He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
2 Samuel 22:20
I know I’m dating myself but travel back to 1965 with me. The Sound of Music, a movie starring Julie Andrews, was released to a public still reeling from the assassination of John F. Kennedy. By November 1966, The Sound of Music had become the highest grossing film of all time. The music, written by Rogers and Hammerstein, remains one of the most successful soundtrack albums in history. When I was growing up, we knew all the songs by heart.
The opening scene of the movie is set in a lush, wide-open field at the top of an Austrian hillside, with majestic snow-topped peaks in the background. Julie Andrews appears. She is running toward us through the vast, green field. Her arms are open, she is joyfully singing, and her body is twirling.
All at once, the viewer is transported to that Austrian hilltop and can almost breathe in the clear crystal air, expansive space, sheer beauty of the setting, and Julie’s uninhibited, contagious joy. We want to twirl on that hill with her.
I have a picture of myself taken on Easter Sunday when I was five years old. I am wearing the typical little girl Easter Sunday uniform of the era. A white dress with pink smocking, frilly lace socks that turn down at the ankles, patent leather Mary Jane shoes, and an Easter bonnet symbolized the moment.
I’m twirling in the photo. In fact, I’m spinning so fast that my dress is blurred, and my bonnet is missing. I imagine I felt so happy in my pretty clothes, so thrilled it was Easter Sunday, so joyous that my grandparents were visiting, and was so hyped up on Peeps that I couldn’t help myself. I had to twirl. There is nothing but unrestrained freedom and joy in that picture. Please forgive the blurry 1960’s photo!
As an adult, I’ve experienced many moments over the years when I looked at the photo of myself and wondered, when did I stop twirling? Maybe you can relate to the sadness that washed over me when I realized I’d allowed life events to steal my joy. Has something stolen yours?
I believe we were all born to be twirling girls—to live uninhibited and free in this one short life God has given us. Breaking free from debilitating strongholds and false beliefs about our bodies and how we nourish them is how we reclaim the twirling girl that still lives inside each of us. She is inside you, simply waiting for the grown-up you to become aware and set her free.
Once our eyes are opened to how we’ve been fooled by our culture, the media, a billion-dollar weight loss industry, snake oil salespeople, and the enemy himself, we can’t unsee what we’ve seen. We can’t unknow what we now know. Awareness is 99 percent of the battle.
As we heal and reclaim our true selves, we will twirl again, and this freedom has nothing to do with what we weigh. Twirling women come in all shapes and sizes.
We will appear with our arms open, running out into our spacious place of peace. Our singing and twirling will be as worship to the One who brought us there. Our uninhibited joy will become contagious, and others will awaken to what they, too, have kept hidden away. Like the little girls who wished they could twirl with Julie Andrews, they will want to twirl with you, as well.
Imagine a world full of joyful, unencumbered, twirling women proclaiming their healing. Try to picture an army of sisters who do not worry about what they weigh, because they know their God delights in them as they are. The impact to our family, friends, and communities would prove immeasurable. What a beautiful world it would be if we dared to become twirling girls again.
With you on the journey,
To celebrate the launch of my NEW 31-Day devotional Still Becoming, this post is an excerpt from the book! Still Becoming is available for pre-order now! Simply click over to the My Book page here on the website. Make sure you are subscribed to my newsletter so you do not miss a thing!