When I was little, I danced in front of the mirror. The mirror showed me who I was. The reflection of grace brought the permanence of confidence. I LOVED. to dance. The way dance made me feel was undeniably the revelation of God’s love in my life. Does this statement make sense to you at all? It’s very clear in my conscience. As I moved, God moved me. I knew this. My life belonged to Him when I danced. Fully. When I was old enough to hit the stage, my dance remained worship. It was choreographed and paced to the time of an unknown amount of secular songs but it remained worship. God remained the great Mover of my soul in dance. As I spotted each turn and held each prolonged arabesque, the extensions of my legs could not compare to the extension of my grateful heart for the opportunity to move for Him. I knew who I was when I danced. No adolescent insecurity could topple my releve of heart. The wooden floor felt like a pedestal of great potential and the curtain fall, only led to the preparation for my next steps. There was never closure to that moment, only the opening door of the next daring dance. God’s ministry to my soul, was the very beautifully free-flowing movement that painted its’ own creative captivating canvas on the available stage. This makes sense only to the connected viewer, the one that is moved by its’ motion. I danced for joy. I danced in peace. Triumph fell from my toes and solidity from my hands. Nothing was completed or accomplished without hard work and nothing felt to me more like fun. It was a gift and nothing of my own. I was not anywhere close to the best. I just LOVED. to dance. And dance for Jesus, I did. Just a gift.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Why is it said that it is often the darkest before dawn? Why do we read about the turn from ashes to beauty in Scripture? Why is it that the rainbow follows the storm?
I think of Christ’s death and resurrection as this same “mystical” phenomenon. A mysterious wonder that Scripture portrays as sort of just the way life is, physical or eternal. A baby is born a sinner to be offered a gift of redemptive life. A child becomes a better reader, after she has trudged through the dreaded hours of phonics. A teenager finding their thrill in a kiss, following the long awaited and sought after romance. The “Happily Ever After” end of a fairytale is made more enjoyable by the rough roads it took to get there (Some would of course disagree with this statement and would have appreciated a positive story in its’ entirety). All of these are negatives that eventually become positives or at least have the option of becoming positive.
My heart often yearns for the happy, yours too right? Despite this fact, my soul is worn day after day through the trials of this temporal life that often doesn’t feel very temporal at all. My greatest solace comes through the fact that Jesus Himself declared this way of life, the only way with His perfect example. I am not saying that we cannot find our joy, even throughout dark days but I am saying that the life you are living is normal. I’m living it too. We all are. Christ prayed in the garden with blood dripping down his skin, because of his stress load and burdened body, mind, spirit. Don’t feel alone in your storm. Rain drops fall on various heads each day.
You may say, “I’m not experiencing rain drops, no way, I have a torrential current trying to wash me away with its’ negativity.” To that I would say, do you remember when it was sunny? This is actually hard for me. I tend not to look back unless it’s negatively searching for a good point in an argument or to just dwell on what could have been. I’m sure that I’m not alone in that either. Remember the good times though? God’s faithfulness? He is still there. He is still here with me. The clouds are dark and sorrowful often times, but they don’t empty in vain. I have grown because of the rain in my life, just as we see displayed out our windows. The life that comes following the rain in all of creation, including our human lives, causes us to be reminded of the rhythm of God’s timing. It’s perfect. It’s blessed when following obedience.
I don’t know why God led me to write this today. Probably because I personally needed to be reminded of His faithfulness, the normality of the storm, and in help to the reader that doesn’t know if she can make it to the rainbow. I promise, love, it is coming. Spring will always return upon winter’s close. Victory always follows defeat and lies cannot hold the truth at bay. God will be glorified on this earth and He draws near to those who draw near to Him. God is good. Your life will be again too. He promised.
“Then the angel spoke to the women. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn't here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.” Matthew 28:5-6a
My Summer's song . . . fitting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOOFAaUGfRE&feature=youtu.be
Saturday, August 13, 2011
My story, His story
I have suffered through many things in my life, neglect, abuse, abandonment, anorexia, disappointment, separation from loved ones, control issues, a family torn apart because of my father’s Bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety, loss, bitterness, and attempted suicide, to name a few. BUT GOD . . .
My doubt in His power has been replaced with a confidence like none other. The lack of self-esteem I have held onto for most of my life has been changed for the better . . . like ashes, into beauty. My sorrow in times of great emotional and physical need has been replaced by the joy found only in my Savior Jesus Christ! The abandonment and abuse, caused by my earthly father, has been substituted with my heavenly Father’s perfect expression of love and security. My need for and therefore dependency on people, has been stripped from me by my wise God and I have been built up by His Word, teaching me to only find my source of acceptance in Him. The feelings of guilt and shame that I have struggled with for so long have been knocked out. He daily strengthens me in His ever-present mercy and grace. In My Immanuel, I am able to breathe, to sit back, recognize His glory and breathe.
I was never in control, even when I thought life’s stability depended on me. God, the one who spoke my kind and every kind of living and non-living thing into existence, held me as His baby girl every one of those wacky days. The deception I lived under has been replaced with an honesty that still seems unreal . . . or more so too good to be true. But it is . . . it is true.
My Jesus is truth and His love is my hope. It was proven to me in His death for me. His resurrection proved Him as God and I am an heir to His throne! My life was once stricken BUT GOD . . .
In His supreme sovereignty did not leave me in my tears but wiped them away with His nail scarred hands, set me on His lap until I could trust Him, and now is leading me in His promises for my good and His glory.
I have suffered, a lot. I have been denied my loves, my dreams, my goals, and my innocence because of the sin in this world BUT GOD . . .
He saw me, He saw me and He LOVED. me just as I was, a sinner . . . a victim. He waited for His perfect timing to rescue me so that I could in turn tell my story and share His promise of joy beyond pain. I am glad today, today I am whole, I am beautiful, I am a singer, I am a dancer, I am a teacher, I am a speaker, I am a truth teller, I am not bitter, I am forgiven, I am motivated, I am saved, and I am FREE!
I am free from the captivity of my past. My future is bright and all of this is only because my Savior is Jesus Christ and He had and has a plan and a purpose for me in His Kingdom work. My life belongs to Him, not to me, and not to anyone else but Him. Today I stand for Him, I speak for Him, I sing for Him, I write for Him, and I dance for Him. Jesus is the Lord almighty, and He is worthy to be praised!
Psalm 126:5 “Those that sow in tears, shall reap in joy!”
John 8:36 “If the Son therefore has set you free, you are free indeed.”