Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Dance by Susan Tuttle

Anybody remember high school dances? The dimly lit gymnasium. Soft ballads playing. Kids slowly spinning each other in a never-ending circle and calling it dancing. And that chip bowl where some of us spent many of our hours at. Ahhh…I remember it fondly.
Recently that memory melded with a moment in my writing world. You see, I received another rejection letter. We all know this is part of the game, and yet for a moment it sent me back to standing right next to that chip bowl. You see, I’ve helped many of my friends ready themselves for the dance of this writing world. Together we’ve primped and styled each others manuscripts, one sheets, and proposals. We’ve arrived at the dance giddy and breathless with the hope that someone will hold out their hand and asks us to twirl across the floor. We’ve stood together by that chip bowl waiting for it to happen. And I’ve watched as each of them had their moment. Their publishing partner appears and whisks them onto that floor while I’m still taping my toe to the music, waiting for mine to show up. Oh, they’ve circled. They’ve looked me in the eye even. But then the music changes, and they turn around or ask someone else.
I’ll admit. At first I smiled with my friends without a pang to be felt in my body. But as each one disappeared into the throng of dancers on the floor, I started to despair. Oh, my happiness for them remained, but I began to lament to God as I stuffed my mouth with more chips. Would my partner ever arrive? Why was everyone else found desirable while I held up the wall behind me?
Friends, isn’t God wonderful to open our eyes when we aren’t clearly seeing what is right in front of us? When we are too focused on what we are missing to see what we already possess? He has a way of speaking right to our tender hearts…because he holds them in his hands. See, I had a partner who’d been standing right in front of me the entire time. One who desperately wanted to pull me into his arms and onto that floor for a dance I’d never forget. And it wouldn’t be turning in a small circle. It would be spins and dips to a song written just for me in the arms of Someone who’d never let me trip or fall and had always found me desirable: Jesus.
Sometimes we become so focused on “making it” in this publishing world that we forget why it is we write. Friends, when our attention remains fixed on the fact that we’re still standing by the chip bowl, we miss out on the hand God is holding out to us. The fun to be had in dancing with him. Do I still pray to find that publishing house one day? Of course! I fully believe God created me as a writer and plan to use this gift for his glory. But even if they never come, God has a plan, and he’s filled my dance card with his name.
And I intend on dancing each step with him in the lead.

Susan L. Tuttle lives in Michigan where she’s happily married to her best friend and is a homeschooling mom of three. She’s firmly convinced that letters were meant for words, not math, and loves stringing them together into stories that inspire, encourage, and grow women into who God created them to be. Romance, laughter, and cookies are three of her favorite things, though not always in that order. You can connect with Susan at her blog, Steps, Facebook, or Twitter.