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The above excerpt was taken from Vikki Burke's latest book, "Some Days You Dance." For more information or to purchase this book, click here.

Most of us don’t know when the dancing stopped. For some of us, like me, it happened so early that we can’t remember we ever danced at all.

But we did. Every single one of us.

It’s taken years and a journey I never dreamed possible to be sure this is true. But I can say now, without any doubt, that God Himself put a sparkle in the eye and a dance in the heart of everyone ever born. He created us all to be so free, so loved, so full of joy that life itself is a celebration.

Such was God’s desire for us from the beginning, and such would be the story of our lives if things had gone along unspoiled.

But the fact is, they didn’t. Somewhere along the way, for all of us, the storyline got changed. Our freedom got stolen. The fun began to fade. The devil slipped in and pilfered it so subtly and slowly that we hardly even noticed what was happening. For the most part he used ordinary people and the everyday events to get the job done: A schoolmate’s harsh remark. A parent, weary from the workday, lashing out at us for a foolish mistake. A teacher, stretched to the limit, criticizing us for being too boisterous, too slow, or too shy.

Normal experiences, right? We take them so much for granted as they pile up year after year that we don’t realize how they’re changing us: How with each rejection or humiliation, we withdraw a little more to protect ourselves. How with each failure or criticism, we become a little less adventurous, a little less alive, a little less free to be ourselves.

For some people the process is gentle and gradual. For others it’s rough and rapid. When you grow up as I did, surrounded by the seriously wounded, your liberty is stripped in dramatic ways. Instead of slipping in, the devil barrels in and robs you at gunpoint. (In my particular case, that’s literal.)

But, either way, nobody escapes completely unscathed. Even in the most healthy, loving families, “the thief comes…to steal, and kill, and destroy,” and if you know what to look for, the evidence is there.

A friend of mine spotted it recently in her family during a gathering to celebrate the holidays. My friend asked her oldest granddaughter, a chirpy 11 year-old who’s always loved to sing, to entertain the group with a tune.

The year before, she’d serenaded the same bunch with uninhibited glee. But this time it was different. A tinge of scarlet spread across her face. She hung her head as if guilty of some crime and said, “No.”

“But we all want to hear you!” her mother pleaded.

Eyes fixed on the carpet, the girl shook her blonde head. Every adult in the room understood what she was feeling. She was afraid of making a mistake and looking the fool. She’d grown up some since last year, watched enough episodes of American Idol to be embarrassed about her vocal imperfections. The family thought she was wonderful, but she was no longer sure of it herself. So she decided to play it safe, hiding her inadequacies by refusing to sing.

Everyone accepted her decision and went back to pumpkin pie. Her grandmother, however, was not dissuaded. After extensive wheedling, she convinced her granddaughter to grant her a private performance. But even then, standing in front of the one person in whose eyes she could do no wrong, she couldn’t relax. So she turned her back toward her grandmother, faced the other way, and sang in a timid voice…looking at the wall.

As she was singing, a wide-eyed three-year old joined the audience. She listened to her older cousin, breathless with admiration, and when the song was over, clapped her dimpled hands. “My turn!” she cried.

Standing beside her cousin, the toddler tried to follow her example by turning away from her grandmother and singing to the wall. But she couldn’t do it. Her joy overcame her. The more she sang, belting out words and a tune that she made up as she went along, the more exuberant she became. Waving her arms, she whirled and called out, “Watch my moves, Grandma! Watch my moves!”

A few of the adults filtered in to enjoy the show. None of them could remember what it felt like to be that free. To feel so unconditionally loved. So perfectly accepted. So delighted with themselves.

Like the rest of us, they all lost that kind of freedom long ago. So long ago that they don’t even notice it’s gone.

But what if it was possible for us to regain that kind of freedom?

What if we could grow back into our lost liberty the same way we grew out of it not all at once in the kind of magic wand moment you find in fairy tales but a little at a time? What if Someone came along who could undo the damage that’s been done to our heart, restore what the devil has stolen, and set us free? Totally free.

Like we were in the beginning…

Source: Some Days You Dance by Vikki Burke.
Excerpt permission granted by Dennis Burke Publications

Author Biography

Vikki Burke
Web site: Dennis Burke Ministries
Vikki and Dennis began as youth pastors in 1973 in Southern California where they received tremendous insight into the work of the local church. In 1976, they moved to Ft. Worth, Texas, to work with Kenneth Copeland Ministries. Vikki worked with KCM for three years before entering full-time ministry with her husband. Since that time, their relationship and involvement with Kenneth Copeland Ministries has continued. Vikki and Dennis have had numerous articles published in the Believer's Voice of Victory magazine.

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