At high school graduation I sat there listening to teachers speak and fellow students give encouraging speeches about what’s to come with the future. What stuck out to me and has resonated with me for years after that day is what our guidance counselor, Bebe Jonakin said at the end of her speech.

“Class of 2001, I hope you dance!”

For some reason this just always stuck out to me over the years. The main lyrics and chorus are (if you have never heard of the song by Lea Ann Womack):

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
I hope you dance….I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

Some amazing words to live by and think about. As I walked out of that graduation I felt the new breeze that everyone does as they start the next chapter of their life…

Fast forward to today and I heard that same song sung by Mandisa yesterday. It has such a different meaning for me now. When I first heard the lyrics I associated them with success, never giving up, dreams, reaching my goals in life etc. I focused on what I thought I should as in chasing my dreams, doing the right thing and never giving up even when people told me it wouldn’t work.

I was wrong.

After Rachel passed away, something changed or actually a lot of things changed to be honest. You see I realized what I had known all along, we are here for one purpose – to bring others to the Lord in all that we do. I always tried to do the right thing, smile at others and be kind so they could see the joy in my life but I was one who got caught up in the way the world is now. – Make a living, get a nice car, have a family, take nice trips, work hard to buy a house you can’t afford and all the above. These words now hit me between the eyes in the fact that I wasn’t doing enough. I know some may think I have changed but I haven’t changed, I just see things a lot clearer than I use to. God never leaves you even in your darkest storms and my family is living proof of that. ¬†This is our temporary home and we have so much more to look forward to when this life passes away.

“Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance…”

I use to look up at the sky with a smile but now I look up with tears in my eyes as the sun hits my face. Not with sadness but with joy because He brought me back to what I know I need to do. I see people with lavish things, fancy outfits, pricey dinners, extravagant trips and they can have all of it because the I have the ultimate gift that’s free just as Rachel did. And that my friends is all that matters.

Right now there is so much going on in our world where sometimes it seems there is no hope but hope is not in the world, it’s in Jesus. You can’t scan the headlines without getting stressed or worrying about what the day will bring but you know that one day you will have no worries. The pastor said today, “Don’t you long for a life with no worry?” That day is the day you accept the Lord and step foot in heaven. I love that Rachel doesn’t have to deal with anything anymore, she’s not missing out – we are.

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Photo tonight right after a run…

Whatever you’re holding onto right now, just let it go.

So, I will say to you because it stuck with me for years – I hope you dance.

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Written by ashley
Entrepreneur + Believer. Though I stumble and fall each day, oh what a wonderful journey it is. Don't sweat the small stuff and say what you need to say.