Just a little over sixteen years ago Lori and I welcomed our oldest child (Isabel) into the world. To say I was nervous would be an understatement, I was scared to death at the thought of being responsible for another human being. Making sure she was fed, bathed, and even clothed properly. I remember the first time Lori left me in charge of all these tasks was on a Wednesday night and when I got to church a kind lady (Linda Mullis) politely informed me that Isabel’s pants were on backwards. I was a mess, and truthfully speaking I wasn’t just nervous about being a new father, I was scared to death.
A lot has happened since that time, and I am not longer as scared as I once was. In part that is because I have learned that “perfect loves casts out all fear.” If one should desire to be a good father it is of particular importance for them to learn from the heavenly father about the heart of a father. Having spent some time attempting to understand my role better from a scriptural standpoint, I now realize that a good father will only carry you so far. At some point he must set you on your feet and ask you to walk. Of course he will never abandon his child, but he will have certain expectations.
When Isabel started her Ballet journey several years ago, neither myself nor Lori knew how far she was willing to take it. She had already tried playing ball, she was done with that the first time she got hit. She tried piano for a while as well and for whatever reason it just wasn’t her thing. Lori worried about her not making friends and/or being willing to get out of her box. In fact there was even a time where as a family we prayed about her making friends. It has always been difficult for Isabel to step up and step out of that box. That is until she found Ballet. She seemed to metamorphosis right before our eyes. She was captivated by the world of dance, and even developed a love for classical music, which is a strange phenomenon in this generation of teens. I remember one year we went to browsers flea market in Eastman, Georgia in order to buy up all the classical records they had for Isabel’s Christmas gifts…that was all she wanted (along with a record player of course).
However the Journey now seems to be more of a passion that is likely leading to her calling. The only advice I can give her is travel the road as far as it goes, and go no further lest the Lord instruct you. Just because the road comes to an end does not necessarily mean the Journey is over, It may mean the Lord is expecting you to do a little off-roading. Unfortunately the path is not as smooth, and your bound to hit obstacles and barriers when you do go off-road. Having said that the smooth sailing for Isabel looks to have come to an end, at least in her eyes anyway. You see last year when she left IBC in Mississippi, she knew she wanted to go on to more intensives the following summer. However Isabel has still not gotten over the fact that she started ballet late in life and cannot seem to understand that “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” Therefore in her mind she honestly did not think she would get accepted to any of them. Turns out she did, in fact she was accepted into both places she auditioned for.
Here is where the grand illusion begins, the school she wants to attend is in Orlando, Florida and the cost is fairly significant. As a father who wants to teach his daughter to walk and work, I put the ball in her court. I told her if you want to go, you must raise the money. For Isabel this seems like an impossible task. She has sold some t-shirts but the task in her mind is insurmountable. For this I am glad, I say that because until we reach the point of humble resignation to God’s plan, we are only spinning our wheels. Isabel sent me a text this morning and I have been thinking about it all day long. Here is what she said:
I know if God wanted me to go, he could provide the resources. I have no doubt about that. But I am really worrying myself to death about it and I am scared the scholarship thing wont email me back in time for me to register. Like I said its ok, its not a big deal. When I said I wanted to audition I told you I would raise the money, but I didn’t think I would get into any of them. let alone both. I wasn’t prepared, that was my fault and I learned a lesson.
Yes, she has learned a lesson. I expect she will also learn the heart of her father now. Not me, but her heavenly father. Like I said, it is my job to teach her how to walk, but I will not abandon her on the journey. I am posting here a go fund me page that Isabel started and am humbly asking that if anyone is willing to help her please do…it’s all I want for my birthday. I am so very proud of her and I know that you all are as well. Thank you for reading my musings.