Sunday, February 23, 2014

It's never too late

When I was younger I wanted to be a dancer. I was somewhat of a late bloomer, starting in 8th grade, when most start around pre-school. I took to it like a fish to water though and I continued to excel throughout high school. I was so serious about it that I was debating over whether or not to attend a conservatory for college. At the end of the day, I decided that as much as I loved dance, I wasn’t sure I was up for living in New York, going to auditions, and living at the poverty level trying to make a go at it full time.

After college I departed from dance for several years. I was in full fledged grad school mode, an all consuming endeavor for those who might be unfamiliar with the experience. I only danced a handful of times during that 6 year period. I initially tried to convince myself it wasn’t a big deal. Sure, I danced, but dance was my identity. That might sound good but it couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is that if you have a dream in your heart you won’t be able to rationalize it away. You might not actively pursue that path or operate in that role at the moment. But our dreams are unequivocally part of who we are. Our gifts are the driving force of our calling. They’re our breath, our life, and our unique imprint on the world. When we fail to become who we’re meant to be, we suffer and so do those around us because they’re not benefiting from our light.

For the sake of time, I’ll abbreviate the process of finding my way back to dance. Suffice it to say, I tried on a few different ways of integrating it back into my life on a regular basis. Then one day I realized the answer. It was like a dawning. How had I missed it before? My favorite part of the day was when I attended Zumba class. In that hour long class, I was happier and freer than I was any other time. My soul had reconnected with my first love and it was like oxygen to me.

I share all this to offer one simple message. It’s never too late. I’m reminded of Bruce Wilkinson’s book, The Dream Giver. Basically, we’re all given a dream in our hearts. There comes a time when that dream is tested. Perhaps you wonder if it’ll ever come to pass. You might even be required to sacrifice it in some way without the assurance that it will return to you. But here’s the exciting promise for all of us. The Dream Giver is able and willing to fulfill each and every one of our dreams. The fulfillment of the promise might look very different years down the road than it would have at an earlier season. But it shall come to pass.

Just look at me. I’m thankful for my educational opportunities. I’m humbled by my credentials. I feel a sense of purpose in the work I do. But when it comes to truly experiencing joy and soul satisfaction, I get that from dance. And my cup overflows at the thought of my dream to dance coming full circle. Wherever you are in relation to your dream…if you’re living in it, discovering what it is, or if you’re surrendering it for now, know that it’s never too late. The One who gave it to you is faithful to fulfill it. Just wait and see!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Love is a person

Valentine’s Day is here and it’s a celebration of romantic love. Romantic love is a wonderful thing. Like I said, I’m not throwing any shade this year on people who have that in their lives. I honestly think there should be a prize of some sort for each year of remaining faithful to one person. It’s a big deal to partner together and do life with someone. But for those who don’t have that, and even for those that do, there’s something even greater. It’s God’s love.

The image that always comes to mind when I consider God’s love for me is a scene with Liam Neesen and his daughter in the first “Taken” movie. It’s the one where he finally finds her. The daughter looks shocked to see him and with tears in her eyes she says, “You came for me,” to which he replies, “I told you I would.” Let me tell you, as a girl who never had a dad, that scene messes me up every time. It also perfectly captures a father’s love. He would’ve stopped at nothing to get his daughter back.
That’s exactly God’s sentiment towards us. He created utopia and human beings for fellowship with him. That was ruined when we believed there was something more satisfying than all that God had already given. Once we were separated from God, ancient law required that a sacrifice be made to atone for sin. Instead of punishing us like we would’ve deserved, God offered himself in the form of Jesus to be that living sacrifice. In laying down his life, he showed himself as being both just (because the law had to be fulfilled) and merciful (because he took the L instead of us).
The gospel is a love story. It’s about God’s fierce, passionate pursuit to restore us to himself. And he didn’t just do one act of love and then stop. He continually pursues us and invites us to know him intimately. This isn’t some guy that can’t be bothered to text you back. He’s not a lover that drops you after he gets what he wants. He is the lover of your soul who’s willing to go to the ends of the earth and back just for you.
On this Valentine’s Day remember that love is not just a feeling. It’s not just for those with a romantic connection. Love is a person and that person is Jesus.

*Here’s a playlist of my personal favorites that might help you feel the eternal love that God has for you
Your love is extravagant- Performed by Tribe of Benjamin
You know me- Performed by Steffany Frizzell-Gretzinger
Spoken for- Mercy Me
Everlasting love- Performed by Tony Terry
Divine love- Performed by Jaye Thomas