Sunday, May 18, 2014

Retreat or Dance

I can sometimes act as if I'm a turtle. I crawl into my shell where it's comfortable and safe and no one can hurt me and I stay there. There in my shell no one expects anything of me and I don't expect anything of anyone else. I don't have to take any unnecessary risks there. I don't have to take a chance of reaching out to someone who doesn't respond, or trust in someone who lets me down.

I just want to be a hard shelled turtle, alone, with no sense of community.

When I lived up north near the lakes, we had a lot of snapping turtles. They would retreat into their shell due to fear of a predator but as soon as the danger was over they would pop their heads back out and begin to move. Sometimes we would find one miles away from the lake, just slowly walking along the side of the road looking for a new adventure.

After a hurt the easiest thing to do is to retreat to our shells, but we have to pop our heads back out and move. It can be slowly at first like the snapping turtle, but sooner or later we have to move.

People are not perfect. Sometimes they disappoint us, sometimes they hurt us on purpose, sometimes they hurt us without even knowing it. And sometimes we hurt other people.

I have loved and lost. Pancreatic cancer ripped my husband from me. I lose my mother a little bit every day to Alzheimer's disease. My friends have disappointed me. My support system has failed me, and those I have supported have turned against me.

Life is hard. I can retreat into my shell where it's safe and no one will hurt me again,

OR, I can MOVE. 

It's a decision. All I have to do is take one step.. and then another step..

Who knows, I just may learn to dance!


  1. As a sister widow, I've learned that I have to step out of my comfort zone. It isn't always easy, but Jesus is with me every step of the way.

    What a lovely video. I want to learn to dance too.

    God's blessings on you ~ FlowerLady

  2. When times get really tough, we want to hide because some say bad things shouldn't happen to people that 'don't deserve them'. There is a shame involved with misfortune. Failure carries guilt. Illness implies a pathology of brokenness in the body, soul and spirit. On the mountain tops of life we shout glory to God and salutations to all our friends. In the dark valleys of life we creep along hoping no one will notice our infirmities. We become hermits in a cave, tasting the bitterness of our wounds in every meal, every conversation and every hello. We dread the knock on the door because our misfortune, our disease, our brokenness walks with us to answer the door. We see this in the pity mirrored in our visitors eyes. We see this in the dark circles of sleepless worry under our eyes when we look in the mirror. Our disease and the pain of it nails us to a cross that we don't want to be on and so torments us all the more! We hide when we hurt bad!

  3. So true Tony Kiar. It is so much easier to give praise when we are on the mountain top! God has a lot of things to teach me as I travel the long road that I wouldn't have learned taking the short route.