Today, I welcome you into an incredible portion of my life story. I hope in reading it, you allow God into past areas of your life where somehow you got “stuck”. Our God loves to redeem past pain. He loves to set His children free.
I recently attended a conference sponsored at our church.~ The Vineyard Regional Women’s Conference – Engaging In the Kingdom 2018. As usual, our co-pastor Brenda Gatlin breaks the ice with wonderful contests and really fun prizes.
The announcement came for one of the most loved contests –The DANCE OFF! My whole being said, “YES I am doing this.” Since, only four people would be able to participate, I dashed past the ladies in my row, ran toward the stage and bound up the stairs.. Thankfully no one was in my way and I did not trip. My friends were thoroughly surprised by my wild gallop. This was a bit beyond even my fun character. “What is Sandi doing?”
I made the number four count, but I also felt there might be more to this for me than just the Dance Off contest.
When it was my turn for introductions, I said in a bold and cocky manner, “My name is Sandi, and I am from here”, as I pointed my forefinger proudly to the stage indicating I was from the Duluth Vineyard.
Brenda started giving instructions as to where we were to dance on the stage and for how long. At this point, I began to warm up looking as though I meant business. Doing stretches, twists, bends, toe touching, etc. I was totally into the part.
The very active modern music began. The first women were fantastic. Everyone was clapping and moving in time to the beat. My turn came. DANCING QUEEN! I moved and grooved It was very unlike what was expected from me. (my pore abs hurt the next day) . It was wonderful though. The freedom I experienced was a gift of joy and celebration.
No inhibitions. No fear of what other people thought.
This was just the beginning.
Remember when I said God might take you to a past hurt and release a place where you got stuck. That is exactly what my happened with this dance contest.
When we began the next part of worship ( the vocal worship) after the contests were over, I became overwhelmed by something inside my soul. I started to weep. God brought to my mind the little girl who was reprimanded for dancing.. This little girl was dancing, bouncing around while family movies were being taken. The words that were said left a bitter, lasting effect, “You are just trying to draw attention to yourself, Quit showing off”. My small heart took on a meaning:
“Is it bad to express what is inside? Is spontaneous creative expression wrong? Showing off is bad?’
My vocal worship, creative writing, and photographic expression were eventually placed under a microscope glass in fear I would be judged of wrong motives.
During the evening of the conference, different words were spoken over me by my loving Father God -“You no longer wear that label, Sandi. That is not how I see you. You are free.”
The little girl covered with a blanket of shame for freely dancing was set free when I said “Yes” to freely dance with joy. My Loving Father celebrated with me.
Are there areas in your creative life that are stuck because a word spoken over you damaged your Joy? Did an unintended word placed on a soft heart plant a weed? Has that weed been trying to choke the truly beautiful expression of life God put inside of you?
It’s never too late to dance in the freedom God has waiting for you. I am 60+ years old. God choose to use this conference at this time to allow me to dance enthusiastically to receive a deep healing I so desperately needed. You cannot have a hidden pain or shame so deep that God cannot not touch it. I walked in this lie since I was 6 years old or so. It affected how I lived worshiped and created.
Jeremiah 29: 10-11 The Message (MSG)
10-11 This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
Many times we read Jeremiah 29 verse 11 because we need to know God has our back. The truth is, we need to read 10 as well to know God sees our deepest need and will never leave a child unloved or incomplete.
Take some quiet time for just God and you.
Be brave and ask yourself some hard questions such as :
- What keeps me from creating from the truest fashion.?
- Do I feel really free when I am expressing and creating or is there a slight barrier?
- Do I blame someone else for my lack of true freedom?
- Am I willing to trust God to go deeper to express His real Love and Joy?
As part of the Freedom To Create series, I would like you to journal and see what determines your lens on how you see God and your freedom to create.
11 Now you’ve got my feet on the life path,
all radiant from the shining of your face.
Ever since you took my hand,
I’m on the right way. Psalm 16 MSG
During your discoveries if there is something God gave to you, it might be a nugget we would all benefit from. Consider sharing in the comment space.