Sitting quietly in a darkened room filled with Christian women for a weekend retreat, the prophetic psalmist paused between songs. Pointing me out, she said “this next one’s for you.” She poured out the Lord’s words to me in song. “Just like a swan on a lake… like the ripple on the water… like a crystal drop of rain, dancing on the street… dance, child, dance.”
Questions raced through my mind. I’d never danced for the Lord before, nor did I have any dance background, so what was this? Did she pick out the right person? It was a beautiful song, and I just couldn’t get over the fact that it was for me. I bowed my head in my lap, crying as she sang, not understanding what the Lord was saying. Somehow, the Lord must be pleased with me, and was giving me a present hope in exchange for hope deferred that had been making my heart sick.
“…the red seas in life will part… dance a faster dance… just put one foot in front of the other… dance, child, dance.” Thinking of the troubles in my life, I decided that this must be how I overcome them – by dancing for the Lord. During the second night of the retreat, she pointed me out again declaring that the Lord was confirming the message. In the spirit, she saw a clock with the second hand one mark before the midnight hour (think Cinderella and her pumpkin coach). The word was confirmed, and the time was very near.
So, I began worshiping the Lord, in secret, late at night, in the basement, the music barely audible. With just a few uncomfortable steps, I was often broken. Tears flowed out as I tried to move, feeling terribly awkward but worshiping the Lord the best I could. Through these moments, I grieved over my inabilities (not only in dance, but in relationships) and He began to heal my heart from past traumas and current difficulties.
Several years later, I pondered what in the world I was supposed to do with this personal word about dance. I wasn’t dancing at church as some had said I would, or anywhere else for that matter. I figured that if I was going to do what I had been called to do, I’d better truly learn how dance. Ballet lessons began, but quickly ended due to financial difficulties, so my worship continued, occasionally, in private.
I kept growing in the Lord by reading His Word, praying, and regularly attending church. In the later years of homeschooling my children, a friend spoke to me as we shared a moment of prayer. “I feel that the Lord is saying there is something that you have ‘put on the shelf.’ He says it’s OK to take it down when the time comes.” I wondered if this was about the dance I was called to, but I had no clue as to how to get this “something” off the shelf and activated.
A few church changes came over the years. I enjoyed each one and grew spiritually, but I always knew when the Lord was calling me to the next place. Eventually, He led me to a church where the waiving of flags and worship dance were welcomed and encouraged. About a year or more with this newest church family, the Lord one day asked if I would wave a banner for Him. With my heart pounding in my chest, and a small portion of boldness barely overcoming the large portion of fear, I picked up a flag and waved.
People more confident and more graceful than I, came and went through this church waving flags in worship. I would occasionally join in the best I could. Others in my church purchased sets of silk flags. I purchased a set and kept them hidden at home, only to come out during those private alone times with the Lord.
Now, fast forward a few years more. A week before the annual women’s retreat, guest speakers came to visit my church. They had spent several years ministering in Israel and were now on sabbatical in the U.S. spreading God’s love and sharing their music. They had recorded several albums that were available for purchase. I grabbed up three of them simply because of my love for music.
Following that service, the women met for specific details about our upcoming get-away. We were told that our Sunday service during the retreat would consist of everyone “bringing a part” in accordance with 1 Corinthians 14:26. “What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.” Fear tried to sneak in. What did I have to offer? I had no idea but hoped the Lord would give me something.
Heading home, I popped in one of the new CDs. Halfway along my route, the fourth song titled, The Spirit of the Lord, so touched me that I had to replay it, again, and again. When I got home, I was thrilled to see that no one was there. I was alone! Practically at a run, I zipped inside and dropped my purse and Bible. After grabbing those stashed-away silk flags, I began moving to this new song. It was as if the Spirit of the Lord was downloading a dance for me. Filled with excitement, I couldn’t stop dancing. I knew I had my part for the upcoming retreat. Fear tried to come in, telling me I didn’t have the confidence or the ability, but there was no longer any room for it. With Holy Spirit’s help, I slammed the door shut on that spirit of fear.
The retreat was one of the best ones I’ve been to. I watched the women step out and share from the gifts the Lord had placed in them; and I bravely danced the dance. Praise God, something had certainly shifted! Finally, I had stepped out to put one foot in front of the other and it was a joy. I am overwhelmed at God’s mercy, for sixteen years from His call to this point of stepping out seems more than a “second before midnight” to move into an anointing. How patient and kind the Lord is, and I am brought to tears as I write this.
Since then, I have continued to grow by the Lord’s direction, participating in classes, video teachings, and other ministries focused on biblical study and worship dance. I love this closing scripture that beautifully describes the emotions of my heart towards Him and His merciful, glorious ways.
O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are His judgments and how incomprehensible His ways!
For “who has known the mind of Adonai, or who has been His counselor?”
Or “who has first given to Him, that it shall be repaid to him?”
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.
To Him be the glory forever! Amen.
Romans 11:33-36 TLV