Today we are finishing up with my fourteen year old daughter’s inspirational speech she gave at a competition. We are closing with her final point. I can still remember her, just a tiny little girl, only three years old, slipping on her first pair of pink shoes. I never knew the blessing she would be today and how she has grown and matured. I feel blessed to be her mommy and grateful we found Ms. Kelly to train her not only in the things of ballet, but also in righteousness. Here is what Danika writes:
Never Give Up
I want to encourage you to dance with me in this life. I don’t expect you to put on ballet shoes, but I encourage you to see dancing as an analogy for living. Because all we really need to know about how to live for Jesus, we can learn in ballet class.
One of the most important sayings that I hear in my sleep is “Don’t ever give up!” That means even though you are tired and worn out with nothing left to give, you still hold the position and SMILE! Remember when I am on pointe the pain is invisible to you, but not to me. I have lost a toenail, gained a bunion and have endure excruciating blisters and bruises. But my love for dance has helped me endure through challenges!
Described as a ballerina who defies the odds and never gave up, Misty Copeland is black. She has the wrong body type, the wrong feet and too big a bust. She was too old at 13 to start training for ballet. Yet Misty never let the criticism get in her way, because she too loved ballet. She kept on and today she is one of the most famous ballerinas and the first black principal dancer. She never gave up!
In the Bible, Paul encourages us to never give up either. In 2 Peter 1:3, he says “God has given us everything we need for this life.” How much of everything is everything? EVERYTHING! As Christians, we too must never give up and lose heart but rather keep trusting in Jesus and doing good. Even if it hurts or is painful, we are encouraged to do this because we love Jesus. I point out if I can stand on my toes with the joy of ballet. I know God gives me extra strength to endure, how much more we as Christian with the promise of glory to come and eternal life in heaven. Stand with me and don’t give up!
Don’t forget while you are dancing that some day we will be standing at the foot of Jesus. He will ask us “How did you live for me through your life? How did you show me through all you did?” He will have seen your “spotting”, “your shine for him” and your “determination to never quit”.
In the words of Mercy Me,
“Will I dance for you, Jesus? Or in awe of You, be still
Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing Hallelujah will I be able to speak at all? I can only imagine!”
How do you “never give up” as you are dancing through your life?
Danika Young is fourteen years old and is the daughter of Bruce and Jeanna Young. She is homeschooled and lives in Southern California. Not only is she a ballerina and a speech and debate enthusiast, she loves art, fashion and baking. She placed in the finals and semi-finals in STOA speech competitions this year and hopes to continue competing next year.