The Little Girl Who Would NOT Quit
By Hannah Keeley
This weekend, my daughter auditioned for a role in a play. Hundreds of kids showed up to sing and dance, and dazzle the judges. My daughter was the first one to audition in her set. It went great. She stood up there and belted out that song like nobody’s business.
After her, a boy stood up and sang a song from Frozen. Then a couple of girls had their turn, singing Broadway numbers. Then it was her turn. The little girl in the frilly dress with the scarf around her neck. She handed one of the judges a CD, and timidly stepped on to the stage for her audition.
The music began and she got about two lines into her song and stopped. She simply froze. She clenched her hands together, drew her feet in, and shyly asked if she could start over.
The music began again. This time she…
…only sang about one line of the song until tears welled up in her eyes, her hands covered her face, and with a trembling voice asked, “Can I go last?”
The judges were so understanding, “Of course you can!” one of them replied. The little girl, now quietly sobbing, rushed off the stage and ran to her mother, who quickly walked outside with her.
I was crying as well. I couldn’t help it. I knew that sting of humiliation all too well, and my heart went out to her. I wanted to fold her up in my arms, drive all that fear out of her, and tell her everything would be okay. But she had left the building, and probably wouldn’t be back.
Another kid auditioned. Then another. Then another. The last one was wrapping up her audition when I heard something in the back of the room. It was her. She was back. Everyone in the audience held their breath as the little girl in the frilly dress with the scarf around her neck approached the judges. She handed them the CD, and stepped up on the stage—a blotchy face hiding behind her glasses.
The music started and she made it through the first line, then the second. She made it through the first verse, then the second, then during the chorus, she whipped that scarf off, twirled it over her head, and threw it on the ground. She did it. And she did it with style!
When she was finished, everyone in the audience went crazy! They whooped, whistled, and hollered; and the applause continued for a good thirty seconds. My heart felt like it was going to bust out of my chest and do a little happy dance right there in the aisle!
She didn’t have to come back. She could have left that building without ever giving it another thought. She could have continued living her life just fine, thinking back to that one time when she tried theater but “it just didn’t work out for her.” Or maybe she would have grown up with the idea that she just wasn’t that type of person to get on stage or perform for people. She could have used labels, titles, excuses, and pretty valid reasons to never step on stage again for the rest of her life.
But she came back. She did the hard thing. The very, very hard thing.
She also reminded me that most of us give up way too soon. We give our dreams a shot, but that’s it. Just a shot. Dreams take more than a shot, they take camping out at the shooting range and not leaving until you hit the bulls eye or run out of ammunition. Maybe you don’t want to audition for a play, but I know good and well that there’s a dream tucked away inside of you.
The world is waiting for you to step out on stage. Sure, you could totally bomb it. And you could bomb it a second time as well. But that’s not when you give up. That’s when you dig down deep and find out what you’re made of. In fact, I’m going to spare you the trouble and tell you exactly what you’re made of. You have the DNA of God Almighty within you. You have the same Spirit within you that commands dry bones to dance and the dead to rise. It is IN YOU! But you’re never going to find out until you give it a try, then another try, then another try, and then as many tries as it takes. You do NOT give up! You face the humiliation, suck it up, and keep going.
Sometimes things don’t work out. You step out and screw up. But that’s not when you run. That’s when you face the music and sing once more. Sometimes you’ll tell that mountain to be moved and cast into the sea. And guess what—it just stares back at you like you’re crazy. You don’t shrug your shoulders and say, “Oh, well, I guess it just didn’t work out.” No ma’am! You stick out your chest, take a deep breath, and shout at that mountain again and again—until it is cast into the sea or you wear it down with your will. If you don’t move, it’s gonna have to!
That little girl probably didn’t make the cast list for the play, but guess what. She had the greatest success of any other kid who showed up that night. She learned how to call her own shots. And you can, too! Whatever is staring you down today, trying to create fear, you just go ahead and step on stage and sing your heart out, Mama. It’s in you. But you’ve got to get it out.
Now it’s your turn! What is that dream you want to pursue? What is that fear you need to face? Where is God calling you to step up and step out? Share it below and tell me what you’re going to do about it. I can’t wait to come alongside you and cheer you on!
Hannah Keeley was once in overwhelmed mom living in a cluttered house, deep in debt, out of shape, and barely hanging on. But one day, after finding herself sobbing uncontrollably into a pile of clean laundry, she realized God has bigger and better plans for her (just like He does for each one of His children). Beginning that day, she began making changes in her life that took her from overwhelmed to overjoyed. Today, she’s helping moms do the same. Hannah, her husband, Blair, and their seven children live in Richmond, Virginia, and are having the time of their lives!
Check out Hannah’s Website Here!