What Ballet Taught Me About Faith

Faith, like ballet, often doesn’t start out pretty. It isn’t perfect. And frankly, it never will be. No matter how hard we try. However, it does GROW. Little by little, just like technique developed through the progression of ballet classes, it gets stronger.

It started out as only a few steps. They were weak and frail. But you gave it your all. Changes start. Opportunities arise. Chances come. But with faith, just like in ballet, new experiences aren’t always easy.

Challenges arrive. Nervousness kicks in. Fear rattles us. Self doubt brews. Tears pour. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. Your strength and stamina is tested. How much longer can you last? Are you really cut out for this? Why do you even try? You aren’t good enough. You are too weak. Give up.

Ballet is a test of mental and physical endurance in the face of a mirror. Faith however, is a test of SPIRITUAL endurance in the face of all human trial…making it a much more difficult test. While ballet is endurance of the mind and body, faith is endurance of the heart. You can build both your dance skills and your heart. Yet, there is still a great divide that exists between the two:

You can always quit ballet, but you can’t quit eternity.

Now, the next thing you know; you are onstage for the whole audience to see. Stay focused. This is the moment. You are prepared. You are ready. You have practiced. And practiced. And practiced. For years.

Faith can present us with similar moments: when the build-up of trust in God little by little…the practice of loving God and loving others…leads you to a moment you would not have been ready for earlier in your faith progression. But now God has prepared You. Prepared Your heart. To glorify Him. Through love, prayer, action, service, wisdom, or words. Put away the nerves. All you have to do is take hold of God’s infallible hand and DANCE.

Back Home from Honduras! A Trip Synopsis & What We Learned

First and foremost, I would like to apologize for the absence of posts for an extended period of time. I recently returned home from a mission trip to Honduras through the incredible GlobalX organization. Because I have been attending to the trip’s blog for a while, I will admit that my writing on this blog has been rather slim. However, to make it up to you, I would like to share with you personally a synopsis of not only what my team did in Honduras, but what Jesus did- which is far more important. And if you don’t read anything more than this paragraph, I would like to just say that overall, what Jesus did was open our eyes…to love again…to a true sense of community…to a new sense of life. Enjoy the following in two parts:

Part 1- What we did:

Let me first say that our team was very thankful and blessed to have worked with such incredible organizations in order to spread God’s love. GlobalX, Honduras Outreach International, and Agrolibano enabled us with the encouragement, resources and safety necessary to truly have the greatest week of our lives. To give a brief outline of the trip is difficult as it was packed with so much life that can barely be reduced to words. The stories from the week are many and the love given and witnessed unfathomable. Each day, our team of about 17 split into groups of 3 to 5 to take on multiple projects throughout the village of Agua Agria. We mixed so much cement that by the end of the week, we felt like we were really getting the hang of it. We helped make cement for floors, latrines, and ovens. Though we felt slow and weak in comparison to the villagers’ swiftness and precision at the “pala” or shovel, the relationships made while working, laughing, and conversing with the villagers were worth every bit of sweat and toil. Sweet children often hung around the workspaces too. This made for some extra fun during work breaks. And despite the language barrier, the bonds made with parents and kids alike were so authentic and loving.

While most groups did physical work in the mornings and afternoons, one group each morning was designated to administer a form of Vacation Bible School to the kids of the school. Each member of the team got to help out with this at least once during the week. The theme chosen ahead of time was all about super heroes. We told stories from the Bible (with the help of our wonderful translators) and explained how they were super heroes. However, the reason that they were strong and courageous was not because they relied on themselves, but because they could always count on God. Each Bible story was accompanied with a super hero or Bible story inspired craft. One day the kids got to decorate and bring home fun capes and masks. Another day, to correspond with the story of Queen Esther, they made “coronas” or crowns to wear. All in all, it was a big hit with the kids. Everyone on our team had so much fun playing and telling stories to the kids. As one can imagine, this made saying goodbye on the last day of service extremely difficult. The closing fiesta really cemented how much we had fallen in love with the village and its people. We were inspired by their sense of community, unconditional love, and constant kindness.

We will never forget Agua Agria and we will never forget Honduras. All of the memories of love through Christ from the villagers will forever be in our hearts. We will continue to pray that God work in Agua Agria and the communities around it in big ways. His presence was undeniable throughout the week and we hope and pray that we can take the a piece of the Jesus driven love we received from the people of Agua Agria, the organizations that supported us, and our own team back to our own communities at home that desperately need God’s love as well. All in all, we are thankful, incredibly blessed, and give all of the glory to God for sending us on not only a trip to help people in the Name of Jesus Christ, but to immerse ourselves in His beautiful love and mercy in a way that we had never experienced before.

Part 2- What Jesus did…to our hearts:

Have you ever had a place just wreck your heart? It wasn’t just the village itself and its beauty. It was the PEOPLE that gave it life- which ended up giving me life. These people and this whole trip gave me a NEW sense of life…a sense of the life that God wants for us. As Jesus followers, no matter where or how we live, we are to have community with one another. These people, hidden well by tangled undergrowth and green mountains, have an intimate relationship with one another. They help and serve one another freely on a daily basis. I see this as how God wants us to relate to one another. In this village, all of the individuals’ lives are intertwined. Yet, when faced with others not of their origin or way of life, they were just as gracious…just as accepting. We aren’t any different than them because we all believe in the same God and have the same hope in Jesus Christ. We are all rooted in a love that cannot be uprooted. And because of that, we were not Americans helping Hondurans. We were believers helping fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Like neighbors. Occasionally weak and slow at work compared to them…but still neighbors all the same. This is the kind of community as Jesus followers we must embrace. In remote villages. In Honduras. In busy and affluent cities. In the United States. In the world. We are not Jesus followers here, and Jesus followers there. We are Jesus followers united from everywhere. And we are to treat each other as so. Don’t judge. Just love. Be a good neighbor. We are not separate. We are one. We are a community. We are the Body of Christ.