And one, Brett, who was very cute and very popular, asked me to couple skate.
At first I thought he was being mean, but I soon realized he was actually being sincere.
Out of all of these cute girls wearing jeans instead of green elastic sweatpants, he wanted to couple skate.
Every bone in my body wanted to say yes, but the fear that static clung to my insides made me say no.
I wasn’t a great skater okay?
There was nothing graceful about my technique. I skated like a newborn baby fawn learning to walk for the first time, but someone put baby fawn skates on her hooves and just pushed her out on the rink while Paula Abdul’s Straight Up filled the arena.
I didn’t want to go out with him, hand and hand – and wobble. I had my dignity, damn it!
I had yet to skate with any sort of confident stride. Every single sashay with my skate was on the brink of a total biff. The expression on my face was the same terror face people make when they all the sudden hit a patch of ice.
I wanted to skate with him, so bad. But I was scared. I said no.
“Please?” he asked.
“No,” I said.
“I just don’t want to, okay?”
Just then, an older very pretty girl asked him to skate.
Pretty bold and crass if you ask me, but whatever, I’m not her mother.
He said, “No, I want to skate with Anna.”
He asks me again.
“No, I just don’t want to. I don’t feel good – my tummy’s upset.”
“She doesn’t want to,” that older hussy said to him. “Let’s go.”
He got on his knees. HIS KNEES YOU GUYS.
Clasped his hands. “Please Anna, please! It will be fun! Please!”
I looked down at my skates. “No, it’s okay, go with her.”
Sad and defeated, he got up off his knees and gently said, “Okay.” He grabbed her hand and they slid off into the rink while New Kids on The Block’s I’ll Be Loving You Forever filled my ears and nudged my tears.
I remember that moment so vividly, and it was so long ago. But it was the first time I allowed fear to stop me from following my heart.
And that kinda thing sticks.
To me, our vision – inspiration – the Holy Spirit – whatever you wanna call it – shows up like Brett. It surprises us.
Me? You want me? Uh, I think you got the wrong girl here, pal.
We’re just sitting there, minding our own business, wondering if we have enough cash for a cotton candy, when he strolls up, unexpected – and asks us to do something so amazing and unimaginable we can’t really believe it’s real life.
But I’m not cute enough! People will make fun of me! But I skate like my ankles are broken!
I’ll fail, I’ll be a joke.
The fear, the shame, the insecurity digs its claws into our spirit.
Suddenly the excitement fades.
We’d rather sit it out than fail. We’d rather sit it out than get made fun of. We’d rather sit it out than accidentally do the splits.
But our vision doesn’t give up that easy. It begs. It gets on its hands and knees and pleads.
This is the moment, or you’ll miss it. Suck it up buttercup and go for it.
Because if we don’t – if we keep saying no, no, no – you’ve picked the wrong girl – the vision will get up, grab the hand of an older hussy in stone washed esprit jeans and skate off. Brett never asked me to skate again and your vision may not either.
See, the thing is – God doesn’t pick the cutest, the greatest, the most talented. He picks the people who show up, and say yes –
even if they accidentally do the splits.
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