Sherri Gragg

Juggler of words and children…collector of pottery shards

Not Gonna Wait to Dance

Milley is in my fourth grade Sunday School class.  She has Spina Bifida and makes her way through the world in a wheelchair but she does not let it hinder her view.  When Milley looks at her world, she sees blessings. 

She was relinquished at birth for adoption and God carefully placed her in a family who he knew would love extravagantly.  Still, you would think she might feel just the tinniest bit depressed about the lot she has been given, or complain about never being able to walk.  On the contrary, she wheels through life unhampered by the notion of her limitations and instead celebrates her abilities.  She loves without reservation and spreads joy everywhere she rolls.

Last Sunday as I was walking the kids to class, Milley’s best buddy Lola was pushing her along.  Lola was born with dwarfisim and the two are kindred spirits.  (You should see Lola dance!)  Half way to class, Lola popped Milley’s wheelchair into a wheelie.  The overprotective mother in me cringed but they were both having so much fun I restrained myself from correcting them and instead just walked along beside them. 

I know I should not have favorites in my class and honestly, I love them every one, but Milley has a special place in my heart because she is the kind of person I want to be and lives her life the way I want to live mine.  The bottom line is although she is bound to a wheelchair, Milley is freer than most who can run.

The kids had worship before the lesson.  The woman who led them is young, energetic, beautiful and dark.  Her ebony hair is short, spiky and highlighted blue.  She played her guitar and began to sing praises.  The kids joined in, clapping their hands.  I closed my eyes and sang too.  It was a song about Heaven.  Suddenly, as if God tapped my spirit on the shoulder, my eyes flew open and I looked down at Milley.  There she was, a smile on her face with both arms lifted as high as she could in praise to God. 

And in that moment, I saw her as she will be on the day God calls all his children home and makes everything new.  I closed my eyes and imagined her standing straight and strong, leading the rest of us as she danced before the Lord, whole at last.

So, what does Milley have to teach me today?  Will I hold so tightly to the pain of those who have rejected, abandoned or injured me in the past that I find it impossible to love freely in the present?  Will I become so focused on my weaknesses and limitations that I fail to use my strengths?  Will I worry so much about how others perceive me that I become bound by insecurity? 

Will I wait for perfection or will I dance through the life I have been given?

I know Milley isn’t waiting and I don’t want to either.  Today, I’m going to dance.

 (The names of the children in this post have been changed to protect their privacy.)

Advertisements

4 comments on “Not Gonna Wait to Dance

  1. Danelle
    October 23, 2007

    You made me cry! This is so powerful! I absolutely can’t wait to meet “Millie” in Heaven! And in the meantime I’m gonna DANCE too! thanks for the reminder!
    Blessings!

  2. Jayleigh
    October 24, 2007

    Yep, I’m crying too! What an amazing story. I could see little Milley standing strong and dancing. Amazing.

    I so needed to hear this today.

    On Nov. 1, if this cycle turns out to be a bust, I am calling the County Fostering service and/or an Adoption agency. We have love to spare, and we know there are kids out there who need it. We’ve been talking about it for years, and have put it off. And I don’t see why we’ve put it off anymore. We’ve run out of reasons.

    Thanks again for the story!

  3. Kristie
    October 24, 2007

    You’re back and dancing! Yeah! I’ve missed your blog offerings, better known to me as encouragement. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story, friend!

  4. Cheryl
    October 24, 2007

    So, what does Milley have to teach me today? Will I hold so tightly to the pain of those who have rejected, abandoned or injured me in the past that I find it impossible to love freely in the present? Will I become so focused on my weaknesses and limitations that I fail to use my strengths? Will I worry so much about how others perceive me that I become bound by insecurity?

    Thank you for posting this Sherri. We are dealing with a wayward 20yo daughter. I visited her again this past weekend with my parents and though the pain I feel for her and from her has been greater in the past, I still am dealing with rejection from her. She is more willing to take government help with its stipulations that the loving help of her family.

    Sometimes I feel the ‘stigma’ of having an ‘imperfect’ family because of adoption related issues. Issues that it has taken family and friends three-plus years to understand. Now I also feel the ‘stigma’ of having an ‘imperfect’ family because of my bio daughter’s issues. It is something not everyone can understand.

    Thank you for reminding me that what these other people think really does not matter. I need to focus on the strengths of myself and my family and remind myself that God will guide us if we listen closely to Him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on October 23, 2007 by in adoption, children, Christianity, family, God, Heaven, hope, inspiration, joy, thankfulness, transracial adoption.
%d bloggers like this: