“Even if you let go, Liz. You’ll always be dancing with Me.”
For 17 years, dance played a significant role in my life. It had its way of always being there when life became too much to handle. It was my safe haven, my escape, and a way to intimately glorify God with the talent He’s given me. Last year, I injured my hip pretty badly. I didn’t handle it well, because I realized I defined myself with dance for years. I didn’t know who I was without it. This was a huge wake up call, realizing I am nothing except His. November 2014 to February of 2015 was one of the hardest times of my life, because I was in such physical agony. It blows my mind how much physical pain can affect the rest of your body and life.
By fall, the symptoms came back, even more severe. The same injury progressed in the left hip as well. I did therapy, stretched, got x-rays, and even saw the orthopedic surgeon again, but nothing seemed to work. I feel into a deep darkness. The devil had blinded me from the joy that was even in my own heart. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I was battling this for so long, I got to the point where I couldn’t go on any longer. This hole I was in affected me emotionally, mentally, intellectually and even spiritually. The moment I injured my hip was the moment I stopped glorifying God with dance, and just continuing through the pain for self-fulfillment and pride. Realizing this, I knew something had to change.
After a final visit with the orthopedic surgeon learning there were chances of long-term damage, I knew this was a decision I couldn’t make. After listening and holding my hand, as I uncontrollably cried under a tree at 2 AM, Jesus gave me a level strength I never knew I could carry within me.
This was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but with the guidance and wisdom from the Lord, I decided to stop dancing. My dance career was going to come to an end sometime, but unfortunately, it needed to end earlier. I felt as the misery was holding me back from remembering the joy of the Lord and the opportunities He has for me. I needed to let what was holding me back from Him go.
So I did. I let go and let healing rain fall down on me, and boy, was there peace. Overwhelming, divine peace washing over me, just like I knew He’d give me.
It’s truly amazing how Jesus turned one of the hardest adversities into the most peaceful outcome. I knew He’s got me, and was carrying me the whole time.
I’m not a good listener when it comes to talking with Jesus. I mostly just vent, complain, and expect something immediately to happen. I think we all struggle with this. But the concept of being still and letting go has shown me the importance of being silent sometimes and letting God’s beautiful voice come into souls and do incredible things. I no longer wanted what I desired selfishly anymore. My self-made plans blocked my path towards the Ultimate Prize and my communication with Jesus was hindered. By grace, God gave me the ability to listen to Him even when the answer differed from what I wanted. He’s been showing me that a lot lately, as I asked Him to change the desires of my heart so they lined up better with His. Even if we don’t realize it at the time, God’s desires and ways are far beyond greater.
If there is something hindering your relationship with Jesus, let go. I promise you, putting Jesus before everything else is the best thing any human can do. There’s no limit of how beautiful it turns out to be. He took the pain, and made it new. A new start, a new adventure, a new opportunity. We may not always hear what He has to say, or have the eyes and minds to see what’s He’s doing, but I urge you to rest in the promises He’s given you. He makes all things work for the good.
Now the question is…after we let go..what do we do now?
You wait on the Lord.
Waiting may be the hardest single thing we are called to do. God has talked to me a lot about this concept of “waiting.” The inability to control, the refusal to live in patience and trust, lies close to the heart of The Fall. Paul says we will suffer when we are waiting for the Lord to set everything right. Suffering creates endurance; endurance, character; and character, hope. Waiting is not something we do to get what we want. It is not passively waiting around for something to escape you from trouble, or to make your life more interesting.
Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be. It is the active, disciplined, confident and sometimes even painful clinging to God. It requires trust, humility, and inextinguishable hope.
Pastor Matt Chandler pinpoints everything about waiting when he said, “You position yourself under the waterfall of grace and you wait, while you walk in obedience. One step at a time, one day at a time, asking God to break your heart, asking God to restore the joy of your salvation to you, asking God to make Him your treasure and you wait. Why? Because they who wait on the Lord, He will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and no longer be weary, they will walk and not grow faint.”
Isaiah is right when he says those who wait, times will come when they soar. Sometimes we are not soaring, though, but we are able to run and not grow weary. There were times when Jesus soared, and other times, He wept. When it came time to take the road to Calvary, He didn’t soar, and He didn’t run. He walked. He stumbled and fell, but all he could do was get back up and walk some more. Sometimes that is all you can do. But that is enough. We must say, “God, I won’t quit. I’m putting my foot in front of the other. I’ll take up my cross. I’ll follow Jesus, even on this road.”
But none of us will ever understand this walk to Calvary. Because Jesus did it, so we didn’t have to. There will still be a lot of suffering, a lot of battles, and lot of uneventful times, but liberation will come. The light gets a little stronger each day you let go, and dance with the Lord.
Because what a blessing it is to continue to dance with the One True King…for eternity.
Many thanks and blessings to all the support and encouragement throughout all this,
God is oh, so good. 🙂