What I Learned Dancing with My Daddy

Dancing with my earthly daddy taught me an awful lot about navigating life’s challenges with my Heavenly Father.


My Memories

As I settled into the window seat on my flight to Florida, my neighbor to the left asked why I was headed to Tampa.

In a quaking voice, I choked out words that sounded foreign to my ears, “To see my Dad in the ICU.”

In one of the many ways God showed me He was with me over the hard days that followed, she revealed she had been a hospice chaplain for many years. Then she asked me to tell her about my Dad.

From nearly the time I was able to walk, I can remember placing my tiny feet on top of my Daddy’s shoes and moving to the beat of 1960s and 1970s classics.Dancing Daddy

As I got a little older, I’d place my hand in his and let him spin me around on the splintered wood and crackling concrete of our back porch.

Daddy Daughter Dance

Despite our history of cutting a rug, I never really mastered the art of moving my body in rhythm to music. In fact the only time I can remember dancing without feeling self-conscious is with him.

When it came time to pick the song for the Daddy-Daughter dance at my wedding, I struggled. Nothing seemed to fit our relationship just right.

Two weeks before the big event I finally confessed I hadn’t yet selected the tune. He said, “Oh, I know what we’re dancing to.” It was as if he had pictured the moment in his head for years.

My heart skipped a beat when he told me.

I’ve Had the Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing

In heels? And a full length, beaded gown? On a polished dance floor? In front of nearly 200 of our closest family and friends, and some of my in-laws I hadn’t yet met?

Ummmm… What? No. Way.

Let us step confidently into life's difficult dances knowing our Heavenly Daddy will never let us fall. @LizGiertz Click To Tweet

Life’s Hard Dances

I remembered how he had twirled me around to that very song over a decade before during a 4th of July BBQ. How he had never let me down. How his hand firmly gripped mine and his eyes focused on me without distraction. As I watched him and took my cues from him, I could anticipate our next move. How well we danced when I let him lead me.

That’s when I knew it was going to be alright. That I could trust him to keep me from sliding across the dance floor in that crowded ballroom.

We danced to that song at my wedding and a friend of mine snapped a couple of my favorite photos during our performance. The skirt of my dress full and flowing. My arms stretched out wide. My hand firmly holding his. Our eyes focused on each other.

4 Lessons I Learned Dancing with My Daddy

As I related this memory to my neighbor in coach, I realized the very same things that helped me believe I could dance to a hard song with my Daddy were the principles that give me confidence to face life’s challenges with my Heavenly Father.

  1. Remember His past faithfulness
  2. Let Him lead
  3. Hold tight to His promises
  4. Keep my eyes focused on Him

It’s been twelve years since my wedding but the lesson surfaced when I needed it most. When I’m faced with something that feels hard, overwhelming, or like it has the potential for failure, drama, danger, or embarrassment, I know Who has the power to provide the comfort and encouragement I need. When my Heavenly Father asks me to dance to a song I wouldn’t have picked for myself, I can turn to those same four principles.

When I stepped off that plane I knew nothing in my life would ever be the same again. My father was critically ill and I carried the burden of his medical power of attorney. My sister and I faced decisions that no child should ever have to make for a parent. But throughout the whole ordeal, I focused on remembering God’s faithfulness, following His lead, holding tight to His promises and focusing on Him.

What challenges are you facing today?

How would applying these 4 principles help you gather the courage to step confidently on to life’s dance floor?

When life gets tough, remember God's faithfulness, follow His lead, hold tight to His promises, and focus on Him. @LizGiertz Click To Tweet




Linking Up With

For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne EllerFaith On FireSusan B. MeadFaith Filled FridayGrace and TruthFaith and Fellowship FridaySoul SurvivalRah Rah Link UpTell His StorySitting Among FriendsTestimony TuesdayPlanting Roots, and Fresh Market FridaySalt and Light, and Becoming Press’s Writer Wednesday, Moments of Hope

57 thoughts on “What I Learned Dancing with My Daddy

  1. Oh Liz, I’m sitting here this morning with tears welling up right now. I don’t even know what to say except that this touched me so deeply. Love you, friend.

  2. Wow. I lost my daddy on February 1, 2016. He didn’t come to know Christ until his later years. We never danced at my wedding, that wasn’t an option. However, he was the best grandpa to my son. And he treasured every day he got to see my grandson. I miss him. But I know I’ll see him again one day.

  3. I read this with tears streaming down my face. The way you tell it all made me feel like I was there experiencing those wonderful memories too. And I loved watching you two dance at your wedding. When that song came on I thought how fun! You two looked so great dancing together.

  4. This was truly touching…I have tears in my eyes, but joy in my heart remembering your “dance with Daddy” @ the reception, and how fun it was to watch. Wonderful lesson for all of us to let our heavenly Father lead us; keep holding His hand; stay focused on Him no matter what is tossed our way in this life. Great is His faithfulness! Love you forever..xo

  5. Once again you’ve touched the hearts of all of us in sharing your love for your dad and your heavenly Father. May our Lord continue to bless you in your journey in life here and eternity!

  6. My heart, and eyes, are full of tears for all that you have written. I lost my dad 31 years ago so I understand how this experience feels. I am so happy that you had all of that time to soak up your father’s love and to know his joy in you. I pray that God floods you with His perfect peace that passes all understanding and brings a smile to your face through the tears of mourning as you journey through these days.

  7. What a beautiful tribute to your earthly father! Thanks for sharing the trust you have in your Heavenly Father and encouraging us all to always trust Him no matter how difficult life’s dances may be. Love and Hugs

  8. Thank you for taking me to this dance with you and him. Beautiful, like you. And I love how God places special people beside you on PURPOSE. Can sure relate. 😉 Still sending my love and prayers your way, sweet friend.

  9. What a beautiful memory. I love those wedding pictures. Liz, I’m SO sorry for your loss. You’ve been in my thoughts from time to time since I found out. Thanks for sharing these principles for when God asks us to dance to a song we wouldn’t have chosen.

    1. Thank, Betsy. We all get called to the dance floor for a difficult song eventually. But, I’m focusing on Him to pull me through!

  10. This was beautiful and the memories with your Dad will carry you. Keep dancing with your Daddy God!

    Coming from your comment on my website … thank you!

  11. Liz, holding you up to our Lord in this bittersweet, happy sad journey.
    Your beautiful story and devotion brought forward my own decades of dancing memories with my Dad and my husband, both now dancing in heaven!
    I was blessed to dance with them for years, and at our daughters’ weddings! Sweetness and joy! Your devotion told me to keep dancing, now with our Heavenly Father as my partner. Thank you

  12. Liz, my heart grieves for you, but what a beautiful memory of dancing with your father. I hope you treasure those wonderful memories and let those be the images you remember best.

  13. Liz what a tribute to your earthly daddy and your heavenly one. I have a few tears right now thinking about my Daddy. I’m treasuring memories this morning reading through this.

  14. Oh, I love this!! I am sorry to hear about your dad and will be praying for you and your sister during this hard time. I am also going through a rough patch in my life and reading words I found comfort.

  15. Found my way here from #TellHisStory. I love this! It is amazing how God works in our lives during the hardest moments. Thank you for sharing sweet, sweet memories of you father, and for the reminder of our heavenly Father.

  16. A beautiful and tender tribute to your daddy! What treasured memories you have and how beautifully God taught you through him!
    Blessings and smiles,

    p.s. I am hosting a new link-up, Hope for Tomorrow, beginning on May 2nd. I would be honored if you joined the community with another encouraging post!

  17. Mmmmmm ~ so beautiful, Liz. What a wonderful father your dad must have been. What a wonderful Father ours is. (Excited to see you featured over at Jennifer’s place today.)

  18. What a beautiful picture of a father’s love. I pray and hope that my daughters will see their daddy with such devotion and adoration when they are adults.
    It is amazing how our relationship with our earthly father reflects our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Thank you for giving such a wonderful picture of this idea. And thank you for sharing on Grace and Truth.

  19. For a girl whose first blog is titled “Dancing With My Father,” this post struck home and gave me the most beautiful picture to add to what my great God has been teaching me over the years. Thank you so much for sharing your heart, for giving words to a part of Him that is powerfully, wonderfully real. Love!!!

  20. This is stunningly beautiful. You shared your heart so openly and I understand what the dance with your daddy on your wedding day felt like. He sounds like he was an amazing man. May you remember always who leads you in the dance of life and rely on his great strength to pull you through.

  21. Loved re-reading this excellent tribute & advice. Keep spreading the word about the love of our heavenly & prayers….xo

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