Some weeks ago, a beautiful and talented girl I know wrote something that touched my heart. It taught me a thing or two about endurance, faith and a positive attitude, which we all need especially when things don’t go as we planned. Haley Hilton is a dancer with quite a long list of accomplishments, she has danced professionally and competed on “So You Think You Can Dance”. Despite the challenges she has had to face for years, she has a gorgeous smile on her face each time she visits our home and a beautiful spirit that radiated for miles. These are her words:
“I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this girl that I used to know. Gosh she was a stubborn little thing. When she decided she was going to do something, there wasn’t a force in this world that could stop her. She had commitment and work ethic like you wouldn’t believe. She wanted it too bad. She loved it too much.
True, she sacrificed unreasonably. And true she was a little out of balance. But there was something to be admired about her commitment to dreaming. Her commitment to following through. It’s something not a lot of girls that young possessed. At least not back then.
She would be so mad at me today. She’d be screaming, “Why did you let it beat you down? Why did you give in to giving up?”
I’d shakily reply that I was sorry. I know we had hopes and big dreams, but life had plans of its own.
And you can’t beat lyme disease by sheer grit. It takes God. And sometimes God takes His time for your sake.
She wouldn’t get that yet. She hasn’t learned about all of the good that comes from the bad.
“Fight harder!” she’d say.
“I’m trying!” I’d cry back.
The scars on my arms from needles and pic-lines can’t explain it well enough. Truthfully they don’t do it justice at all. The moments of unbelievable physical pain I have endured in order to be whole again, are things she could never understand.
She can’t see that I’ve had no choice but to put our plans on the back burner.
From her perspective we had already fought through so much together. Insecurities, broken hearts, mean girls, disbelieving teachers, broken bones. She can’t understand why I haven’t beaten this by now. She has no idea what’s in store. She has no idea about the things that can break you.
But she’s right. I mean for the past few months at least, I’ve only cried three times about not dancing. It used to be every day that the feeling of loss would consume me. Goodness, I’ve been sad before. But there is something unsettling about when heartbreak hurts a little less. When it feels like fire it means you are just passionate enough to do something about it. When it thaws it’s giving in.
Maybe I could explain to her that I had hit the acceptance phase of the five stages of grieving. At this point she has heard of them before, right?
But let’s be honest. I haven’t accepted it. If I had she wouldn’t even be a part of this. I’ve been beaten down enough that I can forget about my dreams deferred for a time. But then it comes crawling back up, reminding me of how bad I really want it. Reminding me that I love it too much too.
Heavenly Father loves us. He really does. He shows us how to keep on living when opportunities go missing and plans walk away.
And at the same time he let’s us keep a small fire burning for the things that are really important to us.
So for the girl that I knew. For the girl that I am.
Something is bound to come true.”