Our pain and suffering is never wasted as we pursue God’s healing and His purpose. It is used instead as fuel for a deeper closeness to God and as preparation for a higher calling to be a blessing and an inspiration to others.
Twelve years ago on Friday evening of July 27th, 2007, I ruptured my left achilles tendon while dancing at a worship dance festival. This led to crutches, surgery, PAIN, wearing one of those monstrous ugly black boots, 6 months of physical therapy and almost a year out of being involved with a ministry through dance and teaching. The Lord called me into dance ministry in 1995 after God turned my mourning into dancing following the brutal murder of my beloved brother, Donnie, on June 13th, 1994. I have written more about this sorrow and suffering chapter of my life in a few other pages and posts on this blog.
During this season of physical recovery and being made to sit still – literally – God began stirring the desire to write. I can remember sitting on my bed with a notebook writing out devotional ideas. I had journaled my prayers for years and I now had a LOT of time to pray more too! I didn’t understand what God was doing and why? I laid dance on the altar again! The first time involved laying down the old mindset regarding dance while my mind was being renewed to use dance for God’s purpose, and this time I was laying down the ministry of dance which was all about worshiping and glorifying God. I had experienced God opening and closing doors related to dance ministry twice. The ministry I began at the Church at Brook Hills ended in 2004 and God opened a door for the studio ministry of Destiny Dance in 2004. Destiny Dance closed in 2006 and God opened another door for me to teach Destiny Dance classes at the YMCA. After the injury, in late spring of 2008, I had the opportunity to teach a few workshops through Briarwood Ballet. In the fall of 2008, we moved to Dothan, and I felt in my heart that the ministry through dance season was done – or so I thought. However, when we arrived, another door opened for me to begin and lead a dance ministry at Harvest Church and to teach for their Performing Arts program. Since that time, I have had more open doors to teach and mentor others through Restoration Arts Dance (a ministry I began in 2008), and presently at Southern Dance and Performing Arts Company (a non-profit, Christ centered studio in Sylacauga, Alabama).
SO, during these past 12 years, I have been RESTORED to not only still DANCE MORE and PRAY MORE, but to WRITE MORE and TEACH MORE too! THIS IS PART OF MY RESTORATION STORY ALL FOR GOD’S GLORY!
And, yes, there is still more my to my restoration story! More I could share but will save for another time and more restoration ahead too!
WHATEVER THE ENEMY THROWS AT US WILL WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD FOR US LOVERS OF GOD AND THOSE WHO ARE ANSWERING THE CALL TO MAKE OURSELVES AVAILABLE TO GOD’S PURPOSES – ALL FOR HIS GLORY – a Joyful Jenny paraphrase of Romans 8:28!
GOD IS NOT CALLING FOR PERFORMANCE. HE IS CALLING FOR SURRENDER. ALL FOR HIS GLORY. AMEN.
After my injury, there was a lot more surrender over performance.
I CAN NOW AGREE WITH the Apostle Paul and say, ALL that has happened to me has helped me and compelled me to spread the GOOD NEWS of GOD’S AMAZING LOVE, GRACE, COMFORT, HEALING AND RESTORATION – another Joyful Jenny paraphrase of Philippians 1:12!
There have been other valleys beyond a major leg injury and heartbreaking loss these past 12 years and a LOT of mountaintops – many ABUNDANT BLESSINGS AND JOYS TOO! I am now living out this promise in 1 Peter 5:10 – suffering and sorrowful Jenny has now become “Joyful Jenny” for sure!
- What sorrow and suffering has God been faithful to lead you through?
- What is God inspiring you to do?
- What trial has God trusted you with that has now become a testimony to encourage and inspire others?
- What has God’s faithfulness and power produced in and through you?
- Have your blessings moved you beyond fearing others to sharing with others?
- Has God’s abundant supply caused you to praise the Lord Most High?
Have you been restored to help restore others?
- Are you compelled to go and tell like the woman at the well?
- Yes, Joyful Jenny likes to rhyme all the time!
I pray your sorrow and suffering does not stop or stifle you. Yes, weeping and not understanding may endure for a season, but I pray you will receive all the comfort, healing and restoration God has for you.
EVEN BEYOND OUR SUFFERING, God is faithful to heal, restore, support and strengthen us. He desires to reveal His purpose and glory through His beloved covenant sons and daughters. God is not finished writing my story or your story. THERE IS STILL MORE AHEAD! God is writing all our restoration stories for His glory!
I HOPE YOU ARE REFLECTING ON YOUR RESTORATION STORY TOO! May this encourage you to share your restoration story with someone who needs to hear it today beloved one.
Lord, I’m bursting with joy over what You have done for me!
My lips are full of perpetual praise.
I’m boasting of You and all Your works,
so let all who are discouraged take heart
Join me, everyone! Let’s praise the Lord together!
Let’s make Him famous!
Let’s make His name glorious to all!
Psalm 34:1-3 The Passion Translation
I feel a fire from Jehovah Jireh!
As today, July 27, 2019 was the final day of the annual MOTION student conference, I was reflecting on the summer of 2007. While wearing my temporary black boot (pre-surgery), I participated in serving at the Desperation Conference at our church’s main campus location – I still recall the powerful message given on one of those nights by guest speaker and author, John Bevere. The Desperation Conference was a pre-cursor to what is now a miraculous move of God within the student conference of MOTION reaching out to about 17,000 plus students every year. This conference is hosted by Church of the Highlands, where I am a member and am honored to serve on the Dream Team. God is moving and He is desiring for us to keep moving in step with His Spirit.