“What’s wrong with you? This is the coolest thing ever, and you’re saying you don’t want to do it?” He never even mentioned his own dream of appearing on the show. He simply listened to me, spoke truth to me, loved me unconditionally, and showed the most beautiful display of selfless generosity I think I’ve ever seen. That’s why I dedicated this book to him.
By the time I left Mary Kate’s house, I felt much better. Their affirmation and support had taken me from being almost torn apart by fear to a place of decision. I ultimately decided to go for it and appear on Dancing with the Stars.
Even after the show started, with every practice and every performance, I had to face my fear. Sometimes I felt like arrows of fear were flying at me from all different directions (just like in Ephesians 6:16)—fear of not getting my steps right, fear that something awkward might hap- pen with my wardrobe, fear of letting my partner down, fear of so many new experiences in such a short time. Day after day, rehearsal after rehearsal, televised show after televised show, I gradually found myself no longer dodging arrows but surrounded by a shield of faith that knocked them to the ground. I was still aware of them, but much better able to hold up my shield of faith so they would ricochet off of it, powerless.
I’ll write more about Dancing with the Stars in a later chapter, but right now Iwant to make this point:it’s not that things aren’tscary. They are, andthey will continue tobe. But each of us has tocome to a deep, personalrealization that Godhas already conqueredfear—and by the powerof His Spirit, we can live completely free from fear. There’s so much more to this life, so much we can experience and give to others if we can break free from fear. If we can learn to let God lead us instead of letting fear control us. Sometimes I felt like arrows of fear were flying at me from all different directions (just like in Ephesians 6:16).
YEP, I DID IT—AND IT TURNED OUT OKAY
You may know the rest of the story. My Dancing with the Stars partner, Mark, and I won second place for season nineteen. I ended up meeting the most amazing people, making friends I hope I’ll have for life, and having a blast. Being on Dancing with the Stars was the biggest thing I’d ever done—and the most fear producing. But it didn’t stay that way.