risk it.

take that chance.

dance a little.

walk across the room.

be vulnerable.

peel yourself off that middle school wall and do the Macarena with everyone else. 

yes, i'm talking to myself. my much younger self.

and no, you're not eavesdropping. i'm sure we'd have been friends back then.

well maybe not, after you hear all i'd wish i had known back then.

it's tuesday and i stand watching as half a dozen girls in my class pile into one of their mom's station wagons.

after school. on the elementary campus.

all happy as cute little larks.

they giggle with glee because they have been friends since birth.

this is so second nature to them - they carpool to dance class together.

i climb into an econoline van with my two younger sisters and some of the neighborhood boys who we take home.

why can't i be in the station wagon with the little larks?

i lull myself to sleep with dreams of dance class and ballerina swirls and light pink slippers.

but my firstborn self told my dreamy self to snap out of it.

i can't dance.

besides, we don't have the money to cover long-term dance lessons.

they dance because they can afford it. 

i'm not like them.

i think i'm getting better with this as middle school opens its doors to new freedoms and responsibilities.

still being picked up in the econoline van, this time would be different.

this time i make it to the middle school dance and am in the same building with all the other girls.

but this time i am still paralyzed with fear. i'm clinging to the wall. okay. not clinging, just glued.

the dj plays the macarena and everyone rushes to the dance floor. not everyone. not me.

i chose to look like an idiot on the wall, rather than an idiot in the crowd!

the days pass me by. the scared, younger me buys into the lie that i'm not like others therefore i can't interact with them.

that i have nothing to offer them, so i'll stay on my side of the cafeteria. my side of the locker room.

if i make a difference, it won't affect them. how could it? 

my younger self would have never imagined that i'd reconnect with the dance girls again over facebook and we'd share stories of motherhood, heartache, faith.

my younger self would have imagined that i'd never take a dance class. and that being a good thing!

but my younger self would have been happy to know that some years later, i'd risk it. i'd walk across the room.

in essence, i would dance.

i would step outside my comfort zone and try hard things.

i would travel overseas. i would smuggle Bibles into a foreign country.

i would seek to adopt a little girl from india.

alongside my husband, we'd start a church in a downtown urban setting and see it thrive.

i would look into the eyes of my three biological children and into the eyes of my sponsored child and say,

risk it.

take that chance.

dance a little.

walk across the room.

be vulnerable.

peel yourself off that middle school wall do the Macarena with everyone else. 


you have a voice right now.

take what you would have loved to know as a child and speak those very truths

in a letter

to a sponsored child.

write your child today.

sponsor a child today. they need to hear they can do it. they can overcome.

they can make a difference regardless what they can afford.

they can dance!