I pray with and for my kids as I’m sure many of you do. One night as a feis (Irish Dance Competition) was approaching, I was saying bedtime prayers with my daughter. She just had one more dance to get a 1st so she could move up a level and begin wearing the poofy, blingy skirt and big wig. She prayed that God would help her with her dance and reluctantly, we prayed for the win. First we hesitated. When there is war and cancer and homelessness, is it really okay to pray for a 1st place in a dance competition? We discussed this, and considered that God wants us to take all things to Him in prayer and petition and that we are ALL important to Him, so we started praying for the win.
A couple of days later she was at the feis and as usual after she checked in and got in the line, I watched and prayed silently over and over again. I was 0kay with praying for the win. As the girls stepped out to dance one girl came out and then stopped….she forgot her dance…..she fumbled a bit and then just went back to the line in tears before the dance was over. I stopped praying for my daughter and even prayed to God saying “We will be ok, don’t worry about us. Please just take care of that little girl and guide her mom to handle this with care and build her back up.” A few minutes later it was my daughter’s turn to dance. She was on fire! Well, for most of the dance she was on fire. Near the end I could tell her feet fumbled just a little, but she got right back into it. Maybe the judge didn’t see her error. As she came to me after getting off the stage she expressed disappointment. She could tell the judge was watching her and was impressed until she forgot her step, and yes the judge was still watching her. She seemed to be handling it well. I prayed in my head as we walked through the crowd thanking God that my daughter was handling things well and continued to pray for the other little girl who had been crying on stage.
Later when we went to look at results we saw that my daughter placed 3rd in the dance she so desperately needed to place 1st. She was not surprised, but she was definitely disappointed. On the drive home that day, as she was eating her traditional after feis M&M Blizzard, I reminded her that God is answering our prayers, but he is saying to her “not yet”. I noticed for the next week or so that she was somewhat quiet and routine with our bedtime prayers. She stopped praying about dancing altogether. Oh no…we should not have prayed for the win. I set her up to be angry with God. I also realized that I was underestimating God when I thought he had to forget about her to take care of another girl. Don’t I know he can do ALL things and care for ALL of us at the same time?!?! Oh no. What have I done?
Two weeks later, early on a sunny August morning, we were on our way into another feis. She didn’t want to pray about it in the hotel room. As she was pulling her Zuca up the sidewalk ahead of me I prayed silently, “God, whatever happens today, may it bring her closer to You.” That was all. That was my simple prayer. Of course, as she was in line waiting her turn to step out to dance I continued with my usual prayers for her to have confidence and to do her best, but I didn’t pray for the win. And my daughter? She did eventually earn her poofy, blingy skirt and big wig. In fact, she is now in her solo dress and wears a tiara in her big wig. More importantly, she is close to Him. She prays daily, sometimes with me and sometimes on her own. The night before every feis she prays aloud for God to be with her as she dances and she prays for all of the other dancers. My dance mom prayer every feis morning continues to be, “God, whatever happens here today, may it bring her closer to You.”