As I consider the prompt for this journal, I cannot help but find a degree of disagreement with it. Somewhat related to this week’s writing topic, a “Brer Rabbit” story which is comprised of a humorous out smarting of a villain, the prompt is to write about a difficult situation I struggled to get out of. If I think in terms of a situation I “got out of” I think about cheekily avoiding an awkward guy who seemed extremely interested in me, or various small things to that degree. Once problems become larger, I don’t usually get out of them. Difficult situations are not often to be avoided; they are instead to be overcome. I have decided therefore to write about a relationship full of painful remarks that I worked through.
From the first days that I delved into the dress-up basket full of my older sisters’ dance costumes, I have wanted to go into ballet as a profession. I would spend hours in an ancient stained tutu dancing to the Nutcracker to the point that my family couldn’t stand the CD any longer. Eventually I attended classes with my little sister. Because I am more out-going of the two of us, my parents decided to keep us in the same class for a while. I loved being the oldest in the class, and therefore often the best. I talked a lot, and loved to lead the group, especially if we had a sub-teacher. I knew the choreography the best. But eventually I moved to a class in my age level and even attended classes beyond my age level, just for the sake of advancing my technique.
That was when I met someone who was just like the little me. She was tall and she talked up a storm. I don’t know what all of the reasons were for it initially, but I disliked her from the start. She was younger by a few years, but she didn’t act younger. At least to every one of my sisters, we thought she acted like she was the oldest and the best in class. However, I shortly moved out of her class and into the level.
Then she moved upward too and suddenly she began competing to reach the top of a class I’d been in for three years. Being several inches taller than me, she was a hard obstacle to just erase from the back of my mind, especially when we were put in the same section of the dance. If that had been the only thing, I probably would have noticed her little, but then there were those myriads of cheap comments. My friend would complement me and she would jump in to claim it herself.
I knew that much of the problem was caused by my own immaturities, but how could I just pinpoint the issues in me and not feel as if she was attacking me? In desperation I tried as many approaches as I could think of. I talked to my teacher, but the most she would do was listen to me. I would tell her how this girl was constantly critiquing my dancing, telling me when I was supposed to go on stage, or telling me “that’s enough now” when I acted goofy. But my teacher chose to not say anything.
Encouraged by a close friend, I finally did what I should have done from the very start, I prayed. For several weeks I hardly prayed about anything else. But the problem didn’t just vanish. I then decided to talk to my Bible study teacher, who also teaches dance. After drawing her aside I explained the situation to her and asked her advice. She told me that this girl often came across in a way she didn’t mean at all, and that she wasn’t trying to attack me at all. Though I hated the idea, she advised me to talk to her about the issue and tell her that she was coming across badly.
I stalled for weeks. I didn’t want to talk to her. What on earth was I going to say? I knew I could so easily just cut into her and let out all the wrath I’d been suppressing for years. So I simply prayed and a few weeks later everything changed. She complimented me out of the blue, and we were suddenly friends. There was so much more to her than the little things she said that made me take offense.
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16