This post is for anyone going through a dark storm or fiery trial; or maybe you have recently come out of one. Whatever the case may be, my post today is dedicated to you. Allow me to share some of my own story with you and hopefully end on a note that both encourages you and myself as we continue through this season…remembering that it is a SEASON, and like all seasons it has a beginning and end point. Praise God.
In March of 2013 I was sitting in a church service in Hixson, TN. A group of women were praying over all the young girls who were attending the service and I was sitting in my chair with my head in my lap. Perhaps I was praying, but mostly I was just sitting there contemplating where my life was headed. I had just quit my job of two years for an unknown future. The Lord had told me He was about to take me on a series of adventures in the months of March and April and that I was to trust Him. I made the decision to quit purely under the unction of the Lord (which was huge for me as I had never left a job without another to go to) and had decided to step out by faith for the next leg of that chapter in my life. Needless to say, I was sitting in that church service doing a lot of contemplation.
As I sat there I very gently began to experience a vision. Not a real time, everything goes black and I see an alternate reality “vision”, but a scene began playing in my mind’s eye that was not being created by me. I used to be skeptical of such spiritual experiences until that very moment.
In this vision I was in a huge, elaborate, and incredibly ornate ballroom. I was in a beautiful white gown dancing with a dashing man in a tuxedo who’s face I never really focused on. In the vision he and I were dancing the Quick Step excitedly across this beautiful dance floor. It was the most joyous, real, and beautiful experience to be having in this quiet prayer service! Immediately, however, I realized the man I was dancing with was no man, but Jesus. His comforting and powerful presence consumed the experience. His posture and hold on my hand and back were so strong and guiding. The thing about the Quick Step, and all ballroom dance for that matter, is that the female has no say in where she goes on the dancefloor. Every dance is completely in submission to the male partner’s leading. She goes where he goes. In fact, most of each dance is done backwards for her. She often cannot even see where he is going but she has to trust his lead and fully relinquish her body movements to his subtle impressions on her hand and back. When you fully submit to and trust your partner the dance becomes the most exhilarating experience. (I used to be a ballroom dancer, fyi.) The joy in this part of the vision was inexpressible!
Almost as quickly as I was growing fond of that vision it switched to a very different scene. (Try to picture this if you can!) I was suddenly placed in the midst of an ocean, at night, in a most violent and dark storm. Jesus was there, still in His tux as I was in my white gown, and we were slowly dancing back and forth on top of what I can only describe as a thin 10’x10′ sheet of plate glass that was somehow suspended on top of the raging ocean. If I looked to my right, it was stormy blackness. To my left the same. If I looked down I could see through the glass the rough tumult below my feet. If I looked up it was violent darkness. All I could do was bury my head in His chest to escape the fear and dread of the circumstances around me. His embrace was altogether different than the ballroom. In this experience we were still very much dancing, but it was a slow and simple back and forth. He was holding me as close as two people could possibly be and instead of his hand lightly cupping mine, both of His arms were wrapped firmly around me. He didn’t stop the storm or even calm it. He didn’t rescue me out of the danger. Instead, He held me closer than I’ve ever felt in the very midst of the terror.
And with that, the vision ended.
I tried to make sense of it at the time but all my presumptions never felt concrete. Until now. For the first time in over two years I fully understand what the Lord was showing me. I recently ended my 7th year as a Christian. And as I began to embark on my 8th year the Lord started explaining that vision to me. He showed me that the first 5 years of my walk with Him were represented in the ballroom. They were exhilarating years! Full of excitement, leaps of faith, joy, learning and a lot more good times than bad. I was madly and ravishingly in love with Him more and more each day. He was my absolute partner and it was easy for me to follow His lead. We danced the Quick Step. But the latter half of the vision represented what I was yet to enter in to with Him. I couldn’t understand it at the time but He was warning me of what was to come. Life remained exciting as new job opportunities and ministry opportunities began to come to light just days and weeks after that vision, but by September of that year the bright Quick Step had fully halted and the two-step in the midst of a dark, stormy sea took its place.
What took place in September and subsequently followed my life and family over the two years to follow have been the worst years of my adulthood. I will save the divulging of some of what I’ve experienced for later posts. But what I will tell you, reader; what I would tell anyone in the midst of their own dark and fiery trial is this: Jesus is with you. If I took nothing from that vision I took that truth. Even when I haven’t felt Him. Even when I felt completely lost, totally hopeless. When I felt I couldn’t trust myself or anyone around me, He was there. My greatest struggle was resisting the urge to look up, down, left, and right. The masochistic side of my nature loves to torture itself by looking at the pain, difficulty, and hopelessness of the surrounding situations life has thrown at me. BUT GOD. He lovingly showed in that vision that the only place for me to look during this season is at Him. He hasn’t chosen to make it all stop. To make all the pain go away. To fix the problems or rescue me out of the storm. What He’s chosen to do is teach me how to find Him within it.
You know what’s especially unique about what He showed me? He showed #1: That our dance with Him doesn’t stop just because all hell is breaking loose. And #2: That if I would just open my eyes I would realize that my head was buried in His chest. He was RIGHT in front of me. I didn’t have to search for Him because He was RIGHT THERE going through it all with me. Goodness, I have lost sight of this too many times.
So, my beautiful friend going through hell right now, open your eyes and see Him. Don’t stop dancing. The Quick Step season was amazing and I wouldn’t trade it and the knowledge gained from it for the world. But this intimate slow dance is doing something in me I cannot yet fully express. He is with YOU. You are not forgotten. You are not unseen. You WILL get through this. You are NOT alone. And together we will each come out of this season with an intensity, a strength, and a closeness with God that will set us apart all of our days. “It’s not for nothing”, as they say.
I pray that you keep dancing. Allow the song below to wash over you as He holds you closely. You deserve to feel His touch.
I love you all,
12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.[a] On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. – 1 Peter 4:12-14