Whitty. I’ve been sitting here for awhile trying to figure out how to write all that I want to say about you; all that I want to say to you. How do I communicate all of the ways you have loved me, believed in me, inspired me? What words will do you justice? On this page, I’ve copied and pasted, and then later deleted so many quotes by wise men and women, yet none of them have quite captured what it is I want to say. And then I think about the woman you are, and what you would say to me if you saw me searching for someone else’s words right now. I think it would be something along the lines of “Kara Jo, you have a voice and words and so much to say! Speak your heart, speak your heart, speak your sweet, sweet heart!”
From the moment I first met Whitney Gorbett, I knew she was someone I wanted to be around; someone I wanted to learn from. When I heard her speak on life and freedom, dancing and writing, grace and redemption I saw something in her I wanted to see in myself. In hearing Whitney’s stories alone, it was clear that she had been etched by the pen of grace, filled with the spirit of freedom, and given a heart of redemption. This woman is incredible. However, knowing her, learning from her, and living life with her proved to be everything her stories carried and more.
My friendship with Whitney began on a well-weathered leather couch in Mijas Pueblo, Spain. We started talking about life and dreams, lessons learned. Before I knew it, my heart was spilling out on the floor in front of me. When it felt like we had only begun to talk, another staff member came out of the G42 office and reminded us that he was supposed to be having a meeting with me. But that’s just how life with Whitney is. It’s so easy to get carried away, to laugh until you’re crying, or cry until you’re laughing. It’s so easy to feel safe and understood; to feel at home.
Whitney has a plethora of stories up her sleeve. This woman has seen and experienced more of the heart of our God than most people even believe to be true. She is a fighter for and a lover of people all over the globe. One of my favorite Whitney stories though, is one that still echoes through my spirit today. Whitney told me about the African tribal music filling her American church; the band on stage, the congregation sitting and listening. While Whitney is great at sitting and listening to people speak, sitting and listening when there is music playing is not her cup of tea. Girl is a dancer. In telling the story, Whitney told me how she looked around and saw the blank faces and solemn bodies. Her pastor, clearly knowing her well, approached her and told her to get the church dancing. So, up she stood with a smile on her face, joy in her demeanor, and she danced. It didn’t take long for the whole church to follow this bold woman’s lead.
Whitney is a dancer. Whether it be salsa, African tribal, two step, or hip hop- she dances. I’ve seen her dance in Latin night clubs, at Texas-themed tapas parties, and I’ve seen her dance while she worships her Creator. This woman does not care who sees her dance. She feels and so she moves. When I see Whitney dance, it makes me want to dance; because when she dances her heart seems so alive, so free.
But really, if I think about it, Whitney’s whole life is a dance, and a beautiful one at that. Dancing is real and vulnerable, carries depth and expression. Dancing tells a story. Whitney’s dance tells the story of seamless grace, real redemption, true freedom, and bringing more Heaven to Earth. Whitney’s dance tells the story of never giving up on people or on dreams. Her dance makes me want to dance, too.
I love you, Whitty. Thank you for who you are, and thank you for your beautiful, carefree dance.
Need to be inspired? Need some encouragement? This woman is so good at both of those things. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org