This is my friend Rachel!
Rachel comes to Capernaum Club on Thursday Nights! Young Life Capernaum is a ministry for high school students through age 26 who have disabilities. We started Metro Detroit Capernaum in December, and work closely with Ward Church! Rachel has been to the last two clubs, but I can already tell you she is a funny, wonderful, sweet and sassy girl! Our leader Lauren sent me this picture of Rachel, and I love it! Perfectly her!
Sherry, a Capernaum Leader and Director of Special Needs Ministry at Ward, knows Rachel from school. The first night Rachel came to Capernaum Club I introduced myself and asked Rachel what she likes to do.
Very quickly she responded with, “I LOVE singing and dancing!” And then she gave me this big smile, and a little wink while she turned to check out the room.
I said, “You will LOVE Capernaum then!"
From 6:30-7:00 at Capernaum Club we have hang out time… our friends can do a craft, play games, eat a snack, and now they can dance! I turned up some music for Rachel, and asked if she liked the song? "Love Is An Open Door" seemed like a good tune, seeing as it was our Frozen themed club!
This is what happened next…
Rachel just started dancing! In a room full of leaders, buddies, parents and peers, Rachel busted out her dance moves in her amazing glitter shirt! I couldn't believe it, and I couldn't take my eyes off of her. She danced for 20 minutes. Danced in a room full of people with a smile full of confidence!
Watching Rachel, I pushed back tears. Yes, that room was a place she felt comfortable right away, and I hope felt automatically loved, welcomed, and celebrated, but honestly that is not why my eyes were welling up. Watching Rachel was a beautiful lesson in letting go.
Honestly for me, and I would imagine for many of us, everyday is a battle with the thoughts of others in the back of my mind. My actions, decisions, words, and choices on display for others to see. People can be harsh, critical and opinionated. I am sensitive and care way too much what others will think! Will they critique, make fun of me, judge and deem who I am as good or bad? I know that is not the way I should be thinking, especially at 31, but it is hard for me to let those voices go. To set that wondering down, and live authentically as me!
What will others think?
Do I look okay?
Did I say the right thing?
Am I funny enough?
Will they think I have it all together?
I wish I was brave like Rachel… courageous to do what makes me feel authentically me without thinking about how others might see me. I admire Rachel, and the ability she has to be uniquely herself.
I am constantly striving to become that version of myself, but what does that look like with these voices nudging my decisions, choices, and actions? Second guessing who I am, what I have done, or will do. And on days when the wondering becomes consuming, I can easily feel stuck.
I think being authentically me looks like dancing.
It looks like my new friend Rachel!!!
There is joy in watching Rachel dance, but I think that is how God feels about each of us when we live into our story. When we live into our own gifts, talents, things we like that gives us energy and life… God cheers us on! He is captivated by the authenticity that He has created in EACH of us. He is captured with us exactly was we are, and made to be! And I think He cheers us on even louder when we ignore the thoughts, feelings, and wonderings of how others might see us and we just dance! Because in the end we are, each of us, loved by the King of Kings... Called by name by our Father who wants us to dance as DEARLY loved sons and daughters! This is who we are.
I want to be Bravely Me!
I want to dance in a crowded room, and know my identity and value is in Jesus!
I want to stop second guessing if I am good enough, and trust God is cheering me on!
Will you be brave with me today? In all we do, lets dance like Rachel!
"So let the music begin; praise His name—dance and sing
to the rhythm of the tambourine, and to the tune of the harp." Psalm 149:3