When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Missionary Ballerina Doctor

‘When I grow up I want to be a Missionary Ballerina Doctor,’ said a girl with little idea. Actually she had a third of an idea. Now, as a young woman, she’s working in a country not her own, not too far from here, with students who want to know God better. She sounds like my kind of woman.

This woman, typing right here, had similar dreams. She used to dance around the large living room of her family home, in a manner most elegant and moving. Well, she moved anyway and would abruptly cease movement whenever others entered the room. She dreamed of the day when she would appear on the TV talent show for the youth of the day. She never did. That was the convenience of intentions not acted upon – one could fully believe that, should Jonny ever see her audition performance of ‘Fernando’ (all dancing, all singing), one would become the teen star of the year.

She aspired to be a singing ballerina…but her feet and fears were too big.

She considered being a Doctor. This morphed into a desire to be a Physiotherapist. She went to a local clinic for her week of work experience while in secondary school. She was all set. This was her career path! Only to make the devastating discovery that the study of Physiotherapy required the study of the Sciences. Chemistry class made her cry.

She aspired to be a Doctor – or some kind of medical practitioner – but her grasp of science, maths and reality was too small.

She always wanted to be a missionary. Whenever she heard someone speak of their work in places where people had little access to food, medicine or shelter her heart strings were tugged. When she heard of places where people didn’t have the opportunity to be introduced to the God she knew to be so loving, forgiving and restoring, she felt she had to go there and make some introductions.

In her minds eye (and on the slide shows she saw) she would be living in a small, dark, bark hut. She lives, now, in a comfortable home with big windows.

She assumed there would be much dust and little grass. She lives, now, in a place with much rain and too much grass (if that’s possible).

She ignored the fact that it would involve adventure and being out of one’s comfort zone. She hated adventure. She loved comfortable zones. Since then, she has learnt to live with adventure because the God she lives for has been with her and held her hand each step of the way. She has learnt to construct comfort zones – no matter how temporary – wherever she lays her head.

She wanted to be a Missionary Ballerina Doctor.

She had no idea.

She had no idea of where this would take her. Even if she had some idea then, it would not have prepared her for the twists and turns of the years that followed.

But in the end. She’s what she wanted to be. She may be more a Doctor of the heart. She may still be confined to ‘dancing on the inside’ – or at least inside the house when no-one is watching. Her feet and fears are still very big, but she’s living the life she dreamed – though in a way she would never have imagined.



6 thoughts on “When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Missionary Ballerina Doctor

  1. I LOVE this and just had my 10 and 11 year old girls read it. I now have an aspiring dancing-flute playing-veterinarian and a soccer playing-dentist-inventor. Thank you for the inspiration!


  2. Thanks for the feedback. I’m delighted that your daughters read it also! It must be fascinating, as a mother, to wonder what your children might grow up to be. Though, I’m thinking the soccer ball should stay outside the dental clinic!


  3. This is beautiful, what a story! Thank you for the reminder of our great Creator and his loving care and exeedingly better plans.

    With love from the (still-privately-dancing) girl who wanted to be a missionary ballerina doctor.


  4. Very nice. “but her feet and her fears were too big.” Well said! I also love, “she felt she had to go there and make some introductions” and “Doctor of the heart.”


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