Please join me in welcoming Katerina Ballsmith to the blog today...
There is something so beautiful and graceful about dance. When the music plays and I am dancing, all the worries fade away. My attention is on doing each step with the purpose of dancing for the Lord. For most of my life movement has been a part of me. Though the pain is now a constant companion, the passion for dance is still there.
Growing up, I was quiet. So when I started ballet, the movement and expression became part of my voice. It did not matter if there were no words I wanted to say. Instead, I allowed dance to tell my story. And to share about my love for my Savior.
I even had my heart set on being a teacher one day. I remember expressing this dream to my mom. I was only around five or six and felt that this was part of God’s plan for my life. However, I was not aware as a young girl that my future would consist of pain and deep suffering.
When I entered my senior year of high school, I was only two months of being a dance instructor when the chronic pain started. The first symptoms came through a tingling sensation and slight numbness in my feet. Then it led to a progression of fatigue and nerve pain. Once I reached the point of barely being able to stand or walk for long periods of time, I knew something was wrong.
When I found out from a specialist, that I have the same neuromuscular disease as others in my family, I felt my dreams had shattered. I knew the diagnosis meant a physical disability and an uncertain future. My seventeen-year-old self did not think that continuing dance would be possible. I even thought that teaching would end as well.
I was wrong. Not all of my dreams were broken. They were just different than before. To this day, I am still dancing and teaching despite believing that it would not be possible. Even though my body is getting weaker, and the movement has changed, the passion is still there. Now, I am creating pieces to encourage and help others that are suffering. I might even be sitting in a chair and describing the movement. I know the Lord is using it all.
Something I have recognized is that dreams sometimes turn out differently than expected. Sometimes we have to face the sharpness of pain before God turns it into something beautiful.
My friend, I want to encourage you today to not let broken dreams stop you from allowing God to mold and shape you. He will make something beautiful out of this pain. It may take some time to heal emotionally from the loss, but it will not last forever. So in these moments of suffering, hold onto hope. And keep dancing even when it’s hard.
Songs To Encourage
These are some pieces of music that have spoken to me this year. I hope that these songs encourage you in this season.
Bio: Katerina is a young adult in her early twenties, born and raised in California. A few years ago, she was diagnosed with Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT), a neuromuscular disease that affects the peripheral nerves and results in muscle atrophy. Even with her pain, she continues to follow what God has called her to do through college, dance, and writing. In the future, Katerina is looking forward to more opportunities to share her testimony and be a light to others through her suffering.