Relationships can be hard. Some more than others. With each person we find ourselves moving to a different dance and doing our best to follow the steps, but recognizing we might step on toes or not know the way everytime? There is grace (hopefully) as we learn and grow together, but sometimes this is not always the case. Sometimes we must leave the dance and realize we gave it our best shot. When we feel hurt too often we choose to end the dance. We can watch the person dance with others from afar or we can cut ties completely. Ending a dance entirely is not a bad thing either. Sometimes “releasing” another individual is the best way to show them we care for them and ourselves.
So how do we handle the more difficult dances? The confusing ones we don’t understand? Often we find these relationships at work or in our extended families…with our neighbors or possibly at our children’s sports team events. These are the relationships we can’t truly avoid and we awkwardly tip toe or stomp around these people each time we see them. We admit we can’t be ourselves around these folks and often times don’t know what to do except hide and grumble or hold our heads up high, pridefully.
In marriage, our dance may be difficult when we go through hard times like when finances are tight. We each try to lead the relationship or control which way to turn. Both partners are left feeling frustrated and stubborn and ultimately hurt that they feel misheard. The dance was so fun at first? What happened?
Difficult dances are not a bad thing. They challenge our character and remind us of our brokenness in this chaotic world. They help us to reflect and take into consideration the things we may need to work on personally. Negative emotions may surface like frustration or anger -which is okay. We are each human. The problem is when we decide to stay in this emotion and give-up. The issue becomes when we never truly reflect on our own self and ask questions like, “Where can I take responsibility in the dance?” or “When did I move and should have waited or not moved at all?” Self-reflection is crucial in relationships and forgiveness should be the goal (and just a reminder, forgiveness does not mean forgetting).
Relationships each move in a different way because we are each different. God made us this way. In Psalm 139:13 it says,
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
Every single piece of you and I was made intentionally- with love and ownership. God knew you before you were even concieved because He is your Creator. Your greatest love. He is crazy about you. In this love, He also gave you free will. The ability to make choices and honor Him in those decisions. He helps us along the way if we are vulnerable enough to see our need for Him. He also is patient-loving and waits on our return to Him when we don’t let Him in…this pains His heart. Like a shepherd and his sheep (Jn 10:11). Like a loving Father, He protects.
The world is full of unique individuals of all groups and backgrounds and two things remain the same for us all:
-God is our Creator
-God loves us all
As we enter into our dances with one another, some intimate and some more surface-like, we find ourselves looking to a God who is perfect and who authored THE dance. The original dance with the best leader. The dance that reminds us of our need for Him. The dance which reveals His goodness, hope and heart for His children. It’s fun and inviting, warm and safe.
The more we dance with our Creator, the better we dance with others…and the better we dance with others, the better this world will be.
“Let Israel be glad in his Maker; Let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King. Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre. For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.…”
-Psalm 149: 2-4
Ashley Wright, MA, LPC-A
1601 Jones Franklin Road
Raleigh, NC 27606