I’ve been thinking about things that contribute to the grace and creativity and joy of a life or family or community, that allows it to thrive, to become beautiful and uniquely its own in this time and place in the world.
In my own experience, the movement—Grace, Creativity, Joy—of the Spirit within it all, within us, correcting and leading and guiding, sanctifying us into new abundant Life, moment by moment, is the movement that matters most.
The Dance Within—step by step, reforming, transforming—is more pivotal than all the steps and turns and joy of dance itself. And that’s a lot of joy. What is more joyous than dance? So what is it? It’s the turning point.
Is it ironic that I began to discover that movement within me in the midst of the saddest of saddest grief? I sat in stillness with God’s Love Letter to us as I began to need—to thirst—to know Him, not just about Him. Day by day, just as the daily discipline and ritual of morning dance class had carried me through the trauma and grief of an abusive marriage and divorce, I followed.
But dance wasn’t enough to carry me through the deaths of my brother and mother and father, or through leading an ever-growing nonprofit, or through the diagnosis of a scary affliction that led to a prognosis of three years of weekly chemo injections just to keep it from progressing.
What does it take to finally set our selves aside? How do we grab hold of this great gift of grace? Grief and affliction can become the Way into understanding the humility of Christ, His love, His sacrifice on the Cross. It can be the one way we begin to know Him not just about Him.
When we surrender to the Man of Sorrow, who suffered and died and rose again, the One who comes to live in us by the Power of His Spirit, when we surrender to His lead, everything changes. A new life begins, the one God intended for us to live—His plan, His purpose, His Own Work of Art. His Life in us. Then we can let go of having to perform, produce, prove ourselves worthy, and find freedom in and through Him—Christ in us, is the hope of glory.
It’s a Mystery. “In Christ, is all the fullness of the Deity in bodily form, and you have been given the fullness of Christ who is head over every power and authority. (Colossians 2:9,10)
But, “It’s real!” my mom told my doubting husband as she lay dying, half of her being in heaven, half still on earth.
When my parents moved our family from a farm house to a house in the city, my dad mistakenly pulled out a plot of lilies that grew alongside the house. Nothing much has ever grown there since, except for a few struggling hostas. That is, until yesterday when my husband walked in the back door (of the same house we now live in) and said, “Did you see our new flowers?”
I looked. “Lilies!” Three flowers and lots of buds!
It may have taken fifty years, but just as God’s work in my own heart and life has taken nothing less, there’s always a miracle waiting to happen, to be discovered. His love never fails, His compassion never ends, and His faithfulness is for always. He is the Lord of the Dance.
May our souls be still and not be shaken. “For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God created in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) Hope will rise as we wait.
And I will end with this turning point. Last month, after two and a half years of that chemo and my COVID shots, I decided I had had enough shots. I went to see my doctor for a checkup and to tell him I was done with chemo. I believed I had been blessed with many prayers and much progress. Maybe you can imagine—not only did my blood work affirm my healing, I was told I had 20/20 vision and perfect hearing. And no more chemo!
Our God is a faithful God, He is my God who I trust through grief and affliction, through healing and joy.
I know we’re not always healed on this side of heaven. My mom prepared to go to Jesus with cancer. But His Love proved greater than her battle, and the loss of her firstborn, as she lifted her arms with a shattered collarbone, exclaiming, “Glorious, glorious! It’s so beautiful! The Father! It’s too bright, I can’t see Him…” We don’t see everything.
We’re told to see the Unseen, to fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). So may our eyes be fixed, and our souls be still, and may we not be shaken.
“Forgetting what is behind, straining for what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13,14)
And Hope will rise as we wait.
My perennials are always reminders of the ever-renewing abundant Life possible in Him.
Featured Image by Lisa Wenzler
Thank you, Cheri. Blessings to you. ❤️
If that isn’t a joyful testimony to the greatness of our Lord, I don’t know what is. Thrilled for all of you. Blessings and thank you so much for sharing. Blessed be the name of our gracious God!
Thanks much Bruce. You’ve been a part of the journey. Sending blessings to you all.
Oh Deb, what a hard journey lined with much emotion of every kind. I see the threads of joy and Thanksgiving showing well like the lillies. Tears here.
“Threads of Joy and Thanksgiving like the lilies” running through our days. I’m going to remember that always. I so appreciate you. 🙂
Beautiful on the mountains are the feet of them who bring Good News! Thank you, Deb.
Thank you, Jon.
Daily blessings are truly a dance of joy if we just join the rhythm.
You truly do speak Grace! ❤️Thank you so much for spreading it here, Gracespeaker.😏
Faith can move mountains. It’s simply a matter of belief. Mind over matter is more real than we think. I hope you always remain immersed in this bliss and may your positivity drive you forward. I wish you well and lots of peace and health. 🙂
Thank you. I too am fighting a battle with cancer. I’m in year two of Chemotherapy. Your post is very encouraging because I have learned and experienced many of the same revelations through this trial. I can say with certainty: GOD IS GOOD!
As His word says, he works all things together for good to those who love Him . . .
Thank you, Ron and blessings back. I will be praying.
So good to hear from you,
Terveen, thank you for your lovely words. My apologies that I missed your comment sooner. I look forward to visiting you!
Thanks and no worries.
Please take care. 🙂
Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. I feel so blessed to have read it. I sobbed throughout knowing how scared you must have been throughout but I felt so joyful at the same time that you had God by your side. The suffering you have experienced has brought you closer to Him and what a blessing that is! Your story brings me so much hope for my future. Keep writing out your heart because it’s bringing hope to others.
Thank you so much for this encouragement and for reading. I haven’t actually been writing on my blog since Nov. so it’s extra special to get your note. I‘ve been working on a manuscript for the very reason you state and I guess I haven’t been able to do both. My prayer is that the story brings hope to the hurting. I am in the midst of the second draft. It can be lonely and without my dear friends and readers it would be easy to doubt and give up. Wow, you made my day. May God richly bless you❤️🙏
Praise be to God for you work being done. Deb, this is Cari Allison by the way.
Wonderful post Deb and lovely to connect. 💖
As I have aged several things have happened. My outer dress of flesh seems to sag more everyday. It’s decaying and no amount of make up can hide that. Oh but my inner woman is growing in faith and the nearer I get I cling to the promises of God for when my times comes to leave that body in the grave and my soul will rise. With every fiber and every day age gets deeper my hope grows deeper. I know He will not disappoint me. Great post, blessings.
Wise Hearted one, dear Betty, your words brought tears. Good tears. And an immediate sense of sisterhood. I’m so, so very grateful to connect. Thank you. God bless you. I can’t wait to visit you!